Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
I’m sitting here, having nothing to do. Its funny how you can’t wait to be free at the beginning of exams. And when that time really comes after all the rigorous labour and sweating, you have nothing to do to spend that time (apart from picking your nose, a highly satisfying exercise). But picking one’s nose is really passé now. Here are a few things you could do to spend time creatively.
1. Stand on your head in a corner, and try noticing how different your feet look against the ceiling as background. This will also help see the world in a different light. For obvious reasons, refrain from peeing. That won’t make the whole stunt smell any prettier, among other things.
2. Try writing a long sentence backwards. And by backwards, I don’t mean in reverse. Whatever you’ve written should look like Hebrew or some really obscure language, by the time you’re finished.
3. Call up a random friend, and when they pick up the phone loudly scream out rude names and hang up. Then change your cell number and your residence, because they aren’t going to let you get away with this, obviously.
4. If you happen to be awake when the whole house is sleeping, quietly go up to people and tickle their feet. Or wake them up and ask them whether they were really sleeping or pretending to sleep, or what it was they were dreaming about.
5. While watch a horror flick in a theatre, loudly drop a glass Pepsi bottle during a really scary scene. Make sure the theatre is quiet at this time. And at least eight people should die of cardiac arrest.
6. While having dinner with guests, suddenly reach out to grab a piece of chicken from an aunt or uncle’s plate. However, for this to reach its successful level of annoyance, make sure that the aunt or uncle are people who you are not very close to, and there is no level of mutual affection from both parties.
7. While in a lift with strange people, gently let out a smelly and noisy fart. Then immediately give a conspicuous and disgusted look to the person adjacent to you, and try moving far away from him.
8. Pick your nose in a train. Then inspect your finger for the stuff that came out from your nose and neatly flick it away. For more effect, perform this exercise accompanied with juicy burps. This will ensure you a seat in a crowded train.
9. Blow your nose in loud spurts during a meeting. Then show the handkerchief with the freshly squeezed snort around emphasizing that you’ve had that nasty cold for the past month. That highly coveted promotion is sure to be in your bag then.
10. At a funeral, laugh loudly with some backslapping and loud noise. If people give you weird stares, loudly narrate the joke to them. This is great for people who always try and cheer others up.
The above creative activities to pass the time should be enough for starters. If you’ve tried them all and are still alive to tell the tale, do let me know. I will think up some new ones for you. For now, start spreading the disgust!
Monday, August 21, 2006
The crux of the issue is, that I had to pinch a kid in the train. And by pinch I obviously don’t mean I stole it. Okay here’s the thing. I was sitting in the train on a homeward journey from college one afternoon, minding my own business and fantasizing my afternoon siesta to the point of drooling. I pulled out my paper and began solving the crossword, when this woman got in at one of the stations. Her son was with her, around one year of age. I ignored them, until the woman made the boy squeeze on the opposite fourth seat. She handed him a packet of Zalani Jaljeera Powder (???) to…er…lick off from his hand. Moreover, the boy split that stuff on the seat, which he actually stood up and licked RIGHT OFF THE SEAT!! Most women around me wanted to throw up around a week’s meals to commemorate the event, but I suppose we were too shocked to do even that. One woman shut her pack of Good Day biscuits, and I bet she silently vowed never to eat anything in her life again. So well, what was the mother doing when her kid was ‘cleaning’ the seat? She gave him a benevolent smile and said Aisa nahi karneka!
I know the confusion that’s crawling about in your minds. If the kid licked the seats clean, why did I pinch him? No, no. To know that, you need to hang on a bit. Anyway, the next thing the mother did was to bully her way to our seats, made the boy sit right next to me, and promptly plopped down where the boy formerly sat. Immediately she handed him a vada pav this time. And I prayed there would be no more casualties in the second course. If there would be, I swear I would have thrown up all over him. And I was right! There were casualties. Apart from the fact that the vada pav eating induced machaak machaak sounds (really loud ones), the kid’s nose was to snot, what Niagara Falls is to water. This whole exercise was punctuated by continuous staring at me, like I was a really phenomenal zoo exhibit. I even chose to ignore that, till the kicking started. He was supposedly swinging its feet, making neat shoe prints on my new jeans. I swerved my foot rather harder than I intended, and he stopped doing that annoying thing after he got the point. Five minutes of peace, and that is when he laid his head on my shoulder like we were in love or something. I had had enough just about then. The last thing I need is coots from a two feet tall monster. I jerked my shoulder sharply, and this time the freak started crying. His even freakier mother wasn’t bothered even then. What happened next, you will NOT believe. This child took the vada pav it was eating, actually WIPED a portion of the train wall with it, and promptly ate it. And the cherry on the cake was, he wiped his grubby paws on my bag! After the initial shock of watching him eat dirt of the walls, the hand-wiping struck me, and that is when I had to give him the smallest pinch I could. I’m sorry, but then, I’m really not. The crying spree induced by the pinch made his mother take him onto her lap, which is when peace reigned the compartment.
Do you still wanna talk about judging me, matey?
Friday, August 11, 2006
The roses, the chocolates, the warm greetings,
Your sweet nothings, our much-awaited meetings.
If what I think is really what I see,
I know you’re falling in love with me.
Your special care and loving compassion,
All the fawning and undivided attention.
From you, time for me is a free commodity,
I know you’re falling in love with me.
What have I done to gain your affection?
Such warm embraces, your trust and fascination?
You try really hard, but you can’t let me be,
I know you’re falling in love with me.
This, I guess was all that it could be,
I hope you won’t be too hung up on me.
But may I say these words so true?
I know I’m falling in love with you.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
The other day, I walked to the shop downstairs to pick up some stuff, and I overheard two schoolgirls conversing, each holding a candy. The following are the excerpts from their conversation : -
Schoolgirl #1: Aaj aayegi khelneko?
Schoolgirl #2: Nahi yaar, mujhe mummy maregi. Geography ka homework karne ka hai, hindi-marathi tuitions ke baad maths classes jaana hai.
Believe me, I have never felt like more of a loser in my life. These kids were barely in the 7th Grade, and had a whole list of what they had to do that evening, plus with no time left over. All of my friends (except Avani, who is my one faithful companion!) have hardly any time for anything, leave alone talk to me. How long is this gonna continue?
I need a job, quick!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
College is agony, college is a pain,
And this dreary life is driving me insane.
Getting up each morning is like going through hell,
And so is reaching in time, just before the bell.
Listening mindlessly to the professors droning,
Inwardly yawning, dozing and groaning.
And then there’s the jotting down of notes, a charade,
Can college really be fun? Or is it a mirage?
The break is comparatively better than the rest,
But it involves no fun, no zeal or zest.
Why aren’t there any good eateries around?
Other colleges seem to have those, abound.
Have all the cute guys of the place, drowned?
There certainly are none around.
Instead what we find are retarded freaks,
Just moneyed, idiotic, half-baked pricks.
About studies, don’t even get me started,
The stuff we study about is plain retarded
But then again, things could get worse,
I must quit believing my college is a curse.
