I saw it first from the deck of an Ellerman boat
A faint enamel etching on the dawn:
With a dome—my very first— which seemed to float
On the morning haze of a new life, still unborn.
Set down in the reclaimed land of old Colaba
You have seen an Empire rise and then decay,
As a great new city grew around the harbour
Outside the walls of Portugese Bombay.
Tatas and Wadias, Petits and Khataus,
Memories of America’s civil war;
Mahratta swords and homespun Congress ploughs
Inhabit each long and airy corridor.
The chromium plated Intercontinentals
And towering Hiltons stride on to the scenes
Of Yesterday’s memories
Brave and sentimental