I brought a painting today. Tucked in an old shop in the remaining old streets close to my riad, an outgoing short dumpy Mumbai women with short graying hair, the making of everyone’s lovable grandma, moved restlessly about her wares showing me this and explaining about that. ‘Look at this painting. Are you an artist?’ – ‘I can only dream like one’ I replied. – ‘No I don’t believe you,’ she said honestly. ‘For you, I have an old Modigliani.’ She smiled and then carried on moving about the courtyard explaining how money is so flush, nothing in this city has artistic value when fashion rules, and how Mumbai sucks. The artist’s name means nothing to me, except I can see it is his masterpiece to all neurotic women! Oh, it drives a stake into the soul and leaves you panting – the colours the fragments of emotions – she is gorgeous and painted beautifully. Tomorrow I’ll put a picture of my Modigliani omen on the blog before she is sent home.
Between the Jumeirah and the Palm is a beach. On this beach of golden sands and tropical sea, I start to believe I have found the peaceful character of the city, its glorious past. It is the city’s own open countryside with a beautiful view of silent architecture. A heaven for Christen heathens to unrobed flesh to a Sun God in this city of Islam. On Friday’s the flesh of white women becomes a free show for dreamy immigrant nomads of the East.
Returning on the train I stand at the boundary of two-quarters. One side a roomy place for women to sit in comfort and stay fresh and look sweet. One part carriage. On my side of the line, in many compact dens, sweating identical dark skinned men are compressed together in staring admiration. Women, a line, men. A teenager’s party, an Australian BBQ, the Berlin Wall, a ghetto train. So many men, so few women. When will the women come?
As promised, attached a picture of the painting I bought.