Bricolage

Of cobbled streets and express flyovers, congested living and starry houses, beautiful beaches and the heaps of garbage piled upon them, and of high rises which surround Asia’s largest slum. Of the beauty of the rains and the clogging of the roads, of the people with dreams and striving to make ends meet, the people who sleep in corridors because they never got a permanent place to live in the entirety of their life, the City of Dreams, they call it. There is film in the air. Selling bindis in the local, and sabzi mandis under the flyovers.

For a long time, I had been searching for a word that would at least attempt to adequately describe Bombay- and what a task I had taken on! Millions and millions of hearts, over the years, trying to find a spot for their dream, in the City of Dreams. And in class one day, I found the word.

A bricolage is a creation made out of whatever is available at hand, something created from diverse resources. In cultural studies, it refers to ‘the processes by which people acquire objects from across social divisions to create new cultural identities’. A little bit of this and and a little more of that, collected and pressed and woven together, churning out layers and layers of novelty every day- Bombay is a bricolage.

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