If ever you are in or around Lower Parel, Zonk, you should come into my office building, go across the atrium and take the service lift up to the sixth floor. Step out and turn into the little corridor to your left and you’ll find glass doors and a terrace. It’s a small terrace. And ordinary to look at if you don’t bother to sit down and spend some time with it. But stay the time it takes you to have a smoke or finish one cup of tea and I promise you’ll fall in love.
There’s a little ledge to sit on under the railings and the railings are far enough apart that you can stick you head and most of your torso out between them and pretend there’s nothing there to hold you back. And there’s a factory down below with a gigantic terrace and strange stairs on the fire escape and a chimney that looks lovely and crows that perch on it. There’s the country’s tallest skyscraper coming up right opposite it and another half-done building right beside it that the sun sets behind every evening. And there’s more buildings coming up in more spaces that you did not even know exist because they are hidden by all the buildings that are already there.
The city looks ugly from up on my terrace, Zonk. It’s cluttered and dirty and disgusting in most ways. And you can see the air in the evenings because there is so much dust and smoke and stuff suspended in it. The country’s tallest skyscraper is right there in front of my face but the smog dirties even that. But it’s quiet up there and peaceful and it makes me forget that this is where I work. And yesterday, while we were waiting for the sun to go down, I saw a crow perched on my favourite chimney on the factory below and white smoke billowing from it. It would have made a pretty picture, Zonk. A black bird on a lone grey chimney spouting smoke. I’d have tried to take it myself so I could post it here for you to see, but I have a phone that smogs up everything too.