one image from mumbai (c.1989)

for me, many times and especially at times like these, the thought of mumbai/bombay chucks up this image: a young man jerking off in the men's room of churchgate station. people waiting behind him. sudden sniggers. i startled, look up, over the partition at this heaving shoulders. the man, unmindful of the mild laughter, and of, say, three hundred odd people around him, finishes what he was doing, fast. he steps out. somebody else steps in.

i couldn't laugh (it was my second visit to bombay), i was as old as he was, and it was the most terrible thing i'd ever seen. can you get lonelier than that?

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