Tag Archives: Mumbai

Marine drive – Mumbai meri jaan!

Sitting by marine drive

The place that represent Mumbai for so many of us.

Looking at the dark waters I wonder how many secrets have they hidden.

How many couples have loved, fought and broken up at its shores. Some for ever, some to be united again here.

So many of us have stared into these waters building dreams of our futures. Some became millionaires and some failed. They probably all came back and remembered the day they dreamt.

As I sit on marine drive with my almost 3 year old, I wonder if the waters remember the 15 year old who stood by marine drive and dreamt! I don’t remember what I dreamt, but I wonder if I am the same person.

I wonder if the waters remember the ambitious girl who had just started working trotting down the drive in uncomfortable heels after a day at work. I KNOW the ambitions are different, I don’t know what changed.

The young couple starting off their life together, siting in silence as they enjoy their togetherness and the black waters. We still sit in silence but the silence in broken by an endless chatter of a toddler

Mumbai or Bombay my city. Where I grew up in so many different ways. symbolised by the beautiful marine drive.

A piece of my heart will always be part of marine drive.

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Welcome my dear friend,

Welcome my dear friend,

It’s been a little under a year since we last met. I just need to see you to feel refreshed – I know you have this influence on a lot of people. Your perfume always signals your arrival. Nothing smells better to me.

You and I we go back a long time, you were always there to accompany me on my first day of school. While in the Andamans, you were there to welcome me every afternoon of the nine months you visited us – right as we got off the school bus truck. We jumped into puddles as we made our way home. Well I jumped and you elegantly pit-patted your way into those puddles. In college we met at marine drive where you throughly drenched me

Yes my beloved monsoons welcome !!! With you off goes the heat and the sticky face and in comes the cool breeze and feel of everything being anew.

A lot has happened since we last met. I have a son now – who I hope will love you as much as I do and not view you with the indifference his dad has or the dislike that a lot of people especially Mumbaites have for you!

You remember, last year in Bhandardhara – where i threw off the umbrella at the dam and got throughly wet! The friends declared me insane and foresaw all kinds of illness. Of course I didn’t know it at that time, but that would have been around the time, the Elf was conceived, so you see you did make your mark on his life very early. The year before last, a walk after gym in the rain made my day.

It was short visit by you today but everything looks so clean – so washed. The elf was asleep and woke up to a very excited mother telling him about the rain. He didn’t quite get what the excitement was about but loved the little rhyme on the rain that i insisted on singing to him

“It’s raining, it’s pouring,
The little baby is snoring,
He got into bed and missed the rain
WOken up to find his mom insane.

This year he might be a little young to greet you as i love to but maybe next year, he will throw off his umbrella and get drenched and joy the excited screams of all the kids playing downstairs.

Randomness – Friendship etc etc

So the weekend that was deserves a mention – you decide whether it needs to be read or not. I just want to document this for me.

A very happy 3 days – a perfect end to the year and a perfect start to it too.

Friendly Friday – 30th Dec

We informed the evil boss that we were off from work at 2:30 and he just had to deal with it.

My BFF from my graduation P was in town – down from London. I don’t remember when i last met her – 2 years ago maybe. Both of us are “pathetic phone keeping in touchers” so we barely talk. But somehow when we meet, it’s like we are the same nut/p combination from college, no awkward silences, no u don’t call me, no why didn’t u meet me last time. I think this is just a lovely free free friendship we have!

Later that evening,we were to have a reunion of our MBA friends – i have to admit, i was not too keen calling them boring and all and i was mentioning that to a friend of mine who is also an MBA types and she mentioned how her batchmates were always trying to outdo one another with their job titles, square foot of flats etc.

And i realized nope these guys were not that like that.

i was just being stupid. Somewhere i have a lot of affection for most of my batchmates – i may not want to meet them on a daily basis but they were such an important part of my life for 2 years and will always have a piece of my heart

And boy am i glad i went – we had a blast. The guys got so “nicely high” (me i was the designate driver) -we talked of college crushes, pulled each others legs and it felt so good! I was made to tell the tale of a very non-existent “romantic” story of the Tall one and me!!

