Livinghigh: September 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Livinghigh was here at 10:06 AM / (9) Comments

Can we have a commercial break please?

It's been a long week, a tiring one. I got a threat that if I didn't shape up things - mainly, get my packages back to the office for cutting them in time - I could look at kissing my beat bbye. Among other things... But then of course, there were reconcilliations, but never less work. That's one factor that always seems to be on the uphill trend, and I can't seem to shake that off.

No time for coffee with friends. O wait, I did that.

No time for ogling at cute people who strut past me, at the coffee shop. O wait, I did that too.


But then, you get my point.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Livinghigh was here at 7:48 PM / (5) Comments

Miracles do happen: I read poetry!

The weekend is coming up fast, and I'm glad. Things to do at home: paint, listen to music, label my CDs, dust out my make-shift cupboard. Things to do outside home: chill out at Velocity, gobble chocolates, gobble cakes from Theobroma, convince brother to buy me more shirts. I'm a leech.


In the meantime, I decided to write a story. And believe it or not, it's not a love story! ;-) I've been receiving some inputs on this fact, actually - apparently, I've become quite the mushy mushcakes who writes odes to rival a ricketty Shapespeare's! So, I decided to try something new. Tell me if I've succeeded, in the Miracle Man here.

The woman who sits in front of me looks at me in something mingled with fear and confidence. She doesn't know for a fact that I can do what she wants, but she hopes I can. It would make her life so much simpler if I can. So I smile at her, show her my yellowed teeth, and wait for that touch of recoil. It would be boring if she fawned over me, believed every word I said, adored me. This is riskier, risquer. I prefer it this way.

The blogging world gives rise to a number of pseudonyms, many of them outlandish ones (my own included!), and so the name Black Tulip disconcerted me not at all. Tulip writes poetry on her blog - one of the few poetry spaces I actually visit now and then. I make no bones about it: poetry is not my cup of tea. (Hehehehe.) Tulip's first poem is about a certain someone walking out on her, and thus begins a new career -

Dated Valentine's Day, February 14, 2004 -

Whenever I scribble down something, sometimes it rhymes, sometimes it doesn’t. But it is always without a title. I don’t think of a title after writing a poem and so I just leave it at that, unlabeled and unbounded...

Monday, September 19, 2005
Livinghigh was here at 11:52 AM / (8) Comments

NEWS FLASH: Living High (the person) completes a year in Bombay!

Year flew by fast. I guess it's party time. Or, it should be, if I were not so completely and utterly broke. (I happen to be completely and utterly broke all the time, these days!) I called up the Nutcracker and reminded her about our anniversary here - the silly goose had forgotten! - and then proceeded to come up to work with a smile on my face. Happy birthday Living High, Bombay Avataar. We never thought you'd grow out of the Delhi shadow, but hey looky looky, you actually have!

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Woke up realy early this day last year - the flight was at 7.30 frikkin am, and we had to be at the airport by six. There were three Qualis' taking us from the Patel Nagar guest house to the airport, and it was kinda sad. It was quite strange to leave Patel Nagar, ridiculous almost as I passed the roads to Gurgaon. Sharon had always gone on whining about Bombay, but even she felt strangely sad about leaving Delhi. It was just one of those things! And she was scared - she'd never been on a flight before that, and I sat with her, chatting with her as the plane took off, and she said later that it wasn't all that bad, really.

My ears popped, though. They always do, on a flight!

We arrived in Bombay, and were taken to this fancy hotel in Bandra. Hill Road. Not Sharon - her dad came by to pick her up at the airport. And Whiny Rich Boy also had his rich dad send him a Lancer for a pick-up. The rest of us piled into the Indicas, and glowered as the Lancer overtook us. But the hotel was neat. Kunal was already there, and we chatted. Globus was right opposite, and we made plans to go over - but of course, we never did. House hunting was on top of my mind.

I was so frikkin nervous about house hunting!

All of that seems ridiculously recent. I guess all backward looking diary entries say that. It's party time now, though, and I would love to go for a drink tonight, if I can afford it! Hopefully, there'll be many more years to come in amchi Mumbai!

Friday, September 16, 2005
Livinghigh was here at 8:05 PM / (11) Comments

God of All Things

I was walking home last night from the station. One thirty am. And Lower Parel was quite deserted. Except for the sparkling, crinkling, winking fairy lights overhead, courtesy the local Ganpati puja. And it reminded me of home. Calcutta. Durga Puja.

