Monday, March 28, 2016

City of Dreams - Part 2

Churchgate - Gateway of India - Victoria Terminus - Marine Drive

I finally got the opportunity to do some solid sightseeing on my fifth day, when I managed to get off work at 1:30 itself. After a fruitless and pointless visit to the High Street Phoenix (its a mall), I took a train to Churchgate and after some deliberation, took a taxi to the Gateway of India. This monument dedicated to some Prince (can't remember whom) together with the Taj Mahal hotel forms the subject of the most distinctive picture the postcard of Bombay. Therefore, I was surprised to discover that it lay on the other side of Marine drive, a kind of obscure location. I was also disappointed to find the monument looking small and grey, not as impressive as it had seemed when I first saw it. Some renovation work was going on and the scaffolds did nothing for the general effect. The Taj Mahal Hotel however looked as old and majestic as ever. I spent sometime there just feeling the sea breeze and the watching the people delighting in the sea sprays and probably that's when I came to terms with the city and truly allowed its spell to be cast over me. The spirit of the people, the genuine pleasure with which they squealed whenever an extra big wave crashed hard against the rocks, the way they happily made friends with those whom they had snarled at just moments ago in the train..really warmed me. It was like one big, happy family! I got wet by the sea spray myself and contemplated going into the Taj Mahal hotel to freshen up but decided that my appearance was too bedraggled. Another fantastic thing about Bombay is the sea breeze. I can't say enough about the way it buffets you around and blows your umbrella and occasionally your entire person all over the place. Its a lovely feeling...and relishing these happy thoughts and walked randomly down a couple of roads before finding myself at the Cafe Basilico road (don't go there if you can help it, very expensive with tiny portions. Nice food and all but...well), where we had come on our first day. This road lead straight to Colaba Causeway and I was thrilled with this discovery! Feeling very much like I knew the place inside out, with all its shortcuts I then walked into Leopold's Cafe and ordered a beer and french fries and sat savoring the atmosphere. There wasn't really much to savour..the cafe was an interesting place with is fair mix of local and queer crowd (the latter mainly being lecherous men and hippy type foreigners).The waiter was very cute, I would like to take a moment to thank him for being so sweet to me on that day...I sat there, mixed thoughts running through my head - how it was nice that I was alone, how it might have been better if someone had come along with me, how pretty everything was and so on. I then walked down the causeway to Regal Cinema and took a left and walked down the road towards the art gallery I think. To my left was the University. I couldn't take my eyes of the beautiful architecture of the buildings (which is a serious disadvantage when you are walking). Bombay undoubtedly possesses some of loveliest buildings (Victorian Gothic style architecture, I read somewhere) in the whole of India..every graceful building was like a monument in itself. I was also strangely delighted to find these old world wonders housing hotels, Westsides, bookshops and what not. It was an incredibly charming walk.

I yearned to find more cool shortcuts, so I took another turning at a vaguely familiar place and found the back of the High Court. I'd come there the previous day for a rendezvous with Bhavya and Aishu at 'Fountain Sizzlers' so I knew how to get to its front. I walked on towards the

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Another list

Time to learn things and do something new again. Time to expand my horizons!!
1. I will play the ukulele for an hour everyday and try to learn a new song.
2. I will join a gym and get fit again! Thyroid is under control do I have no more excuses.
Target - 10kgs by June for the engagement/ 18 kgs by December.
3. I will make sure I go out at least for something every weekend - either a movie or a play or any sort of event. I will go alone if required.
4. I will try to do a weekend trip every month and make use of the long weekends regardless of their proximity to closing.
5. I will write!! And try to take my blog more places once I have a sufficient body of work.
6. I will not get stressed and take everything about work to heart and a reflection of my personal inability. I am going to make those damn antibodies in my blood go down through the sheer might of positive thinking.
7. I will dance/ sing/ both on weekends. Join some sort of a class or band which helps me do the things I love doing.
8. I will play badminton whenever I am in the branch or over the weekends. At least once a week.
And that's how my life is going to rich and fulfilling as it was last summer.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Long, Long, Long

This is going to be an intensely personal post after a long time.

Here I am, sitting in one of the greatest cities of the world - and not quite taking advantage of it.
That is because I am missing Bombay a bit too much.

I miss driving down the Sea Link or on Western Express highway and those rare, highly planned and carefully executed trips to South Bombay.