Now I must go and do something I loathe,
I must pack my bag, set my alarm and snore.
Wake up to a sound that I hate the most,
And get dressed for college, like a half-slept ghost!
(special thankoo to donnie, for helping me out with the rhymes!):
Thursday, July 13, 2006
In other news, there is a careful look by all commuters about the train when the people get in. One woman almost uprooted all the seats. And stray bags on the luggage rack make everyone shifty, hoping the owner would simply get off. Wonder how long this ritual is gonna last. And as usual, the woman next to me, irrespective of who she is, wants to make sick snort sounds. Uncouth bitches. And DP’s gave me a complimentary hair in my sambar too. It was small and curly, so I don’t want to imagine where it came from. Ahem…!
Anyways, nothing much happening in class these days. The usual fools making bigger fools of themselves. ‘Chesty’ making unusually dumb faces today, her drooping mouth almost drooping to her knees. Dear darling ‘Nandi’ looked even more of a bull today, and one of these days, I’m going to bring some fodder for her to chew on in class, to keep her from interrupting a perfectly interesting lecture with stupid doubts. In her defense, I’d say she is quieter these days. But maybe that’s because of, like Avani says, her secret fantasies about all the greenery around college, and how she could be gorging on it. Who else? Poopbag keeps playing idiotic rock songs on her second hand Ngage phone, and singing along in an even more idiotic voice. And will someone please tell her that her new hairdo makes her hair look like a lion’s mane? That is not good hair, that is DAMAGED hair! Get a life please. Agarbatti steadfastly avoids Avani’s gaze and we burst into silent giggles. The loser guy with six inch heel shoes still wears them. Height of hi-utility all-weather shoes.
But then, what would have we done without these idiots to keep us amused? But then, too much amusement from the same people can’t crack us up repeatedly. Someone volunteering to be a fool, please? PLEASE?
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
I hate this feeling. Its familiar. And it brings nothing but sorrow.
I need salvation. But this time, I'm serious.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
I walked into the coffee shop, expecting to spot him right away. But then, real life isn’t movies, and the partly crowded café did not betray his identity. I looked around for a man, about thirty-five, average height, perhaps reading a book or solving a crossword. After months of online chatting and phone conversations, I was finally about to meet the man who had unknowingly swept me off my feet. All those months, I was waiting for the moment when he would invite me to meet him, and I would graciously accept the invitation. But it seemed that he wasn’t too interested to meet me. Just when I was about to lose hope, he had invited me over to this nice café, and I had accepted it without sounding too eager.
I had had friends who were married to people they’d met over the net. But it sounded just too fantastic to happen to me. Me, a small town girl who had come to Mumbai to earn her livelihood. I was lonely, even amidst the company of the friends I’d made. No one knew the true me, and I didn’t know anyone. I incidentally toyed with the idea to make net friends; people who you don’t know, but who you can share your thoughts without feeling too guilty about anything. No strings attached, that’s how I like it. After a few weeks into the chatting game, I suddenly saw this person enter the chat room I was in. Karan Mukherjee. Nice name. A conversation with him brought to light that that he was a businessman, an artiste, and held a few exhibitions to his name around once a year. I don’t know why, but every time I saw him come online, I would feel a certain adrenaline gush within me. Soon, chatting with him everyday became a kind of drug for me, something that gave me a high. Phone chats soon followed, and before I realized, I fell in love with him. Why, I don’t know. It was really weird on my part, to fall for a person who I hadn’t ever seen in my life, but only spoken to. But Karan was just so kind, understanding, gentle, polished, charismatic and so…masculine. Who wouldn’t fall for a person like that?
Back to the then present situation, I gave him a missed call on his cell, and I saw this man turning around to look at the entrance of the café. Without further ado, I walked over to him, and before I could say anything, he stood up and said, “You must be Riya. Karan here. Wonderful to be meeting you tonight.”
Hmm…the voice was certainly the same, but his personality was not quite like the one I had in mind. He wasn’t particularly handsome, not even good-looking for that matter, but there was certainly something about him. He had a fine physique, which betrayed his regular gym workouts. Enigmatic eyes; eyes that hid a well-kept secret. Well, he couldn’t be called drop-dead gorgeous; neither could he be called ugly. He was just striking.
But oh my! Talking to him face-to-face was a wonderful experience. Every moment I spent with him, I realized I loved him. He was intelligent, humorous, witty and so many other things. But mainly, he liked me too. He was the first person I had met, who didn’t flinch when I told him that I wasn’t a party animal. He was okay with the fact that I didn’t drink, smoke, go to disco theques and was a loner by choice. He thoroughly understood me and liked me for who I was. I was crazy about him. Meetings, candlelit dinners became characteristic of our relationship. Whenever he had to go on tours regarding business or other reasons, I felt lost. And I knew he did too. Why else would he call me umpteen times a day, even when he was abroad? He knew I missed him, and he missed me too.
One fine day, Karan came up to me and told me he had a surprise for me. He didn’t tell me what it was, but drove me to it. Like a child about to tell someone a big secret, he closed my eyes and gently led me into something which felt like an elevator, but he refused to tell me what the hype was about. My excitement mounted with every passing moment, and then, finally, when he moved his hand from over my eyes, I found myself standing outside a door bearing the nameplate, Riya Saigal. He eagerly opened the door and handed me the keys. “This is our new flat, darling. Let me show you around.” I was too surprised to even react to him. This was Karan, my Karan. Simple and straight-forward. Didn’t even think it was necessary to ask me whether I wanted to move in with him or not. Just took it for granted that I did, because he knew I did want to. He never needs to ask me what I thought about something, he somehow always knew before hand. That is what I loved about him the most. “Well, you’re going to live with me now, so you can stop living as a paying guest,” he firmly said. So then, that was that, I moved in with Karan. And life was never same for me again. The days he couldn't stay with me were nothing short of agony, but at least I was living in the same house as him. Looking at his very clothes or even his keys made me feel good. He had that kind of effect on me.
I love living with him. Karan is my friend, my confidante, my boyfriend, my lover, my support system, my guide and the best roommate ever! He is also a lot of fun. Today I can proudly say that no other woman must be as lucky as I am, to have found her true love over the internet.
Sigh. Even as I’m writing this, I deeply feel his absence, and I desperately await his return. At the moment, Karan is out of town. I miss him so much! This time he isn’t out for business purposes, though. But I’m okay with that. After all, he has to spend some time with his wife and children too!
Despite a failing struggle to let her remain with me, the nurse took her from my arms, and asked me to rest. And in spite of myself, I slept a dreamless sleep.
