Monday, January 19, 2009


My dad is a big man when he walks on the road. In actuality, he is an average-sized man but when he walks on the road, he is a king. He owns the road so much so that he walks right in the middle of it with no care of the world.

As a kid, dad and I did a lot of walking. Through the cloth market of Dhobi Talao, century-old hardware shops of Null Bazaar, our old retail outlet at Mohammad Ali road, the perspiring crowds at the stationary hub of Abdul Rahman street and the bohri mohalla of Bhendi Bazaar. Dad and I walked through it all.

He walked swiftly and boldly. Like an English Lord. When he would cross the road, he would just cross the road. He would hold his hand up and the vehicles would stop like his crossing the street was destined and the raising of his hand had called upon the stars to create a karmic protective bubble around him. He always crossed safely.

Me on the other hand, I was slow and meek. I would prance like Bambi on the busy streets just to catch up to him. I still do.

It is unfortunate that I inherited none of my dad’s confidence and gallantry or his delusions of supremacy. Whatever it is. When I cross, I run. I do reach the other end of the road but I am awkward and flustered. It is always a battle.

Is it just me or crossing is tough?