Mumbai: A Sonnet

For the city of contrasts

They leave each day from homes to offices,

Although the Express Highway’s glitter snakes;

While garlic-ginger wafts from high-rises,

On sips of cutting chai Bombay awakes.

Tomato, orange, aubergine and green

Will fight the autorickshaws’ heady fuel,

As jasmine battles mango’s severed sheen;

For here, all city smells and colors duel.

By midnight, cadences the drummers splash

Against the starless dome of urban sky,

When matrimonial advances thrash

Through twisting roads of vehement Mumbai.

And now the Express Highway’s night-hush steeps.

On sips of burning whiskey Bombay sleeps.


Shannon Frandsen is an American writer, editor and photographer currently living in Bangkok. She lived in Mumbai from 2009 until 2012.


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