This was fourteen years ago. Since then, life has never been the same for me. Being a mother can be very demanding. But need I say that its also the best thing in the world? A span of fourteen years passing by unnoticed. How could I forget those moments? My infant baby daughter saying her first word “Mama”, and my triumphant smile at Rishi. She standing up for the first time, like it was the most natural thing in the world, and promptly landing down on her backside again. The way she was always scared of crossing the road, like I was at her age. Her cries whenever I got dressed up to go for work. Her joyous laughter at her first toy, a stuffed dog. She falling down an umpteen number of times, but never crying until she I held her in my arms and comforted her. Her excitement at going to playgroup, but her fear at seeing so many other children of her own age. The way she held my hand when she was scared. Her first school uniform and her ecstasy at her pigtails. Her very first holiday in Goa, where we learnt that she was a natural at swimming. When she shyly came and told me about her first crush, at the age of 13. The three of us have shared so many beautiful and tender moments together. How can I forget them?
But then, how can I forget the moments when my baby girl first started vomiting blood? The first time we were told that my Mahika was victim to blood cancer? The first time we were told that she had just six months to live? The first time we told her of the situation and she cried her heart out to us? The time when she stopped going to school because she was entering the last stage of her short life? The pitying looks and phone calls she received from her friends and relatives? The way she struggled to keep happy and cheerful, so that we wouldn’t lose our strength? The way she bravely faced her sessions of chemo-therapy? The times when she used to cry by herself, when she lost her lovely hair? The way she began to wilt before our very eyes and lost the entire colour in her life? The way she bid us goodbye– “Mum, Dad, I love you a lot. Thanks for being so caring. You’re the best.”
But like I knew all along, Mahika didn’t die; I knew she wouldn’t. I never had much faith in the doctor anyway, although Rishi believed him from the start. There I can see my daughter coming home from school. She is so beautiful! No wonder so many guys fall for her. I’d better hurry and get lunch ready; she must be hungry. Although I wish the people in this place, would leave me alone. Do they think I’m mad, that they have kept me locked up in this place? Is cooking for my daughter, washing her clothes a crime? Why do they tie me to the bed this way? Let me go, Mahi is back from school, she needs lunch. Please, someone let me go. My Mahika needs me. Not that stupid injection again, please. Not now, oh please not now! My Mahi must be looking for me. My daughter must be hungry…….
Monday, June 26, 2006
Hmm...Interesting theory, but not on me.
I will scoot now, since I have a whole room to clean, and some place to make on the bed for Yashwin and Avani who are coming tomorrow. I do like them a lot and all, but but but...not enough to clean a room overnight without any grudges.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Today, on the 14th of June, circa 2006, yours truly gave all the bloody passengers on Dadar station a chance to giggle. Will place the facts in a 'Mid-day'ish manner as follows.
What : Passengers on Dadar Railway Station suddenly burst into guffaws.
When : Approximately at 7:15 a.m.
Why : A clumsy ass girl who is too fat to support her own weight decided to trip over a perfectly normally constructed bridge.
How Long : Around three seconds, but enough for everyone to notice.
Yeah, people. I bruised my pride, my knee (real bad, although i know you're nowhere close to believing me), and gave the guy behind me a chance to bump into my butt. He looked adequately shocked; understandable, since nobody expects a fully (over)grown person to land on all fours in front of you. But the bloody cheek of it all was the fact was that some woman actually had the cunt to complain about the waste of time i was causing. Lady, please... my knee is throbbing, so what would you take to sew your sodding mouth up? and, needless to say, people laughed. *sob!*
I got up, tucking the atom-sized pieces of my leftover dignity into a plastic bag and hurling it away. Without looking left nor right, I started walking straight ahead
like nothing happened in the last thirty seconds. My knee hurt like it was being torn away from me, but my pride hurt even more. I sailed out of station like a poise queen, and even now, I think I only remember the incident because of the HUGE bruise on the knee that ain't letting me forget the bruise in my heart.
And just for that, I solemnly swear to NEVER laugh at a person when he falls, even if I find him sliding on his head collecting all the mud around the place. Morever, I also promise that i shan't fail to dislocate the teeth from the jaw of the individuals who laugh at me, or anybody else, when they lose their balance and jerk to their knees unexpectedly or any other body parts.
I bet from now on, those blasted giggles are gonna run around in my head for quite sometime now.
Now waittaminnit, can you hear a giggle this very minute? *confused*
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
And here i am, no talent, no luck, no hard-work; just an inconsequential lump on the planet finishing the earth's resources needed for other purposes.
Man, i need to get a life!
...And an ambition.
...And some talent.
...and some luck for good measure.
Goodbye cruel world.
I am off.
To admire my new haircut.
PS: Where would I get some readymade success?
Monday, May 29, 2006
No, not on you, you snotty-faced teen!
Yeah, so you hope to make me your arm candy someday,
Ma fille, believe me that ain’t happening, anyday!
Stop including me in your plans of the future,
Sticking to one person is just not in my nature.
Anyway, you just aren’t my kinda individual,
So let’s just keep this friendship casual.
What’s that? Why am I rejecting you?
Ah well, for that there are reasons more than one or two.
Let’s just not get into the intricacies of that, shall we?
You just aren’t what I would want my soul mate to be.
Why don’t you find someone more compatible?
Someone loving, caring, and even a little gullible?
So sweetie, don’t waste your time, and go find something to do,
Although why you bother to persuade me, I don’t have a clue.
Okay, who am I kidding? I love you more than I can ever express,
And now that I speak about this, I shan’t digress.
Why have you left me behind here, so carelessly?
And I used to think you loved me endlessly.
You didn’t even bother to turn around and give me a look,
Pah! For all your silly promises, you turned out to be a crook.
Nyah, now don’t bother, it won’t make a difference,
I’m closing the file on you now, kindly pardon my indifference.....
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Lady #2 (cannot believe her ears) : Its just a newspaper, woman! Not an elephant wrapped in tissue paper. How can it hurt? (Hee hee…bravo!)
College going gal (On the phone, supposedly to boyfriend) : No re, I won’t buy the red one. I know you hate red. And anyway, you said black lingerie looks best on me! (Uh huh, sure…but nothing's what looks best on ya, baby!)
Woman (On the phone, to relative) : I am on my way to your place. I am bringing some mango milkshake and idlis from Sheetal. We shall start main course with that…(ugh! Mango milkshake and idlis, together? Really?)
Man (to his friend) : ... And remember the time we lined his butt crack with butter? Hardy har har… (Doooooode…are you saying you unzipped a friend’s pants, turned him over, separated his butt cheeks, and actually put your finger(s) in there?)
Woman (to two other women, assuming discreet tone) : And you know? When I phirst deed eet with my hujhband na, I got verrry bad boils down over there. We couldn’t do all such activiteez for a month. (Erm… just a leeetle doubt there. Will this particular gem of a conversation classify under ‘rib-tickling’ or ‘bile-rising’???)
Guy (to pregnant wife) : You’re in a Virar? Be careful, haan. I don’t want you to bring our baby in your hand…. Hahahaa…. (Mister, a Virar train is all about squeezing your insides outta you. So if your baby’s in there, see that it isn’t ‘out of hand’!)
Well, now do you know why train journeys can hardly be a bore?
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Cursing under my breath (she was really humungous!), I returned to my book. At just about that time, she noticed that a part of me existed under her, and readjusting herself she said, Oh, so sorry! I felt my anger ebbing away, and she gave me a sweet smile. I smiled back, and balanced my back on my lap this time. In case she decided my lap was a better place to sit on, or something.
