Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Angst of Aarey Bai

My friend, Slogan Murugan , alias M. S. Gopal , posted this amazing capture of the Aarey Milk Colony landscape, from a vantage point, I think, somewhere in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), in the northwest of Mumbai..

The last green lung left in the concrete obsessed city of Mumbai,  there is a growing movement of people, the  Save Aarey Milk Colony Group  fighting to keep the Aarey Milk Colony from being used for all kinds of construction of locomotive sheds and other infrastructure decreed by those who think that is development.

Am probably some of the few who remember the Aarey Milk Colony,  as a predominantly milk-dedicated place, dotted with dairies, cattle sheds, small hostels for caretakers ,  milk processing units , and places where  those working there could stay. You could see  cattle in long sheds, nodding and dipping their heads into bins , probably having their green feed, and a drive on the then sparsely populated toll road through Aarey Colony, would often intermittently smell of milk and cattle in some places.   

No more.   Today,  avarice has won over sense.  The place has been given to builders, and studios that shoot TV serials.   And now, possibly to the Metro .  

Aarey Bai, looks back, misty eyed ,  at it all.....

Aarey Bai

Her eyes mist up,

with memories
of greens,
calves and smells of milk,
stares by concerned
mother cows,
caretakers bringing in
and cajoling them
to eat their greens;
young kids on a school picnic
breathing in
what was then,
pure and fun.

She stores the
and the mist
in the
pen drive
of her mind.

for the last time,
before it all turns brown
with the exhaust
of locomotive yards
and automotive paths,
scheduled to
make extinct
everything green...

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