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Ganpati Bappa Moriya! ;-)

The two, of course, are quite different. I guess I have a natural bias towards Calcutta and Durga Puja. I'm in love with the way the city teems up with holidaying people, mulling in crowds, or even simply idling their way on footpaths. Couples, lovers, singletons, groups of friends. Late night walks. I remember this particular night in Calcutta: my friends and I must have walked ten or twenty kilometres across the city, stoppping at roadside pujas and pandals, having ice cream and cold drinks, stopping to rest our aching feet and walking again... we walked all night, and travelled to the ghats, by the morning... saw the sun rise over the Ganga. Beautiful sight. And then, we all took cabs to our homes, to wake up our parents. ;-)

Durga Puja is much more... involved! Much less political, than Ganpati is in Mumbai. Much more... grand. The idols are huge. The pandals are huge, and beautifully moulded to form castles, rocky caverns, temples, palaces, and even the ordinary pink-and-green cloth box. The lights are much more dazzling - not overhead reams of moving light as in Ganpati, but columns of standing intricate designs in electronica, and overhead platforms depicting scenes from the epics or even daily life, all in dancing spectres of fairy lights and tubes. Cotton candy and tshirt sellers hoping you'll buy something from them, even as you travail across the city. The traffic jams are same for both Ganpati and Durga Puja, however.

There are times when I think I'm completely integrated into Bombay, and there are times when I realize I'm not. This is one of those times. I don't think of Ganpati as 'my' festival, the same way as I think of Durga Puja. Will miss going back home this October, but it'll still be 'mine'! I don't identify with Ganpati. As simple as that. I may know how and when to avoid the traffic jams in Mumbai on the days of the festival... but I will never think of them as mildly charming, as I do of Durga Puja.

And when I'm walking back home at night on a deserted street, save the fairy lights, though I may smile, I'll probabaly remember another city, another festival, a Goddess I've been brought up to believe in.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Livinghigh was here at 6:25 PM / (7) Comments

Hee haw

So I felt like a dunce today. Went for this biggie presser today, chatted up people, jostled with the crowd for the Big Chief's bytes (kinda has an American Indian twang to it, eh?), yapped up a yummy lunch at the five star hotel, and came back to the office with my package in tow. Only thing is, I missed the all-important byte that Big Chief said, on the steps of the five star hotel, while leaving, when he was cornered by the pesky TV journos.


Like a paper bag.

Like a puke bag.

But... I'm nothing, if not resurgent. After sitting with a glum face for half an hour, and telling my colleagues the story of The Great Fuck-Up, I've come to the conclusion that it's at least over - I know better now what to do - the lengths I have to go to - stories are not just about eating yummy ice cream at swanky five stars... damn. I'm a klutz, but I'm an optimistic klutz. I'm a pessimistic-optimistic klutz. I wonder if my boss regrets hiring me - I wonder if he laughs sometimes, thinking about my silly smiles and my dumb antics. I'm hoping, he laughs more than he regrets. It would be nice, if he didn't regret at all.

Which reminds me... I must invest some money now. I hate taxes. Just in case I never said that before: I HATE TAXES!

There's someone called Bonatellis, who I've visited on occassion before. What made me use him for Blogspot? Well, the immediate trigger was the fact that he was a not-so-familiar face in the comments section here at LIVINGhigh. ;-) And then, of course, the first post is all about the Transition. It's quite uncanny, how so many of us think/feel that we shall be better men/ women by ranting in our newly formed blogs... I think we all do, actually... Without any more nakhras, then -

Dated Tuesday, September 28, 2004

never mind... sometimes u have these temporary blips in your lives when u end up losing all respect for people u have once admired...

Off late I have been doing a whole lot of self analysis... I was just trying to understand the way I may have changed over the last decade or so.... and yes, it has been a complete metamorphosis....

Saturday, September 10, 2005
Livinghigh was here at 4:18 PM / (6) Comments

Air kisses at INOX

It's all about being prop-ah.

My first brush with a celebrity was ages ago, when I was down here in Bombay for a visit from Calcutta, and we were at the Goregaon Film City. the guide was talking about this and that cliff some whiney heroine screamed from, in some whiney movie, etc etc, when we walk onto a TV set, and there stands Tom Alter. Hehehehe... old man and all that, I know, but still....! And then, as we ambled out, we nearly bumped into Salil Ankola, the cricketer chap who turned into a TV actor. I have absolutely no idea what the man's upto these days, nor do I particularly care, and yet at that time, it was actually quite a thrill.