Some time passed in sheer peace, when a vendor stepped in with an assortment of imitation jewellery. The foreigner beckoned him towards her, and he came to us yelling and screaming. He pickled everyone’s ears with constantly yelling Ae yerringsssssss, benglesssssssss, ringssssss layyyyyyyyyyyy.
Anyway, the foreigner (obviously new to the place) eyed all the (downright UGLY) jewellery like it was Swarovski crystal sold in a sale. She pointed to a pair of earrings, and the boy took then off the stand for her to admire.
She carefully looked at them for a while, and decided that that was what she had to buy. She asked him the price, and he said Char Sau Rupaiyya. I did a double take on that one. The firang turned to me to ask me how that would be. Four hundred rupees, I said. She looked pretty pleased with the sum Quite a steal, she remarked. I gave the vendor a dirty look, and thought it was time I took bloody matters in my own hands. So while the woman was rummaging in her purse, looking for four hundred bucks, I gently patted her arm. She looked up at me. The earrings are worth just ten bucks, twelve at the most, I told her. WHAAAATTTT? Oh my gaawwd! She exclaimed. Yep, lady. You can’t come to India and spend four hundred bucks in a train.
She rapidly zipped up her purse and started looking out of the window like nothing had happened in the last five minutes. The boy gave her a puzzled look, Oye madam, jaldi karo. Utarne ka hai mereko! he told her. The woman gave him one look, and yelled, I DON’T WANT TO BUY ANYTHING FROM YOU,YOU…YOU… BLOODY CHEAT!
After this dramatic outburst, everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY jumped in their seats. A small kid even started crying at this rude interruption to her sleep. Then the most bizarre thing happened. The woman just gave me a swift hug, and I almost died with astonishment. After the neck and back-breaking gesture, she gave me a sweet smile. Thank you so much for warning me. I couldn’t afford to get cheated since I want to wire money to my mum, back in England. I guess every rupee counts, eh? Thank you so much! she exclaimed, gratefully.
Having a great feeling in the heart region, I realized I had done my good deed for the day.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
The day before, two other friends, Mr. Pseudo Yechuri and myself were to meet up to discuss a new venture we are contemplating. I messaged everybody to inform them of the place we to haunt that evening and at what time, namely the nearest McDonald’s (burgers go great with discussions!).
After receiving my message, Mr. Red calls me up. The following are the excerpts.
Him: Hey! Just got your message.
Me: Hmm…What about it?
Him: Wanted to talk about that.
Me: (confused) Oooookay….!
Him: Can we meet someplace else?
Him: I try and avoid McDonald’s these days.
Me: Is it because of the mouldy cheese and stale bread you came across two years ago?
Him: Erm….no…not really…
Me: There is a Pizza Hut a stone’s throw away, in that case.
Him: Erm…no….not that either….
Me: (exasperated) Then where? Café Coffee Day? Barista?
Him: Erm… no… not really….
Me: (extremely irritated) And just why not?
Him: You won’t understand if I tell you.
Me: (back to being confused) Are you against fast food or something?
Him: Erm…no…not really…
Me: If you say that ONE more time, I shall go and scream into a pillow!
Him: Er…This may sound ridiculous to you, but I avoid places like Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and the others you just mentioned.
Me: (very very VERY confused) And why on earth is that?
Him: I try and avoid places with foreign capital investments. And since you know how I am about food, I might end up eating something, which I don’t want to do.
Me: You’re right, it does sound ridiculous.
Him: Well, that’s what I believe in. So I can’t really help it if it sounds ridiculous to you.
Me: Well okay, I’ll think of another place and let you know.
Him: Sounds good. Bye then.
So according to my friend, the moral of the story is that if you support the Communists, you’re not to sit and eat in a restaurant which has its roots in some capitalistic country. But its okay to wear Jeans manufactured by companies like Levis, Pepe, Wrangler and shoes by Sprandi, Reebok. Oh yeah, a Nokia phone doesn’t hurt too. Just no eating stuff, okay? You might get thrown outta the party if they know you shat capitalist shit that morning. Blasphemy!
Samjhe, bhidu? Now do you blame me if I don’t talk to him unless absolutely necessary?
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Lets speculate. If my life goes according to the game board, I will be driving all around the phases of life (in an ugly purple car), with a husband stashed somewhere in the back seat. What’s more, I can be as thin as that pink peg only in a game. That makes me morose. So as I was saying, we began by acquiring a degree each, she a lawyer’s and I, a doctor’s. We are supposed to be getting $50,000 each pay day. Now the nice things in the game, I have noticed, are not a part of my life. Stuff like the salary ($50,000!!!), for instance, or Sell ice cubes, win $120,000, or maybe even Find famous paintings, collect (a whopping) $480,000! However, I’m perfectly capable of having an uncle who will leave me a skunk farm as inheritance, for which I have to give up $200,000 of hard-earned money, let me add. That’s not all. The same uncle (I’m presuming he’s the same fucker) got himself into jail and I had to bail him out. The bail cost me $2,000. Can someone please give me an uncle worth writing about? An aunt (again, I assume it’s the same uncle’s wife), left me 50 blind cats, whose maintenance I had to pay twenty fucking grand for. Give me a break please. Will someone arrest these stupid troublemakers and keep them locked up for the rest of their miserable lives? Now for that maintenance, I will gladly pay whatever it takes. Turns out, they are not an end to the trouble. The real woe lies in the fact that Sonam has relatives who actually leave her cattle ranches, money and other goodies. Hmph. I hate my life. It breaks my heart to even write about each of the bad things I went through. So I will mention some of them as briefly as possible ( sniff) :
1) Goats ate my prize orchids worth $100,000. (I wish those goats years of sex with the Satan. I hope it HURTS.)
2) I had to save a polluted lake worth $240,000. (Why should I save it? Did I pollute it? I don’t recall peeing, shitting, vomiting or abetting anybody else to do the above mentioned activities. THEN WHY THE HELL I’M I PAYING FOR IT?)
3) I had to donate $10,000 to favourite charity. (Excuse me…erm…I don’t have a favourite charity. Yay! Both of us feel so much holier after you took the money I had saved for a knee surgery…)
4) I had to purchase false teeth worth $2,000. (Yes, folks. After selling off all my regular teeth to purchase them, I was kinda hoping that they’d be made of platinum and studded with rare gems. But all I got was regular looking false teeth. Then, why the atom bomb?)
5) I apparently need to buy a helicopter worth $100,000. (I didn’t ever see my money again, nor the aforesaid helicopter.)
6) Ruddy troublemaker uncle who-needs-to-die-and-come-back-as-something-useful is back! This time, he needs a car which I have to pay for worth $100,000. (Have I gotten a degree and a good salary to pay off all these people’s debts? Remember this, if you have uncles who like to piggy back off your efforts, NEVER get a good job.)