I miss the Head Office with Bru Cafe and Knorr Kitchen, playing squash and walking down The Street. I miss the people badly - that wonderful set of crazy people like myself I discovered in a place where I least expected it. I miss the security of having the constant company of people I knew and liked in something as bewildering as the workplace.

I miss the Santa Cruz guest house - the privacy or the hostel like camaraderie it offered, depending on your mood. And of course, all the Maggi.

I miss everyone in Bombay and all the fun I had with them over the last three months - going for movies, hanging out at each other's houses, getting drunk, deciding to drive suddenly to Marine Drive or over the Sea Link, playing with the cat, planning to go to plays every other weekend and not quite getting there in time and all the other fun things we did.

Most of all, I miss the boy. I miss the comfort of his presence, of knowing that I would see him at the end of the week if not during it. I miss walking down Worli Seaface, eating at Tastee or Subway, those visits to Palladium (I'm shocked it featured so late in this post!) - of spending time quietly and happily with each other. Of knowing that all our problems would some how disappear when we met.

A part of this post is give voice to these emotions inside of me - but the other part is also to get some clear direction as to what I want to achieve in the next 6 months; which is why I am publishing this post as well. I need to be held accountable to it in the future. So here goes:

  1. I will get some self discipline: From ensuring I wake up on time to making sure I do my work in a manner which is less college student-like, I have to develop some self discipline in my work ethic. I have repeatedly proved to myself that if I set my mind on something, I am capable of a lot. I need to develop some rigour with respect to work. I cannot keep procrastinating and finishing stuff off at the last minute like I tend to do even now. Work hard from 8:30am to 6:30pm and then chill. That's all I need to do. I need to get this into my system before I take up my final role. 
  2. I will get fit:this HAS to be done. It is not even funny how far I have let myself go. I will make sure I exercise in some form for at least 5 days a week and control my diet. No more chips and other assorted junk food. No more fatty, comfort foods - except for an occasional packet of Maggi if I can get my hands on it. This is absolutely essential (and I don't mean the Maggi).
  3. I will get out and do things: I have been doing this largely to be honest. But most weekends, the temptation is to just lie around at home. While that is awesome, there is no need to do it every weekend. No. I will track plays, music events, museum exhibitions etc and I will go for them. I will absorb every bit of the remarkable assortment of culture that this city has to offer.
  4. I will join classes and make friends in London: I am fortunate in that I already have some great friends here. However, it is always good to meet new people - and that is something I do enjoy doing. So yes, its time to get back into full friend making mode. I've joined Ukelele and vocal training classes lets see where these take me.
  5. I will be keep track of my expenses: Yes, if I want to execute plans 3 and 4, it will involve a fair bit of spending. But I can at least be mindful of where my money is going.
  6. I will not keep looking forward to the boy's visit in June: sorry Bad S :P. But yes, I need to stop thinking about this so much. There is enough to do in the present and while I am really really looking forward to him coming, I can't quite let it dictate my life so much! And he will agree :).
  7. I will travel and write: I've never had to tell myself to do this to be honest. But being here for so long is giving me the opportunity to plan a set of trips I have been wanting to do for a really long time. And so I will plan them well in advance and I will write about them in the promising other blog which I started and never quite continued. Cornwall, Cotswold  Ireland, Isle of Skye, Lake District, Devon and Wales, here I come!
  So there we are. I am going to make these 6 months incredibly awesome.

Friday, July 13, 2012


I just read Surd's novel, and while I didn't entirely like it, it did remind me in a nice way about the microcosm that was Law School.

I barely had time to get senti about leaving Law School. In two days, I was packed off to the next institution and plunged into a murky world of Numbers, Engineers and Deadlines that made the Law School ones seem laughably flexible. Reading that novel made me relive some moments - not with the stomach-achy nostalgia that I used to feel during rare free moments at B-school; but more like I was visiting a set of memories that made me smile and laugh at how green I was back then.