Cut to last week, at the INOX theatre in Nariman Point. Standing in line at the snacks counter for a popcorn and coke combo, I see ad guru (they always use this phrase for the man!) Alyque Padamsee sitting at a couch with theatre diva Dolly Thakore by his side. I scooted back to my brother with the snacks and we both peered over to where the pair were sitting. My brother's flatmate of course, was quite flummoxed as to what the big deal was, and asked around quite loudly, "Who? Where? Pad-what-see?"

Then there was the episode at Legacy of China, a quaint little restaurant in Seven Bungalows, Andheri, some months back, when we see Shabana Azmi and family sitting at a table a short distance away. My mum was visiting, and she reportedly also spied a couple of TV stars from her favourite Star Plus soaps at the restaurant, and dessert was quite a thrilling affair!

But the clincher was last night at INOX again. I'm taking my job as a busines correspondent far too seriously, I think, for when I spy Rakesh Jhunjhunwalla, investor extraordinaire, I can't help but walk upto him and introduce myself, saying I would get in touch with him later this week. No soone had I said my 'bbye's to him, than I see another market biggie, Jamshed Desai from IL&FS Investsmart, sitting on a couch with his wife. "Jamshed! How are you?!" I smiled broadly, and the nervous man got up to shake his hand. I have no idea whether he recognised me or not from the time I met him earlier, but he certainly never gave the game away. Both Rakesh and Jamshed, poor fellas, were soon beseiged by rich and amateur South Bombay investors, looking for stock tips to play on Monday! Too many people see CNBC these days.

There was also Ashish Chowdhary, the on again-off again film-cum-TV star from Let's Enjoy, who supposedly stays in Delhi, but is consistently seen at INOX according to sources. Wearing a red cap, and not as tall as I thought I'd be. I think he missed the fans, though.

And yes, the movie was also very good. Cinderella Man, starring Russel Crowe and Renee. Jamshed was in the same hall with me. ;-)

Thursday, September 08, 2005
Livinghigh was here at 7:10 PM / (4) Comments

By the pricking of my thumbs....!

Buckling my own shoes was hard, when I was a kid. I used to be one of those pampered little pricks who would raise his leg up for daddy to tie his shoelaces, before going traipsing off to school, resplendent in white shorts and shirt. (Surf? I'm not sure.) I'm still a pampered little prick, courtesy Big Brother, but somehow, I've learnt to tie my own laces. Am speaking strictly literally here.

One two buckle my shoe,
Three four shut the door...


I never really understood what that rhyme was all about. Sounded terribly arbit to me. All about Know Your Numbers, a kind of extended children's book, which teaches them to be good maids and manservants. Nursery school taught you all that. How to tie your own laces, how to fold your clothes, how to pray to God before eating ("Thank you God for the food we eat, Thank you God for the.... etc etc"), how to comb your hair nicely with the side parting in place, and so many other things. Indian maids and manservants don't wear liveries, or else they'd teach you how to polish the buttons there as well. And if you don't, well, there's always a grumpy person there to jerk you hard and scare the bejesus' out of you. Crap.

And you have to know all about Tintin and Asterix to get into Nursery School. Shit. I'd rather gawk at Tom and Jerry.

I haven't written a nonsense post in a while, have I?



CSF started out as Desi Media Bitch. The invention of a friend called Rohit Gupta, it soon let loose its tentacles, and embraced a large number of fan followers and contributors alike - including yours truly. We started off as a blog by the media and on the media (Indian, at that, too!), and we're now a blog that is simply.... undefinable. That's one of our good parts. There are bad parts too - often enough, we being journo drama queens, tend to go off the handle, but hell, even that can be seen a as 'positive', depending on how you look at it.

We are now Chiennes Sans Frontiers - Dogs Without Borders - and the fact that we would be pretty loud can be seen from the very first post that RG aka The Fadereu penned -

Dated October 29, 2004

Promotions, deals and sales gimmicks take over the primary objectives of newspapers – which is reporting. So we've undertaken the task of reporting on the excess indulgences of media in an unbiased and vengeful way.

We'll be your media bitches. Amen!

