Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Service Station at Gulmohar Park

you go past the main road into one of the numerous little openings in this thick concrete bundle of nerves and keep going until the road's not a road. the place looks like the compound of some large house except it's many houses with curtains and dupattas kept out to dry and general stores with scrubs, brooms and packets of detergents hanging out front.

you continue down until you reach a dead end. the road/battered path stops short of a hole in a wall that leads into a hill of mud and what looks like a temple. the top of the hole has a sign that reads Enfield Service Station. you go in and find old bikes in various states of disarray, rusting, dismantled, broken down. 'that one's burnt.' you turn around to notice a greasy old man in a torn shirt with no hair at all, scrubbing at a silencer.

'how did it get burnt?'

'in a fire.'

you ignore the Triumphs, BSAs and Jawas parked about you and continue up the muddy hill. The mud seems to continue for a mile or so, before it yields to a line of green that disappears down the horizon. this place was suppose to be in the middle of the city.

you come back to the old man for an explanation. you notice his ears are strangely pointed. his teeth, between black lips are sharp and stained red.

'what is this place?'

he spits out something red and grainy into the mud and says, 'this is a temple.'

you notice that the other side of the building is, in fact a temple. this side is a makeshift garage that you don't want to enter.

'we also fix bikes.' he says, looking up, almost with an air of expectation about him.

there's a whole lot more to this city than djinns.

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