5) And yeah, whatever earnings I was supposed to get, like Win Nobel Prize, collect $120,000 or Climb Mount Everest, collect $250,000, were distributed evenly amongst Sonam and I, all because she had a ‘Collect Card’. This particular card can help the person get half of the amount I collect at a particular space. The ruddy sponge. I mean, its fun to sponge off other people, but not when someone whacks such large amounts from you.
Yes people, she went on to become a millionaire before me. The person who becomes the millionaire gets an additional $240,000 and a $48,000 bonus for every bastard kid. Which goes on to remind me, that I produced kids in three consecutive turns, and Sonam gave me no present. Her husband was apparently infertile after the first attempt, so they went on to adopt a son and daughter, both for which I had to gift the couple. Aaaaargh!
There were some good things about the game though. For instance, every Pay Day was fun. Added a bit to my bank balance. Also the money I fleeced from Sonam gave me ounces of pleasure. But she fleeced me more, mind you. Apart from that, getting royalties for writing bestsellers is also good. So in short, there was more agony involved than gaining anything. So, the next time, I will propose to play only if my only opponent is a two-year-old kid. Although, one can’t deny the chances that he might win.
Just one thing though. Can you tell me one place where I can redeem all those dollar notes for real cash?
Friday, May 05, 2006
What would do it good is a walk in a park.
I need to feel fresh breeze move through my hair,
Goodness knows I could do with rejuvenating air.
I wish I was a child, with bruised, scabby knees,
Feeling like conquering the world, atop seemingly tall trees.
This wandering mind just struck a thought,
I want to strike while the iron is hot.
Why can't humans stop being high-and-mighty?
Cease being uppity, pretentious and haughty?
Always are we caught in the mad rush of things,
Having no time for play and fun, or enjoy creaky swings.
Is this the perfect life for we sweat for and want?
What does this give you apart from a frail body and a face, gaunt?
Sometimes, for yourself learn to live,
Don’t watch your life slip by like through a sieve,
Don’t grow up to an old age of regret,
Sorry thoughts, repentance, is all you’ll beget.
So just remember those good old childhood days and smile,
Its not worth sacrificing everything just for that extra mile!
Monday, May 01, 2006
Don’t mope about a pair of pair of pants, tight.
Go ahead, gorge on your favourite food,
Drink those canned juices, pamper your mood.
Looking for clothes your size is not a great matter,
Meanwhile, keep praying that you’re friends get fatter.
And yeah, chubby people generally have cute faces,
And have a few extra calories stopped people from reaching places?
Eat, drink and be merry is my motto of life,
“Thin is beautiful” is all pure tripe.
What’s so sexy about a skinny arm?
In the coziness of your hugs, lies the real charm.
So don’t be reluctant, don’t hesitate,
Tickle your taste buds and don’t watch your weight.
Cheer up people, think yourself indispensable,
Versus a skinny mini, a fat person is invincible!
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Now I need you to understand this. There was a bike behind the car. Now for the sake of heaven and all his cherubic angels’ DON’T ask me silly questions like how come you didn’t see it? because I’m not blind, you know. The car was parked between the bike and the road, get it? Well, I know you don’t. The fucking car and the bike were parallel to the gutter running along the edge of the road. So if you obviously stood facing the doors of the car, the bike was hidden. Now do you get it? Next, you ask yourself (or me) why were the bloody vehicles parked like this? The only probable answer is, to help me get royally seasoned in the sun whilst I waited for the friend. The next thing that pops into your head is, why was the bike making a sound? Ah, yes. That is because, my so-not-absent-minded neighbour left his keys in the bike, and didn’t even bother to shut it. Yes. The cheek of it all.
Like a good girl, I went up to him and said Krish, your keys are in the ignition of the bike. And your bike’s still sputtering. I was so proud of myself. I do have journalistic skills I suppose, I was at the scene of the offense, and I solved the mystery with true detective valour. He interrupted my chain of pleasant thoughts and said, Tu leke nahi aa sakti kya? Jaa leke aa chaabi. Translated I’m a bastard and I had arranged for my bike to be stolen. Now that you’ve foiled my plans, you might as well go and get the keys. Without airing my thoughts, I meekly went down and got him the god-forsaken keys.
My opinion of him drastically changed when he promised me a bike ride and an ice cream at Baskin Robbins the next afternoon. Yum yum! I’m prepared to forgive anything when offered any form of ice cream.
The next day, I fell ill with a bad tummy upset.
And the day after that, my neighbour flew back to Canada, where he had come from.
And the time after that, I vowed to keep my detective skills to myself, as they are thankless.
Of all the stupid bullshit involved with maths, like trigonometry (if I find person who came up with this singularly most annoying concept, I will dig him or her from his or her grave and make him or her eat his own bloody organs after painfully disemboweling him or her), BODMAS (that sounds like the name of a bra manufacturing company), simultaneous equations (simultaneous with what? Cussing?), I have had most trouble getting along with multiplication tables. I still can’t do the ruddy things. I hate them, abhor them, and wouldn’t even wish them on Isha (this girl who makes my face flush with uncontrollable rage and bottled up plans for a successful homicide). But I will not digress, and come back to those worthless multiplication tables. I detest them more than normal quantities because of my dear darling mother.
At the beginning of every, and I mean EVERY eagerly-awaited vacation, a vacation I used to wither away anticipating, a vacation in the pursuit of which I patiently bore the injustice inflicted on me during schooldays with the patience of saints, martyrs and philanthropists put together and the only time of the year I looked forward to for innumerable reasons, my mother used to make me learn multiplication tables by rote. Every fucking vacation. Where are those mums in TV serials and movies, who actually hand their kids a basketball and watch them go and play? All lies, I tell you. The cheek of it all. I had to come home half an hour early, leaving in half a cricket or lagori match, and do those tables. I accomplished little, except wet my notebooks with XXL sized tears, as I heard my friends shout with laughter and fun. Maybe that explains why I had to do the same set of tables the next year; the bloody cunts miraculously evaporated from my memory store promptly after I managed to get them in, just like stupid mischievous kids. So I generally ended up doing the same things I sacrificed my social life for, the previous year.
I vividly remember sitting at my table with my books, cursing my luck, my mum, my friends and my fate with all the swear words I could muster back then. My mum would sit right behind me with a book, and I died to get back to my Enid Blytons, if not my friends. Its decent manners to at least pretend you’re doing something boring, to make me feel better. I used to ask her some doubts, just to kill time. And since I never paid attention while she answered them, I would be in a fix if I was faced with the same problem again. So, if she sensed I wasn’t exactly paying attention, I got a back-breaking thump in the middle of a sum. Or a doubt solving quest. Or anything that convinced her I wasn’t doing a task at hand. Down came her hand on her back. Or maybe my shoulder; let’s just say any place she got. After the initial shock ebbed off, I would settle down into my chair, trying to work out the problem on my own, more befuddled than ever. In a blinding flash of insight I’d go to the last page of my book and find all the working to that very sum. Well, if she’d known we’d done it before, she could have said so. Why get into a fist fight? Mums sure are strange.
