Essays & Short Stories

How a story unfolds on a Mumbai street

In one of her writing assignments, Munira documents 10 – 15 minutes of her observation at a bus stop. Written in first person narrative and as a commentary, the short description is absolutely marvellous. This just goes to show that there’s always a story being unfolded right before our eyes…and all we need to do is just observe. 

How a story unfolds on a Mumbai street

Text by: Munira Dalal

I sat under a banyan tree at the corner of a busy street junction. A gentle breeze fluttered the orange flag propped within the branches of the tree. Photos of Sai Baba smile down upon on whoever passes by.

A bike halts. Two men, both dressed in blue tee- shirts and denims, alight from the bike and walk the 50 paces to the corner pan shop. They are back in a moment. Each of them is holding a lit cigarette between his forefinger and middle fingers. The rider kicks the ignition and they are gone.

A lady, wearing a bright orange traditional 9 yards sari, stops at the pan shop. She holds a piece of paper in her hand which she hands over to the shopkeeper. He takes a quick look and then points to something behind the lady. She follows his gaze, nods her head and takes back the piece of paper. She folds it, tucks it into the pleats of her sari and leaves with a smile.

Two school children wearing brown uniforms, with their mother in tow, walk past. The older of the two stops right outside the pan shop and tells his mother something. The mother refuses and continues walking. The younger one pauses for a moment and then continues walking behind his mother. The older one calls out a couple of times but then gives up and leaves.

Suddenly a bus honks. A yellow bus stops opposite the banyan tree. The door opens and four little feet patter down the short flight of stairs.

Munira Dalal is a content writer, a storyteller and is also involved in theatre for children and she loves to travel. She is a Graduate in English Literature and a Diploma in Mass Communication from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

You can read one of her previous write-ups on the mighty Kanchenjunga published on The Mountain Walker and How green was my city? published on our website. She can be reached at 

She is one of our students at The Lifestyle Portal Online Writing Program. 

The Lifestyle Portal Online Writing Program:

Would you like to empower yourself with the simple tools of writing? Learn to write effectively with our online writing workshops. Sign up for The Lifestyle Portal Online Writing Program and fine tune your writing skills with us. Write to us at to know more.

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Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

One thought on “How a story unfolds on a Mumbai street

  • Madhushree Sinha

    Loved the write up by Ms. Munira Dalal. Short,clear sentences which has a great impact on the mind of the reader in creating the distinct image in his/her mind.


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