We meet again as a larger crowd sometime this month and i will look forward to it

And that was my Friday

SAturday – 31st Dec – While the world planned its party ways and clothes – we went to Khandala in our new car (oops did i just let that slip in) for lunch! Lunch done – we drove right back. Did i say “we”. Sorry the tall one drove back while i slept like there was no tomorrow.

We welcomed New years as grown ups do – ummm ok loosers do – watching Big Boss! A quick hug at 12 and our eyes were back on the TV.

But there was something nice to this – no drunkenness, no struggling for space, no searching for one another in a crowd. here we were just the 2 of us – pizza, garlic bread, and beer to add to the party!

Sunday – 1st Jan – Spoke to all and sundry in the family and then headed for some fantastic seafood! oooh, ooh and the highlight of my life i found a fish shop that delivers fresh fish home. Soo exciting!!! Sherlock Holmes and a hot coffee made my evening!

I can’t really remember what i did on Sunday evening but i am guessing the amnesia is because it must have been fairly dull!

When i read this post, i wonder what made this weekend feel so good – it was like most other weekends, yet it was not. 2012 you look promising don’t ya!

An open letter to the terrorists….

Terrorists,

So you struck again – this time the National Capital. Yesterday, i spent a lot of time thinking about you thanks to all the 9/11 documentaries on TV. I still remember the fear i felt during 9/11. The fear abated as i thought of it as America’s problem. Then the fear during the mumbai train bomb blasts and the fear during 26/11. 26/11 changed things – once the fear went off, it was overcome with anger – a lot of anger at you, the establishment, the general apathy of our government and at us the common citizens.

A lot of us had a lot of hope – hope that things would change post 26/11. Somehow we would be more secure but u managed to prove that we were wrong – nothing changes. Status quo.

Now i don’t feel angry when i hear about a bomb blast. I don’t feel scared. I have accepted it as one of the ways that humans die – much like heartaches. I just pray that no one i know is part of it and move on with life. We are at work the next day, we don’t continuously watch the news, we know the pattern – intelligence failure, Chidhambaram will condemn the attacks, Manmohan Singh will condemn the attack and promise to take stern action against anyone who threatens India’s security, Opposition will use this as a weapon against the ruling party, Some politician will put his foot in his mouth and we the common citizen will call people we know to check if all is well. And then a couple of heated conversations and we are done!

Ok So my point is this – killing innocents Indians is not really helping you either. You See the government doesn’t care about me. My death will not matter. It will not get u back Kashmir nor will it cause Kasab or Afzal guru to be released from jail. Surely you are smart enough to realize that.We are too weak and unimportant to move our government to do anything for us and the government realizes that and makes some noises and we all move on.

I oscillated for a long time wondering if i should write the next para, I feel guilty writing this but then again i need to safeguard myself. You don’t need to kill to get what you want.Kidnap a politician and it works wonders – remember Mufti Sayeed’s daughter?

So use your resources intelligently and stop this nonsense. Our lives are not as important.The only thing you might achieve is reducing our population growth rate.

Regards
A Nut

Ramblings from a rickety old cab

As i sat in the cab last night, i was over whelmed by the number of lights from all the high rise building. So many people – strangers to one another.and me a tiny speck – something that doesn’t matter!

Took me back to a time, when i was working in Mumbai – thrilled to be posted back to this city i loved and studied in for seven long years. The hours i spent at Barista, watching people while reading, the walks along bandstand, the millions of books i read, hours of talking to the tall one, cheeni and my mom on the phone, the weekend partying didn’t help. I realized i was lonely – lonely in this city which i thought was mine – no good friends, no family – no one to go home to. I was quite relieved when i was sent back to Bangalore.

Yesterday – as i sat and watched thousands of people make their way home, many of whom would go home to an empty house – I felt humbled i have you.

You waiting for me, worrying about me getting stuck in traffic, advising me on the best way to get to you – Someone in this horde of people in Mumbai – for whom i am the centre of the universe (even if i say so myself)

Thank you sweetheart…for everything i say and most of all for all the things i don’t say! I couldn’t have got luckier!!

here’s wishing you the most fantastic year ahead and many many years of being agonized by me!