Anyway, needless to say, I am finally free of that dreaded and detested subject. Now, I sit back and giggle (and point fingers) at my friends, who are pursuing engineering and the likes. They struggle, they suffer, they bury their heads in despair, and look at me with mounting frustration. I am full of poise, dignity and not to mention lots of free time. Which is exactly why, I have time to sit for hours at my pc, churn up posts that are no use to mankind, listen to my favourite music, with a cup of steaming coffee (provided by the same woman who tormented me so much during those sinfully boring hours), with nothing to do apart from curling up in bed and reading W. Somerset Maugham’s Mrs. Craddock.
Man, I love my life!
Monday, March 27, 2006
“Oh for Pete’s sake get a life!” I wanted to scream. Yeah so a guy dumped you. “He must have just found someone better”, I thought bitchily. Giving myself a satanic smile, I patted her shoulder.
“Aww come on Tanya, you’re smart, pretty, witty. You’ll find someone soon”, I told her sympathetically.
“But I don’t want anybody. I want Sid. He was my fiancé for god’s sake! You don’t think we came this far, for nothing, do you?” she asked me indignantly, bursting into a fresh spell of sobs.
This was Tanya. My best friend since school. We walked to school together, did our homework together, played together, went to the same college, basically knew almost everything about each other. She was so excited when she had just met Siddharth Arora, a software engineer. “He’s such a darling, he’s so thoughtful”, she went on and on about him. “Yeah yeah, he’s such a cow, and his nose is so much like a pig”, I used to think. Giving my self another grin, I continued reminiscing. I had nothing against the chap, mind you. He was nice, gentle, caring, someone just right for Tanya. A bit of a sissy, if you ask me. Like that guy from Dil Chahta Hai who had specific bathroom timings. Haha. Not my type. Speaking of DCH, I had found Aamir Khan’s character rather hot. Now that’s my type. Someone bratty and don’t carish.
Just last month, Tanya and Sid had gotten engaged. Both seemed very happy with the arrangement. But obviously Sid wasn’t, as we had just found out. A friend of Tanya’s had told her two days ago, that she saw Sid at a club kissing a girl. She recognized Sid, but she hadn’t been able to make out who the girl was. A disbelieving Tanya went to ask him about it, more than certain that he’d laugh it off, but unfortunately, he admitted to cheating on her. Naturally, the engagement was called off, and Tanya was here, crying her heart out.
“Why me? I mean, we were so good together,” she went on, her eye-liner all over her face, by now. “And we had such beautiful plans, now that Sid had gotten that huge promotion.”
Sid’s company recently had sealed a new contract with an international company, and he had been promoted to the post of an assistant manager. That meant, a huge salary, plus other perks. He was quite an eligible bachelor. And if you ignored the fact that he was a bit of a pansy, quite a good catch.
“I’m certain the new girl’s hotter than I am. And that bitch must be after the money!” she angrily exclaimed. I was surprised to hear that we were both thinking along the same lines. About the money, that is.
“Come on, honey! He doesn’t deserve someone like you. He’s just proved that. Chalo, lets grab something to eat. Get up!” I urged her. Frankly I was sick of hearing the same old lines for the past two hours.
“No, you carry on. I’m not hungry. I just want to die,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes, afresh. Then as an afterthought she added, “What would I do without a friend like you? I would have really killed myself if it weren’t for you.”
“Now stop with the compliments, I’m not half as nice as you are,” I said distractedly. My cell was buzzing in my pocket. “I’ll be right with you. Just need to get to the window ; network issues.”
My cell was flashing a bright blue. I picked it up and whispered, “Hi darling! I’m at Tanya’s place. For the past half an hour, she’s been getting on my last spare nerve, guessing exactly why you must have cheated on her!”
Sunday, February 05, 2006
What are these reasons? I love him. And when you’re in love, nothing else matters. Religion, parents’ opinion, your sense of right and wrong, all go for a toss. The world becomes beautiful and innocent. Small things give abundant joy. It’s the most beautiful thing to ever happen to anyone, and everything else seems so immaterial. Love is love, and trivial things do not count. What else would make me wait for so long for him at god-forsaken places like crowded bus-stops, coffee shops, beaches or sometimes even the usual lamp-post near his house?
I met Aditya at a club three years ago. He seemed smart and interesting in the very first impression. And immediately, something inside me told me I wanted to get to know him better. Soon, numbers were exchanged and ‘chance’ meetings became frequent, and it didn’t take long for both of us to realize that we were in love with each other.
My parents had no inkling that Adi (as I fondly called him) existed, and I didn’t try telling them. They had never known about the previous boys I’d been dating since junior college, too. In a nutshell, I never let them in on my feelings for anybody.
Adi is the most wonderful person I’ve ever met. I think he’s very understanding, calm, mature, and he loves and cares for me a lot. Somehow he’s everything I’ve always wanted to be. I often wonder why he’s with me, for three years at that. In spite of me asking him this repeatedly, he can never give me an answer, or maybe he really doesn’t have one. I simply adore his don’t-care-a-damn attitude; he just doesn’t care what people had to say, and can get unpleasant individuals out of his system in a matter of seconds. That’s just why, I can’t but help being flattered because what I say does matter to him. He tells me every little thing, and does not hesitate to cry like a little child in front of me, if he feels like it. He takes my advice whenever needed, too. He respects me as a person, and there is very little about him that annoys me.
Adi’s 29 and I’m 27, and I want to spend the rest of my life with him. We both have good jobs, we both love each other, and we will be happy with each other. Our parents would never agree to get us married off, and like that wasn’t enough, they’ve already started looking for girls to get him married off. But Adi just keeps on rejecting them.
Even right now, I’m dying to meet him. He’s just back from an official trip to Europe, and I haven’t met him in two weeks. He says he’s got me a present, like he always does. The last time he was in Europe, he got me a large bottle of French wine. Well, I do wish he’d hurry up and come. the last few moments of waiting are always more excruciating than waiting two whole weeks. Oh, there he is! Perfectly toned body and a new haircut! He just looks better each day….
A tight embrace and we’re locked for a timeless moment. A moment where everything seemed so right. He then gently whispered in my ear, “I’ve missed you so much! I love you a lot, Rishabh.”
Monday, January 09, 2006
“Don’t know. What’s the difference? Any movie is cool”, answered Dhiren.
“Do you people really want to go for a movie?” asked Monali. “I know! Let’s get a tattoo done. There’s this really cool place in Bandra.
“Well, I don’t know about you guys, but Siddhesh and I are going for the biology lecture,” piqued Natasha.
“You guys are such bores!” protested Dhiren. “Enjoy life guys; lectures happen everyday!”
“I am not averse to bunking around two-three lectures a week,” replied Siddesh. “But what you people are up to is absolutely ridiculous! You attend just three to four classes a week, and that too with great difficulty. Mark my words, you’re going to be in trouble.”
“Fine, go ahead and attend. We promise not to be jealous when you get the ‘Nerds of the Year’ awards!” commented Monali. A peal of laughter was issued from the apparently ‘cool’ trio, while the ‘nerds’ just rolled their eyes.
