The Phantoms of Our Sweet Past


The Phantoms of Our Sweet Past

Illustration: Akshita Monga


ombay in the ’90s was a whole different playground. The roads weren’t as fucked, the people weren’t as fucked, the quality of life wasn’t as fucked. In short, the Bombay of the ’90s was a better version of the beast we call Mumbai that would serve adequately as the premise of many bad Delhi vs Mumbai jokes.

Circa 1995, I was living smack dab in the middle of a Parel devoid of skyscrapers and office-goers. The only Indiabulls around pulled sugarcane, watermelons, and PDS kerosene below the balcony of our first-floor home. On my lips, hung a solitary Phantom cigarette.