Livinghigh: June 2005
Monday, June 27, 2005
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Bombay is soaking. It reminds me of this big fluffy towel hung out to dry on the terrace, and you watch the drops of water go plink-plunk on the terrace floor, while the little rivulets are quite visible on the terry surface. Touch it, squeeze it, and a fresh gush of water splatters out on the terrace floor. Bombay is soaking.

There are downsides, and there are upsides. I bought my first umbrella - first umbrella that I bought! I'm using the new Nike jacket that bro darling bought for me from his videsh trip! The weather feels divine - a far cry from the sultry heat of Dilli. I love the smell of rain. And then there's mud and slush and getting soaked to the bone. There's the idea that you're wading in Kevin Costner's Waterworld come alive. But then, that's Bombay for you. I was warned reams and reams about it, long before I set foot in the city. Last year, I dropped down in September, narrowly missing the flooding, to land amid the tumult and chaos of Ganesh Chaturthi! This is my first Mumbai monsoon - perhaps, as auspicious an event as the Chaturthi itself!

Yesterday, I was passing by Worli Seaface and Marine Drive. I suppose it's quite natural for a Mumbaikar to see the huge waves wash up to the dividers, some even spray the roads... but I was stunned. Amazing to think about a city like that, living on the edge... Amazing to think of a people standing there deliberately, braving the sea's onslaught, willing to get soaked to the bone by another massive wave thrown into the air. Yes, it's dangerous, yes, there have been so many incidents of people having been washed out to sea, but for all you could tell, they still didn't care a damn! Exhilarating - tremulous... I'm impressed by this city I live in.

So is this a paean to Bombay then? Or the monsoons? Something or the other... I've had enough of mushy stories of heart ache and break-ups.

Thursday, June 23, 2005
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It's MeMe time: Books!

I'm back from Delhi. It's been a lovely week.. a hectic one, at that. I hate to sound like a soggy ten year old diary, so I'm just going to skip through all the day-wise travelogue. Suffice to say: I saw things, I went places, I hogged like crazy, I made out some too. There you go: end of story.

Then, I came back, and saw that I'd been book tagged by Akshay. This meme shit is really tiresome, by the way, and though I'm going to answer this one, I'm begging everyone else to kindly pass my name by, if you ever have to nominate some poor hapless bugger on the way. This is my second meme, and I think that's way too many!

(Don't worry, Akshay, I still love you, though!)

But... I'm going to play around with this meme a bit, and I'm going to organise it accordng to my own lines. (Simply because I've forgotten the original one, and Akshay's blog takes ages to open, for some strange reason!)

Cheapest book ever bought: Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie. Bought from the pavements at Fort for a lovely price of Rs 65.
Most expensive book bought: Complete Omnibus of The Hitch Hiker's Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. I got it at a sale on Colaba, opposite Regal cinema. At Rs 565, it's actually a steal!
Last book bought: Delhi, by Khushwant Singh. It's supposed to be a story of human lives through the ages, with the city as the backdrop.
Longest book ever read: Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts. Amazing book. Amazing pace. It can get sanctimonous at times, but it's well worth the length!
Shortest book ever read: The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. Short and sooooo sweet.
Wittiest book ever read: Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw. Defies description, chauvnistic to the extreme.
Most painful book read: Family Matters, by Rohinton Mistry. Too much sadness for my taste.
Book I was not able to finish (for whatever reason): The Great Indian Middle Class, by Pavan K Varma. I lasted three chapters.
Favourite book store: Landmark in Chennai and Calcutta, Oxford in Bombay and Calcutta, Om Book Shop in Delhi.

Thursday, June 16, 2005
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Through the Looking Glass

I am out of town right now, and that explains a number of things.
(a) that this place hasn't been updated in a while. (Well, this is a sort of update right?)
(b) that I haven't had much time to actually go through some of the other blogs I am a regular at!
Am sorry guys.

Actually, there's another reason for the lack of blog reading initiative... have changed my job recently, and the new job doesn't afford me as much free internet time as I would like to have! So.. yes, sigh.


But yes, Delhi is nice. Have been meeting old friends, and visiting old haunts. I'm changed, though. I may not have the old enthusiasm that I had earlier... I may not be the same come-what-may-I-love-saddi-Dilli kinda guy that I was earlier. Mumbai has grown on me. I suppose it was inevitable.

I just wish, the city had fewer people and better roads now, Mumbai that is. And I wish Delhi had a good train line.

Green grass and houses made of glass, yes, but I never seem to learn any morals from all those lines, do I? ;-)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005
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Someone was telling me the other day, how strange a fact it is: the more you want something or someone, the more you have to pretend that you don't.

I can't stand that. I can't understand that. I try. I try to emulate the advice, after seeing my trials all in vain - but I think... what is the use?