Desi Media Bitch

Monday, September 05, 2005
Livinghigh was here at 2:26 PM / (6) Comments

Beer hugs

So I went to Toto's yesterday after ages. Felt nice. But noisy. Toto's seems to be have become incredibly 'rock' these days. Apart from the odd Coldplay and Maroon 5, there were mostly loud numbers, the kind to make your neighbour hate your guts forever and ever. I mean, the place was never a retro bar as such, it was pretty much a place to unwind to She will be loved, Eye of the tiger, Nothing else matters and of course the customary Summer of 69. And yes, they even played Celine Dion at times!

But the beer was nice. Not as diluted as Mondy's the other day. Not as strong as Leo's, either. The taxi was nice to see, hanging in the air like a suspended old lady. Old hag. Harried waiters, who were still courteous. Old man Totlani with the black eye patch, surveying his pub like the proverbial Blackbeard. ;-)

I like Toto's, despite the acid rock avatar.

Blogspot: And this is the new element for the blog. I dunno if anyone recalls, but there used to be an element called Mirror Mirror here, at one point of time, where I used to disclose something about me that other people may or may not know. A crystal ball gazing experience, of sorts. Well, Blogspot is different in the sense that it takes off from where Popping Cherries... left things. This element is going to have snippets from the very first entry of any particular blog that I may find/ rummage/ frequent. Beginning today....

From the Phaltrix Express, as unearthed and mailed to me by August. We think her earliest entry was on Thursday August 19, 2004 -

Now a hushed remeniscence. Hah. That's where your thoughts've been. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Jelly's jazz. To work then. To sleep now. Good night and Happy Dancing.

Friday, September 02, 2005
Livinghigh was here at 7:28 PM / (12) Comments

Popped a cherry.. a lot of them, actually

Yet another friend of mine has shot into the blog arena of life. Kunal the one and only makes his introduction in typical lyrical hemming and hawing. But, while having this conversation with him earlier today, I got an idea for the next post at LIVING... Our Very Own First Posts.

I've collated some lines from the very first posts of some of my blog-buddies. The selection has been based on absolutely everything from closeness of relationship, to sillyness of post, to yadayadayada. Of course, there's space here for only a few. So, I started out with Drifting Divs, who starts like a duck with one webbed foot in the water...

this is a first, hesitant post. just testing waters

Then, there's Sharon the Nutcase, who murdered the content of her original blog, but then decided to scribble anew, a strife-torn Kafka -

There are constant changes, have purged the old blog, had to purge the old one, everyone changes, the time, the trees, the birds, your skin, your hair, and then the words you wrote stare at you, childish and gramatically incorrect(that remains a constant!)

My roomie at Chennai, Nelson the Big Moses, then followed suit. He decided to play for awhile, unsure of what to say. Today, his blog has some of the sweetest pictures I've ever seen, but he started out with -

aah, its time to log in my blog, especially since every self respecting, creative wannabe writer with an imagination has one.

Rule no:1 if one wants to be a writer ..........write ..........
Rule no:2 if one does not have a single piece of work published.............write everyday.

ok......... that brings me to Resolution no:1 for the new year (new year what? same shit different year)..........write.
Resolution no:2....write everyday............

I couldn't find the archives list on Phaltrix's blog, but I'm sure she would have come out with something suitably hilarious. In the meantime, here's a CV from Geet -

Shrivastava Geetanjali (b.Sept, 1981)

-Student of Literature , Voracious Reader of Books
-Chatterbox was a Label Earned in Childhood, It Still Applies
-Flaming Red-Hot Temper, Subdued Over the Years, But Still Boils Under the Surface
-Uncomfortable in Fake Situations , Ridiculously Failing in the Art of Small Talk
-Music is My Porn - Go Figure This Out!!
-Perfumes are Yet Another Weakness, Calvin Klein - a Favourite
-So are Scarves, and Silks, and Cottons, and Jewellery

And then, there are some of us, who have our profanities in check, like the always cool and composed English August, who recollects -

''August, You're gonna get hazaar fucked in Madna"- Dhrubo, 1993

"Hazaar fucked": (Old Indian saying) To be penetrated a thousand times; (syn) A bummed out experience.

Enough about throwing stones at glass houses. What did I write, in my first post? Well, something like this -

I like to think we're all 'living high'. I like to think we did an internship with the Buddha before joining ACJ and are experts on the Middle Path. I like to think Rhea Pillai was especially sweet on me and I know the Art of Living to a tee. I like to think I'm normal.