Such conversations were usual in the campus of the Sir Victor Mehta College. Students with their don’t-carish attitude looked down upon others who cared about ‘mundane’ and ‘boring’ things like attendance and academics. For them, being cool was all about dressing weirdly, bunking lectures and above all, being impertinent and insolent to their professors. Money spoke for them, and if they got into any trouble with the authorities, their parents were more than ready to bail them out of such minor scrapes.
As opposed to this lot, there were the really sincere students, who liked to have a bit of fun as well, but not at the expense of academics. These students also took part in various activities, as the college encouraged everyone to, but they managed to strike a balance between all the demands on their time. To cut a long story short, let’s just say that these students had their priorities right, but also believed that a little fun never harmed anyone.
Such was the story of our five protagonists. A more bizarre group wasn’t to be found anywhere on the campus. Bizarre because they were a mixture of two completely opposite kind of people. The regulars and the irregulars. So then, why were they together? This was because, each of them, without realizing it, admired something in the other party. Dhiren, Dhruv and Monali secretly wished to be like their brainy friends Siddhant and Natasha, who were good at almost everything, in spite of watching as many movies or going on as many picnics like them. However, since the grass is always greener on the other side, Siddhant and Natasha always wished their parents were as easy-going as their friends’ or that they were allowed to party more often like their friends.
As exams were fast approaching, there was a mad scramble around for notes, and a realization amongst the students that they had no idea whatsoever as to what the syllabus for the exam was. Attendance suddenly reached previously unattained records, as students realize that it was the Big B time. Blacklists for all subjects were being put up, and that is certainly not one place a self-respecting student would wish to see his name in.
But unfortunately, some things are avoidable, unless you make up your mind to do otherwise. And so, Monali, Dhiren and Dhruv’s name happened to feature in the blacklists for all subjects. That can only mean one thing, and that is, a tête-à-tête with the principal. And as their previous academic records were nothing to write home about, the trio panicked and fretted, but to no avail. The meeting with the principal was simply unavoidable.
“Come in,” said a deep voice, as Monali uncertainly knocked on the door that bore the name, ‘R. Vasudevan, Principal’.
He looked up as she entered and remarked rather nastily, “Not the first time in my office for irregular attendance, are we? What is the excuse this time, Ms. Choudhary?”
“I’m really sorry, Sir. But I promise you this won’t happen again. Do believe me this time,” she said, close to tears.
“There will not be a next time. I had warned you about this in the last term itself. I cannot do anything now. You are forbidden from appearing for this term’s examinations. That’s all. You may go,” said the principal, and got back to his work again.
“Oh please Sir! Just one more chance. I promise to be regular from now on. I’ll be detained this year if I cannot appear for my examinations. Please do something,” pleaded Monali.
“Ms. Choudhary, there is nothing I can do. And please tell your parents not to waste precious time in coming to meet me. This is a university rule. Nothing is in my hands,” replied Mr. Vasudevan calmly. He then went back to his work.
Weeping and sobbing, Monali walked out of the principal’s office. Dhiren realized what his fate was going to be, the moment he saw Monali’s face. And he was right. He too, was forbidden from appearing for his term examinations. But as he walked out of the principal’s office, he gave Dhruv a venomous look. A look packed with hatred and fury. However, Dhruv did not happen to see it and veered into the principal’s office nonchalantly.
The latter looked up from his work and continued looking at the boy standing in front of him. Both stared at each other when suddenly as if on cue, they burst out laughing.
“Like father, like son, eh?” remarked Mr. Vasudevan, good humouredly. “You don’t have to idolize your father to such an extent, my boy. Now go away and don’t waste my time.”
“Yes, Dad,” came the reply. “See you at dinner. I’m going bowling with my school friends right now.”
With that, Dhruv walked out of the Mr. R. Vasudevan’s office, while the latter set down to finish his task at hand.
- Shaswat Mohanty, Avani Shah, Tulika Bathija and Mukta Lad.
I look around the rest of the class with lack of nothing better to do, and notice a roomful of comatose people. My friend Sneha is doodling idly in her notebook, drawing pictures of delicious looking steaks and writing Hungry Kya? under them. You bet I’m hungry! Moving around, I notice Ankur and Siddharth, two more guys from the gang animatedly discussing a computer game. A third friend Sumit benevolently looks upon the two freaks. Yuvraj wants to violently dance to the song he is stealthily listening to on his discman, but one can see he is struggling to restrain himself.
“You, stand up!” said a manly voice. I’m rudely brought back to the present, when I see Mrs. Rathore glaring down at me. And I mean it when I say ‘manly’ voice. She could put most boys to shame with her amalgamation-of-Dharmendra-and-Lara Dutta voice. No jokes. If it wasn’t me she was about to yell at, her flared nostrils full of disgusting hair would have been as funny as usual. I could feel Sneha wanting to laugh hard. I gave her a kick and stood up.
“What you looking here and there? I teaching with heart and soul for walls?” she asked indignantly. In spite of myself, a loud giggle escaped me and I stood there staring at her with a grinning face, wanting a miracle to change its expression to a more ashamed one. I heard guffaws from the rest of the people, and it was a funny scenario. A third person staring through the windows wouldn’t have made head nor tail of what the situation in the class was. Here was a professor in an angry state of mind glaring at a grinning student, with the rest of the class laughing. So either she was telling a joke to the students with the angered expression as a special effect to the joke, or that the grinning student was caught doing something stupid. Strange.
“You girl, why you laughing? I telling a joke? I acting like monkey?” she demanded. Never had I wished someone else was in my place. Ah those good old times when I could sit with Sneha and laugh my head off while someone was getting ticked off! We always looked forward to Mrs. Rathore getting annoyed. It brought about the showering of precious gems on us; gems that made us realize that English was truly a funny language. But this time, I wish I wasn’t the one faced with the I acting like monkey? question. I so wanted to tell her that gorillas were more her style; monkeys were a little too little delicate for her. Nevertheless, all these thoughts pacing through my head made the grin on my face bigger instead of shrinking it. I wished to goodness, she would stop with her English; its simply the funniest thing on the planet, more so when you’re being yelled at.
“Tell the rest of the class what I was teaching just now,” she ordered. Well, I could finally feel the smile shrink.
“I’m sorry I don’t know,” I said meekly. Sneha burst into a fresh burst of giggles. Suddenly it all didn’t seem so funny anymore.
“Why? You sitting in class na? Why don’t you know?” she asked me. “You did not understand?”
“No.” I don’t know why I said that, but it seemed like an easier way out.
“Then when you not understanding, why don’t you stop on time?” she asked me, a little kindly this time.
Stop what exactly? I thought. Stop breathing? Stop the brain from functioning? Well that had happened long time ago anyway. I just continued staring at her, hoping against hope that the bell would ring and I would be free from this torture to go chew on my lunch in peace.