I'm not trying to be poetic. Not the sad way that I normally despise. I'm a happy person. Somebody I know told me that he likes me because I'm a happy person. Someone else told me I'm her best friend because I'm a happy person... and yet, inspite of it all, the one I need says that there's a "space" we find ourselves in, which seems "inconducive" to a relationship.

I want to shoot someone. I want to shoot Engelbert Humperdinck for playing sad songs on the radio, when I come back home after heartbreak. I would like to shoot a lot of people. Not last of all, the person who says there is no "space".

Monday, June 06, 2005
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pinpricks in my eyes
rushes in my heart
floods through my hands
which grapple to find nothing at all

- that was a short little thing I scribbled, when someone asked me what it felt like to dance in the rain. This was the pseudo version. Simply put: it feels divine. I've done it. Stood out there, with my hands outstretched, smelling the wet earth, and wishing that I could just go... under. That would probably be a death wish had I been in the middle of the ocean. Come to think of it, it's probably a death wish even here, in amchi Mumbai, when the rains finally do come!


I am finally going to Delhi. My tickets are bought. Next Monday, I shall be chug-chugging along on a train to Dilli meri jaan! Unless, another bout of jaundice strikes me, or some other such madness that amchi Mumbai devises for me, every time I try to run away. In that case, I shall simply curl up and die. After throwing a tantrum of a suitable size, of course.


Actually, this shall be an eventful week. This will be the week where I change jobs, and change houses too. This will be the week where my old room mate leaves amchi Mumbai and returns to Dilli hamesha hamesha ke liye (sob!). This is the week where another friend goes to Delhi for another job interview - and if he gets the job, he'll be gone too! (sigh!) This is the week where I get a new room mate - an old friend whith whom I had lost touch with. This might be the week I have my driving test. This week will culminate with me leaving for my holiday.

As the message on my t-shirt says: My schedule is full, I can't handle a crisis right now!

POP quiz: How many times have I mentioned amchi Mumbai in this post?

Friday, June 03, 2005
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Psycho on 'sex'

Who has all the fun in relationships? Hard to say, but a friend and I decided, sitting at a spot in the office complex titled simply 'the Benches', that it is chest-beating, ape-calling, Gucci-wearing, ego-celebrating men. Mua.

Quite a matter of fact.

1. We don't whine. And if we do, it's intelligent whining, surfeit with a lot of sarcastic nuggets that would make George Bernard Shaw even prouder of his sex than he normally tended to be (harken back to Let a woman in your life, in Pygamalion).

2. We like sex, and make no 'bones' about it. Pun intended. Sex is important to have in a relationship, and every guy knows it. Unless you're eighty years old, with pots of money, and know that you can buy a twenty-something bimbo to decorate your arm with a coupla handfulls from those potfulls. But even that confirms my bit about sex: I mean, the only reason he'd waste some of those handfulls on a chick, rather than a Ferrarri, is the all-important God Phallus.

Yes, I sound like a horrible misogynist-cum-traditionalist, but I'm a ranting mood right now, so don't hire the mafiosi just yet. Wait for a couple more paras.

3. We can divide, quite neatly, sex from emotions. Well, at least, most of the time. Haven't really succeeded right now, and that's why you have this stupid little post, but that's another matter altogether.

4. We have little hang-ups about quick sex. That can make even a coffee break fun. Thank God for anatomy and good thinking.

That's your cue to call the mafia guys.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005
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Sigh. I hate having to act all whiny. And that happens every time I write a new story. Damn. Do I really write that bad? No one wants to read a new story by me. So I wrote Poison on Gabbles, and only lovable, adorable, beautiful Geet reads and comments. So I like her the best. Sniff, sniff. Am like a hurt child now. Meanies.

So, I've written another one, called Afternoon Mirage. About Calcutta. Or, rather, it's placed in Calcutta. And though I know no one will ever read this one either(!), I'm posting an extract here, nevertheless:

I'm not used to being spoken to by strangers, unless they're beggars or they're policemen, and so my first instinct was to stare through you. I'm not a people person, despite the fact that I come from the City of Joy. I find people intrusive, I find their questions intrusive, I would rather live in a land where no one cares or no one bothers you. So, I shrug, for all that I find you interesting, and I say, "Excuse me, I have to go somewhere."


Carrying on to Geet's meme:

1. Total volume of music on my computer:- have no idea. Not as much as the porn, though. But then, my computer's stuck in my old room in Calcutta, so I have neither porn nor music here. The computer at office has a huge collection, but I can't quantify: there's world music, English classic, pop, alternative, rock, jazz, Indian classical, hip hop, etc.

2. The last CD I brought:- TranceSpotting Vol 6, from Pune's MG Road. Haven't heard it as yet, though.

3. Song playing right now:- Nothing on the computer, Summer Wine by Nancy Sinatra in my head.

4. Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:-You can do magic; Ayesha; King of Wishful Thinking; I will survive; Sugar Sugar.

OK, since I have to make sure that four other people carry on the baton, I'm nominating Akshay, Uber, Aditya and Vikram.