Happy Birthday!!

p.s. am off home for a week…so ciao people – will see u on the otherside πŸ™‚

Musing from an aeroplane window

Darkness is always associated with something evil or something depressing.
But we who live in the city don’t know what darkness is.
You realize when you look out of the window from a dimly lit night flight.
You are flying over deserted land and see darkness…so dark and beautiful – so peaceful and serene.
You wish you could sleep every night in this environment.
Am sure the weariness we feel would be lifted if only our nights were as dark as this

You realize in wonder that the world is round after all
when beyond the darkness, in the horizon you see a light pink light.
In that land beyond, someone is packing their bag to go back home,
Someone is looking forward to the best time of the day with their family
They have a little bit of the day left – just a little bit.

And then you see your city from the air.
So beautiful at night with all its lights
The lights look like a cluster of diamonds
The dirt, the slums, the ugliness all hidden
You feel a tug in your heart
A city you have spent 13 years of your life.

There was a time when this city meant
Coming home to mamma,our happy life here – shopping, fighting et all
It meant friends and hostel and all the madness that friendship involves
Today sometimes the city seems a mechanical place where i drift in and out of an office
But then comes the weekend and the city transforms
To a happy place with my home, friends and my weekend life
Ensuring i can never be indifferent to this tough city

The flight lands,
I have been away from this city only a day
A few minutes of “intense” coordination see me in my comfortable swiffy reddy (red swift…duhhh)
With him who makes any place home.

Memories of terror…

This was chosen as Blog Adda’s Spicy Satuday pick

Dear Politicians,

Your head honchos appealed for peace but my blood is boiling.

We are a nation on tenterhooks, choosing our words carefully. However, your flunkies like Uma Bharati and Ravi Shankar Prasad are shooting their mouth. A Barkha Dutt is attempting to silence you. Haven’t u done enough for the nation.

Dont u feel guilty of the blood you have shed in the name of God? Do u believe God wants a “house” to be made from blood stained mud. Dont u feel bad that the seeds of distrust u have sown in 1992, flamed further in 2003 continues to cause fear in our hearts 18 years later.

This city i live in – continues to be haunted. Yes the ghosts aren’t moving around in broad daylight. But dig deep and you will see it. I wasn’t here in Mumbai in 1992 – but i have heard stories from my friends. South Mumbai friends who had never witnessed anything like this before – Hindus and Muslims alike. They saw flames from their upmarket homes. They tell of people pulled out of their flats in areas like Cuffe Parade and murdered.

A close friend of mine – who dad’s is a muslim and mom’s a hindu once told me his experience. He is a privileged boy who lives in Peddar Road -yes his mom’s family had disowned her when she married a muslim. He the only son. A close-knit family – just the three of them. Then came the riots. Apparently his house was marked for “taking care of” coz his was the only flat in the name of a muslim.

They knew the hindu mob was coming. His dad asked his mom and him to go and hide with the neighbours. The neighbours were ok with taking in the kid and mom but not a pure muslim. His mom refused to go. The three of them decided to face the mob together.

Can u imagine the tension they went thru? The fear a 10-year-old felt – he could hear the mobs.. His father blaming himself for his religion, his mom praying for her husband and her son. Yes the mob was shooed away by the police. But the 10-year-old boy was scarred. No he didn’t become a terrorist…

But yes he is convinced that the he will marry only a hindu (and his dad insists too) – so that at least his kid will be 75% Hindu and hence safer. His dad didn’t want him to apply to IIM – Ahmedabad – any guesses why?? He talks endlessly of his dad and he are ganeshji devotees and never talks of the eid i know he celebrates.Every time friends taunted him of supporting Pakistan in a cricket match – it hurt…he had to be extremely vociferous about his support to India in a match…lest someone point a finger! He feels bitter…

In one of my “love your country” lectures…he actually asked me WHY SHOULD I? I know i can tell him about the other things that India has given him…but can i ever convince him enough to wipe out the memories of the fear he felt in 1992?

His memories may not ever be wiped out…but please help us not create any further non-erasable memories for our children.
Help us to continue to believe that God does exist!
And Help us believe that humans (you) have a conscience!

Regards
Just Another Nut

Disclaimer –
While i did mention only 2 leaders from the “Hindu party” there are muslim leaders making equally callous sentences. So in no way am i supporting either side. Please bury the pathars (stones) u want to throw at me -if i remember my science well- it will help prevent soil erosion.