Monday, April 23, 2007
A Wadala Sunday
This week and the last one has been a bonding exercise, of sorts, with darling brother. Living with him till my PG thing gets finalised, and so here I am in the back of beyond, Wadala. Aaa, it's not that bad really, seeing that it's just about 5 stations away from VT and 3 from Bandra, and its technically South Bombay, given the only-taxis-and-no-autos rule, but then my friends refuse to hear me say so and threaten to boycott me if I persist in calling Wadala 'South Bombay'!
So, last week, went to see this weird Hillary Swank starrer The Reaping. The usual Exorcist-style Hollywood horror flick - coming of the anti-christ, 10 plagues on mankind, angel come to save mankind, scary kid doing the spooky eye routine, yadayadayada. :) Bro hates scary movies and would rather have gone to see this inane action flick called Shooter, but personally I prefer horror flicks - even though I'm quite the coward myself. Not as bad as bro, though - he actually covers his eyes and sits through much of the movie like that, or pretends to be messaging someone furiously on the cellphone! :)
But I must confess: I was glad that I was sleeping with him that night! *grin*
Today has been Exploration Day or sorts. After yesterday's plan to visit (and photograph) Lower Parel and Dadar Five Gardens was shelved on account of the horrendous Bombay heat, I resolved to do the Haji Ali dargah this afternoon, post-lunch. So we caught lunch at O Calcutta's, fish Bong-style and all, and after that I set off on my own. Walked across the thin bridge and did darshan at the dargah, then clicked snaps of the coastline, and hailed a cab to Marine Drive where I took some more snaps. Wanted to check out the museum also, but it was much too late, so decided to take snaps of the Afghan Church at Colaba instead. That was a great decision, and I topped it off by a solitary viewing of the 7 pm show of Bheja Fry. Great comedy, really, and I recommend it for anyone. :)
Back home at 11 pm, to be greeted by gooseberry ice cream, courtesy bro. :) Nice Sunday.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Singing in the (T)rain
Hardly as romantic as Gene Kelly here, tripping on lamp posts and skipping (!) in the downpour. Picture terribly crowded suburban train of Bombay at peak office hours. People grappling, jostling, shoving, shoved up against each other as sardines in a can never got to. And that's when this group of sopranos unsheathe their dhols, cymbals and hoarse voices, and start singing. Bhajans usually. Something to do with Jai Maharashtra also, at times.
It happens on almost every office hour train. I usually ignore it, and as soon as the carriage with the musicians rolls into the platform, I walk ahead (or behind) and clamber onto the carriage ahead (or behind) it. It's bad enough traveling to work every day all shut up like that - listening to tone-deaf wannabe Fateh Ali Khans doesn't improve the train journey for me.
But that's my opinion. And a lot of Bombaywallahs don't share it. A lot of them, smile and nod their heads, eyes closed, and hum along to the song. And today was the first time I actually witnessed a guy who had just fought his way onto the train at Cotton Green station to suddenly start spouting a hoarse song of his own, which was quickly picked up by the cymbal-crashers nearby. Soon, there was a regular concert happening, and despite myself, I couldn't help smiling.
I didn't turn to look back when I got off, but I'm sure they were all exchanging numbers with the new entrant. :)
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Crashing in with family again. For awhile. It's nice, in some ways. 12th floor of a highrise building. Poolhouse and gym. Gateman who salaams you when you walk in/ out, and yes, I'm an awful person for liking that (yawn). Ordering in grand food every night, or going out to free fancy dinner.
And no, in real life, it's so colourful as that. I hate my imposed re-virginity. :(
Sunday, April 08, 2007
On one of my last days at Calcutta this time around, I roamed all around Park Street and Middleton Row and ended up at Flury's for a late lunch. And after ordering my Club sandwich and my cold coffee with ice cream, I settled down to fiddle with my digicam, which had been busy all afternoon. There were these two guys at the table next to me, and they were talking pretty loudly about being back in Calcutta, and how land rents had spiralled in Bombay and Delhi to alarming heights, and various business propositions one of the two had received. Very clipped fancy English, very La Martiniere or Xaviers schooling, about thirty-something old, both of them, and I could tell one of them was from Bombay and the other from Delhi.
And it was clear that the Bombay-walla was at least leaving Calcutta on the same day that I was, as he informed the other fellow that had he left a day earlier, he would be able to make the Shakira concert scheduled for that evening at Andheri.
And the Delhiwalla nodded in sympathy, but then was very offhand with the waiter when he was informed they were out of scones. :) It was clear, these were old-guard Calcuttans like me, who had left the city ags ago.
Anyhow.. I stopped eavesdropping once my sandwich and coffee came, as they 'hogged' my full attention.
Till... Sunday evening when I'm leaving Calcutta. I deposit my luggage for check-in (horribly slow line!), collect my boarding pass and then stand in another long line for security check. My flight is due to leave in 15 minutes, but I'm still in the line, and then when there's just two other people left ahead of me, I realise that I don't have my boarding pass with me.
After talking to one of the walky-talky toting people milling about there, I rush back to where I got my boarding pass to ask for a duplicate, and that's when the girl there looks irritably at me, and hands me the original: I had forgotten to take it from the desk! And who should be there standing at the counter, in front of the girl, when I arrive breathless and nervous but - the Delhiwallah! I flash him a look, and I think he recognizes me too, but then I grab the pass and run.
And when I sit down at my seat on the airline, I chuckle to myself about coincidences.
Just when I'm thanking my lucky stars that the plane is delayed, and then I'm wondering why it's still delayed now that the errant passenger (me!) is on board, in walks, yes, the Bombaywalla, with his suitcase. He's much too late to catch Shakira's concert, and he's here on my flight!
No, I haven't seen either of the two here in Bombay, and it's been about three weeks since I cam back. :)