She went on ahead on how the professors were all there to clear their doubts and how they were to be treated as friends. I’m really sorry but I don’t want Mrs. Rathore as my friend, thank you very much. She bored us to tears three times every week, and I’ll be damned if I have to make her my friend in addition to that. The next part of her speech I caught was that we could ask her any doubts even a hundred times, and she would always explain till we understood. Ask Mrs. Rathore something a hundred times? Have we gone bananas? The best thing to do in her lecture was to shut up and meditate, hoping somebody would take pity on us and ring the bell, even by mistake. I stole a glance at my watch and heaved a sigh of relief. She only had four minutes more to torment me.
Her next statement jolted me back to reality, which was, “Come down with me just now in the break, and I’ll explain what you not understood.”
The only sound that rang in my head after that was an open laugh from Sneha.
Mumbai. The slush…the poverty…the ever-increasing number of rickshaws, taxis…the list just goes on. Don’t forget to add the alarming rise in population and the sprawling out of the ‘bhajiwalas’ onto the roads. And what about the traffic problems and the ‘haathapaayi’ to get into a local train? Yes, it surely is a part of life in Mumbai. But isn’t this impression of Mumbai, superficial? Is this all what Mumbai is all about? Don’t you think we are forgetting to mention all the spice which is the essence of Mumbai? An outsider will never know what it is to be a ‘Mumbaikar’. Too bad. They have simply no idea what they are missing.
Mumbaikars are a species all by themselves. They represent all strata of society and the various categories of people, be it the celeb world, the common man, the slum-dwellers or even the underworld. All of these spell Mumbai. The city is totally incomplete without the amalgamation of its constituent classes.
Mumbaikars are not prim and proper. Actually, one can even go as far as saying, they are hip and happening people. The love to party, they love to watch movies, they absolutely love to eat. Anything sells in Mumbai, as long as you know how to market it. Once you know your way around this race of suspicious people, the rest is easy. Just win their confidence, and watch things happen smoothly!
Well, what is it about Mumbai that attracts so many? Although Mumbai seems to be this big mass of confusion, crowd, dirt, and lots of other things, people still want to be a part of Mumbai. So, what is it that makes people come here by the herds, and once here, don’t want to detach themselves from the place? No, it can’t just be just the jobs. It can’t be just the better opportunities and higher standard of living. Somehow, there is certain attraction to Mumbai that differentiate her from the rest. Be it the locals, the hangouts, the means of transport, the fascination to live dangerously, anything. Yep. Mumbai caters to all of these and more.
Mumbaikars like to do things differently. They like a little order in their normal affairs. They like it when their traffic’s a little orderly, and when the rickshaws and cabs run according to the meter, which is not the case with other cities. That’s why; you find a lot of haggling if the rickshaw driver charges a passenger even a rupee more than the actual fare. The standard excuse of “Meter kharab hai.” doesn't normally fool a citizen of Mumbai. He counters the driver’s argument with a “Toh phir jitney paise de raha hun, utna chup chap lo. Varna ek rupaiya bhi nahi milega.”
However, piss of a Mumbaikar, and get ready to be bombarded with a volley of the choicest swear words. All Mumbaikars seem to be well-trained in the field of swearing. However, in the recent years, it has been observed my many wives, sisters and daughters, that their husbands, brothers and fathers (respectively) use their choicest swear words while driving. Also, at such times, language is also not a major barrier. A normally English-speaking person jumps into Hindi when he gets into the groove to swear (Saale chutiya, for e.g.), while a north-Indian seems well versed in Marathi swearwords (Tujhya aaila, for one). So, coming back to what I said, I don’t know whether its drivers who make good gaali-givers or gaali-givers who make good drivers. On the other hand, don’t get me wrong. I would never mean that swear words are used by vehicle drivers exclusively. No way. What’s a train journey without some swearing? And I proudly would like to mention here that gender equality is prevalent in local trains. Saali kutti! Utar ja train se nahi to bahar phek doongi! being the attacking lines in the ladies’ compartment, while Saali soovar, baap ke ghar se layi hai kya train? Harami kahiki! Being the counter defenses. However, the language is more colorful in a gents’ compartment. Bhosdike saale ch**t! Kab se bol raha hun zara sa udhar ho, lekin nahi! Chutiye ko mere pair pe hi khade rehna hai..! Do note that the examples provided above are the mildest in their category. You just do not realise how time flies, if you are witness to a fight in a train or a part of it... Kya karen bhai, yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan!
Most ‘educated’ Mumbaikars don’t vote, but politics seems to be the favourite topic of discussion. Woh Lalu Prasad!?! Rail Minister ho gaya hai bhadwaa. Tab se toh aur hi chadh gaya hai, chadhiyal kahin ka! are a few excerpts from the discussion. Politics and older Mumbaikars seem to be inseparable. They feel something’s amiss, if they do not read the daily newspaper. What happens at 10, Janpath affects lives in Mumbai to a great extent. This is the typical Mumbaikar. Whimsical, but likeable, nevertheless.
Cricket! A religion which all Mumbaikars seem to follow. An epidemic of cricket-fever hits Mumbai, especially during an Indo-Pak match. Roads are deserted, shops are closed, leaves taken from offices and colleges bunked. Every TV set is occupied by telecasts of the match, and the viewers are more into the game than the actual players. “Arey Sachin, dekh ke khela kar yaar!” and “Rahul, full toss hai, four mar! Abey FOUR MAAR NA!” is some of the ‘friendly’ advice supplied by the viewers. Hmm…it is so simple to be out playing in the sun, but difficult to be sitting at home, with a bag of chips and watching the match! We understand, totally!
Mumbai is really floored by good food. A new restaurant opens every other day, but it is as well-received as any other. Mumbaikars love to eat out. They are connoisseurs of good food and are fond of anything from a tasty vada pav to fancy Thai cuisine. Never is a restaurant found empty, be it morning, noon or night, or a weekday or Sunday. Mumbai does full justice to its restaurants and dhabas.
Mumbai has never been frivolous. It has a lot of substance. It has had its share of terrorist activities. What about the riots of 1992, and the recent bomb blasts in the trains and the bomb blasts at the Gateway? In short, nothing keeps a Mumbaikar down. He will fear for his life, fear for his family, but still go about his routine. Be it a bomb blast, a Tsunami wave with its epicenter at Bandra or even Bin Laden threatening Mumbai personally, a Mumbaikar will try and forget about his dreadful past and begin every new day with a freshwave of enthusiasm. How, people ask, do Mumbaikars happen to be so cold about the happenings around them? The answer’s easy. Mumbaikars are simply practical. They do not worry about things beyond their control. Sitting at home after a bomb blast is not what a Mumbaikar would do. He would watch news bulletins on all news channels possible, and express his fear of tomorrow within the four walls of the house. But the next day, a Mumbaikar would wake up to a new day and go about his chores as if nothing happened the previous day. After all, paapi pet ka sawaal jo theheraa!
All-in-all, everything in Mumbai goes. Be it a bomb-scare, an earthquake or floods. Nothing can keep a Mumbaikar’s spirit down. He takes each day as it comes and lives for the present. And I’m glad to be a part of this city. As someone rightly said, “The city never sleeps!”