The Rear Window

Have you travelled by bus in Mumbai? Over the J. J. Flyover? The flyover passes through many of those less metropolis looking areas of Mumbai like Bhendi Bazaar. As your bus whizzes past, you can’t but help indulging in voyeurism. For spread out right across your window are the balconies and windows of scores of apartments. Bhendi Bazaar is what the average Mumbaikar would tell you, a Muslim middle class area. And so these flats just have the average amenities. As you look at them, fascinated, just like Jimmy Stewart does in The Rear Window, you get the feeling of peeping into a different world in a different era. These are houses that have the most basic furniture as can be guaged from the open balcony doors and windows. Evening time and you shall find most households surrendering themselves to the charms of television in the light of a 40 V bulb. You also find ornate dressing mirrors (that look like items from chor bazaar) and eager women sprucing themselves up to meet their beloved who would arrive any time now. Then there are the 60+ abhi to main jawaan hoon uncles trying to comb those few remaining strands. Then there are the children prancing about, fighting, playing. From those windows you can almost see all of their sparcely furnished little homes. Homes that seem to live in some pre-independence kind of era. Homes that have some sort of a warmth and attraction to them. But the attraction wears off when you see those few houses where women sit on the floor holding their heads in their hands. The starkness of all that simplicity strikes you then. But you still watch on. It is voyeurism, yes, but it is a study, a revelation of how the odds have been in your favour most of your life. The flyover and the homes seem almost endless as you realise this. And it also strikes you why certain members of the elite class didn’t want a flyover near their house. After all it might reveal some of the shards of their own existence to the unsuspecting Peeping Tom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s