Mumbai on a leash

Many years ago, when the internet was slow but our patience was infinite for information that was not easily available, I stumbled upon the website of The Dawn, the English newspaper from Pakistan. While scrolling through, I happened to see some illustrations from an artist whose name I no longer remember. It was that of tumblers, cups and things attached to a string. I saw it nearly two decades ago but the image remained in my mind and much later in life when I discovered photography as a hobby, I would often stumble upon similar things on Mumbai streets.

A tumbler attached to a string or chain speaks a lot about our shared spaces. Is it about how we trust each other? Is it about us misplacing things? Is it about owning things?

Does it go beyond a thing attached to a chain? A woman can ask if the mangalsutra is a similar chain?

Are there invisible strings all around us? Isn’t human civilisation a puppet show controlled by several invisible strings?

Isn’t the past a string that sometimes controls what we do today?

Isn’t the future a chain that makes you more careful about what you do today?

Is our genetic code or DNA a chain we can’t escape…we can look at DNA or genetic material as a thread or string and we are temporary owners before we pass it on to the next generation, thus making it potentially immortal?

And now that the internet is part of every aspect of our lives, how do we add a chain to our information or data that we are constantly generating?

There seem to be a lot of questions and answers hanging and the ends of these strings and chains.

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