What I relived the most was the momentous occasion of my first day at Law School. I had visited it a few days earlier when my admission was confirmed - and my parents and I went to the girl's hostel area (WHOR :D). Eager to see what the rooms were like, I peered into a room which I now realize was an Annex room - probably the same one in which Bhavya was to eventually reside. It of course looked very big and spacious and I was very happy. So imagine my shock when I walked into my eventual room in the 'Annapoorna' hostel - a tiny hole in the wall in which 3 people were expected to reside. I still remember the most desirable bed already had a mattress and some items and a slip of paper on which the name 'Anwesha Haldar' was written. I realize how historic that moment was only now. I somehow remember that she was wearing blue, her hair was braided and she was wearing specs which made her look very geeky. My parents with their usual resourcefulness found out somehow that my other roommate's name was K. Aishwarya - who was in fact the niece of one of my favourite schoolteachers. I remember meeting Aishu at the water cooler - she wasn't crying like many of the others (who were leaving home for the first time), but she looked very much on the verge of it. Later that evening, I sat on upper deck of my beloved bunk bed watching Aishu as she pottered about putting away her clothes into the almirah (I had gallantly consented to live out of my suitcase as I was the Localite - a fact that would come back to bite me in the ass later) and we discussed music. I remember how thrilled we both were to discover that U2 was our mutual favourite band. At some point, I would have visited the neighboring room and met Bhavya for the first time. She was rather intimidating even then and I had seen her howling earlier when her parents left. I remember thinking she had a very expensive looking phone.

Perfectly normal first meetings, without any drama. Like a handshake at a bowling alley in the Leela Palace followed  by a vaguely creepy Facebook friend request further followed by a meeting at Croma and a conversation that really irritated me. When I look back, I feel some grand music should have been played when I first met these people; there should have been thunder and lightning and all manner of special effects. It is wonderful how tiny coincidences shape our worlds - a fact never ceases to amaze me. 

P.S.: This post acquired quite a life of its own in the end, didn't it?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Blog!!

Peeps I've done it! I've started a new blog on travel! Finally! I hope you like the finished product - it contains a lot of heart if not much else.

Also, I have a tendency to be influenced a lot by the author I read most recently. In my latest posts, I sound more like Stephen Fry than I intended to. Or may be, that's what I like to think. Anyways, please to be reading and commenting :)

More note type thingies

I am finally going to start a travel blog. I made this decision after I found myself subconsciously planning blog entries in Europe.

My job starts in a week! Help! And yet, I am really looking forward to it.

I miss college so much. I miss the camaraderie, the comfort of my room, walking around campus, the campus itself and the classes. I am just slowly realizing how happy I really was during those 2 years there.

Read 8 books in the last month and on my way to finishing another 3. Feels good. The books included 3 Malcolm Gladwells (I love him!) and my first Murakami which was amazingly moving and beautiful. I am going to get more of Murakami. And I will wait patiently for Gladwell to write some more.

The cheerleaders in the IPL and those jokers at Extraa Innings are far more entertaining than the matches themselves.

I think someone shooting Abhishek Bachan or banning those 'Old Idea, New Idea' ads would be a potentially brilliant idea.

I should start blogging more regularly. But as Bad S and I were discussing, all the angst seems to have gone out of our lives. Hmmmmm.

Monday, March 5, 2012


The song has ended
But the melody lingers on
You and the song are gone
But the melody lingers on

Monday, January 30, 2012

Musical Notes

There is something perenially endearing about Jolene by Dolly Parton. May be it is the subject matter of the song - a woman fighting for her man, the sheer desperation in the lyrics or the beauty of the tune; whatever it is, the song is addictive. I find myself coming back to it and getting hooked every now and then. My latest 'Jolene' phase has been brought on by hearing the Norah Jones and The Little Willies' cover of it. Wonderful stuff. I want to be like Norah Jones - making incredibly cool music with incredibly cool people.

The best way to listen to The Beach Boys (especially songs from Pet Sounds), I've realised, is to reduce the bass on the equalizer and push up the treble. There is just so much happening in a Beach Boys song - so many instruments all contributing differently to make up a magical whole. An overpowering bass just spoils the effect completely. They are probably the only band I love where I actually reduce the impact of the bass.

The Beach Boys also have the knack of leaving you wanting more from a song. In some of their songs, the last 10 - 15 seconds or so are the most lovely and you wish that part would go on forever. Case in point - Caronline No. The flute bit in the end is just beautiful; and as it fades away, at least I always wish it had lasted for longer. 'Good Vibrations' and 'I Know There's an Answer' also boast similar endings.

Alanis Morisette has made some bloody good music. I should really dig up more of her.

Higher on Maiden is a pretty crappy cover band. Ok may be crappy is harsh, but Led Zepplica is much better as far as covers go. I am not a Maiden fan but I know that the Higher on Maiden vocalist is nothing compared to Bruce Dickenson and goes off tune a fair bit. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy on the other hand are fantastic, live. I mean they were simply awesome! I do wish they had played 'Uff Teri Ada' though. And that I had been properly drunk :).