Diversity: A Celebration, Not A Curse.

Searching for soul on the streets

I am enriched by the glorious shades of the world around us. The memories of places I have travelled, people I have met, have elevated my existence. Each so special in their uniqueness. In Turkey, the ice cream sellers doing their icy acrobatics with scoops. In Thailand, the fragrance of lemon grass as people huddle around street vendors. In Australia, the unusual sound of the didgeridoo surfing through the air. In Las Vegas, the pulsating lights mesmerising everyone into shiny, happy people. In the Canadian Rockies, the grazing deer that was unfazed by our awestruck presence. In Santorini, the sun unabashedly setting to the hushed wonder of its endless spectators. I could go on forever as the memories dance delicately in my head.

Then there is my city. Mumbai.

Under her mother’s watchful eye, she performs, on the tightrope. I along with others, watch with my heart in my mouth.

The mobile library brings knowledge to the passers by. Who needs expensive stationary space when a travelling van can carry a treasure trove of books?

Unarguably, one of Mumbai’s favourite street foods. Pani puri. Spicy flavoured water, sweetened with tamarind chutney, served with mung beans in flour cups. The great leveller, as the cyclist and the car owner both equally enjoy mouthfuls of its tangy taste.

The neighbourhood convenience store may be small in size but is big in content. From a pin to a pail, there is a little bit of this and that.

Life Lesson : The world would be a drab and dull place without the diversity that cuts across its boundaries. In our individual differences lies our collective beauty.

Alisha “Priti” Kirpalani is the author of “A Smattering Of Darkness: Short and Shorter Twisted Tales,” a collection of short stories of varying lengths encapsulating the grey shades of the human psyche. Her new novel will be released later this year.

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