Happy Birthday, Alex

1.

Alex, man.

Your shoulders, man.

They’re alive!

They’re separate entities. I mean, your knees wiggle too, but at least your knees look like they’re attached to your brain.

Your knees look like you control them.

But your shoulders are sentient beings. They inhabit their own consciousness, have their own problems, and dance to their own beat.

And they’re amazing.

If anyone else is reading this, and you’ve seen Alex dance, then you know what I’m talking about.

The man’s got flow.

2.

Bandruh.

It’s in your blood. It’s in your bones.

It is you, and you are it: its leafy lanes, its witching hour.

Its grubby chawls and arguments overheard.

Its sultry terraces and perfect sunsets.

You are forever intertwined in it: its dingy corners and hidden haunts and prickly shopkeepers and elusive fisherwomen.

You are Joggers’ Park and juice bars. And Yacht. Did I mentioned Yacht?

3.

I think that when I think about all the people I know, and all the people I love, who live here in Mumbai, I think that most of the people I love are people you introduced me to.

But I can’t think of one thing they all have in common, other than that they all know you.

Actually, scratch that, they do have one thing in common. They’re all good people.

They’re all good. Some are brave. Some are weird. Some are kind and some are sharp.

Some are big and some are small. Many are foreign, for some reason. I don’t know why. Maybe there’s like an “Alex Stamp” that newcomers to Mumbai are mandated to have punched onto their passports. Maybe that’s why they all end up beside you at Yacht, sooner rather than later.

So thank you, for introducing me to all these people I love. It’s a gift!

4.

I’ve seen you go through good times and bad. You’ve never been afraid to show me your true self. No artifice, no self-consciousness. It’s a good way to be. You: you’re always there, up front and centre. You are what you’re feeling, your thoughts and feelings. There are no complications, no foreign language to decode.

It’s so much easier that way, you know?

You make it easy to be your friend. And your hugs are great.

5.

I think Mumbai only started to feel like home after we started hanging out.

You helped make this place home.

So happy birthday, man.

I owe you one.

 

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