Wednesday, June 18, 2008


the rains are playing truant...obviously after i bought my pretty umbrella. i even got smirked at for not carrying my umbrella around enough. its not my fault, the monsoons decided to suddenly pack up and leave in a hurry.

i havent blogged for long and have been thinking wat to blog about. blog about wat? blog about wat? blog about wat? i refuse to blog about trains, they are just a part of my working life now, when i dont work i dont take the train. simple. trains r still full of rude ugly sweaty with an occasional exception or two. am the exception obviously.

so now everyone who has seen a swimsuit vending machine say aye!

and if u havent..its because your life is incomplete. in Atria mall, Worli, Mumbai there is something which looks like a soda vending machine but lo and behold, it is not stuffed with soda cans but swimsuits....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

it rained so much last night that i was sure that the ceiling will start dripping during the night. the lights went out but it was cold and comfy so i didnt mind.
my friend kept telling me to wish that the train lines would flood during the night but i didnt wish so because i knew the morning would be clearer and it was.
i felt very pretty in the morning. fresh, pretty, i liked what i was wearing, and i enjoyed the admiration i got from some other cute members of the opposite sex.
but then nothing lasts forever, and by the time i reached church, i was sweting like a pig in the train, my scalp was all wet with sweat and my hair sticky but the worst was yet to come.

the worst came by when i realized that i am smelling like foliage.
am not kidding, its the damp smell you get from shrubs and well other huddled up members of the plant kingdom. i still cannot believe am smelling of foliage..
i have stopped observing people in trains. am too busy looking proper and not letting the train journeys drastically change me into a vagabond.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

everyday musings

i cant help it but i have to mention this. i spoke to menaka Gandhi today. yes, just like tht. randomly, cloudnt eevn believe i was speaking to her. on the phone. not tht uphold her, she would hate me: i eat everything tht walks.

rainy days

its been raining in bombay. continously. like a bad leak. not the nice monsoon showers that you can write poems on. the rains here turn the roads mucky and the stations muckier.
the drains overflow and the roads flood subsequentially with sewage water and that drives you nuts!!!! now everyday we stare at our ceiling. first it was a small patch and now its only growing. it has come alive and the day the ceiling drips and the fan stops working we have to move.
i dread that day. one measy dripping ceiling can change my own life around. we will have to move out of bandra because bandra cannot be afforded by anyone who's income is below 1 lakh/month. moving is an overwhelming experience. a different house and again the process of making it our home. streching our limbs, laying down our bed sheets, scattering our belongings...i hope the ceiling doesnt drip.

rain in Colaba is still beautiful. the roads are wide and ancient like the trees that line the roads. you can smell the green in the leaves and walk on squishy flowers.
i had an umbrella but jus-like-tht i decided i needed a new one. a big Mary Poppins one, complete with the handle.
my friend needed the umbrella, i was just feeling frivolous. we went to Ebrahim Currim & Sons , the chatawalla at Crawford Market. a tall, old shop smelling of umbrellas, all that you could see around were umbrellas and humas scuffling over them. one corner were the children umbrellas on the other side were the black ones for those above 45 and then there were the mary poppins ones. i was dazed. i have never been to a chata wallah. the realization of coming to the source of all umbrellas in mumbai was overwhelming. it was raining outside, and i was sweating inside trying to buy an umbrella. there was some funny irony somewhere but i just couldnt put my finger on it.
anyway we both bought the same umbrella because we both liked it...dull pink n blue checks, very subdued, very chic.
so with our chic umbrellas we stomped off. we got onto our taxi when a policeman came running. "ladki ne haath dikhaya, rukh gaya?" he was angry that the taxi stopped where he shouldnt have. thats a great thing about being a woman. taxis whirr past men and stop right infront of you, and they generally never refuse. which is why am never in a bad mood in the morning, i always get the taxi and the guy next to me doesnt. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

the kind of books i like to read...

social networking sites or random friends or job interviews, sooner or later the question pops: "what kind of books do you like to read?" then for a few seconds i stare at the screen or the person and this definitely has the worst effect in a job interview.
what kind of books do i like to read? not bestsellers. maybe when the same books age a year or two its worth reading but surely not right ofter its been named ' book of the year'. new books are not charming, they need to age with time; mature into books that have been named 'book of the year 1978, Pulitzer prize winner half a decade ago and all that...'
next, i cannot read fiction online. i do not understand the concept of e-books. i admit it, i do read the New Yorker and i loved the new piece by Vladimir Nabokov that got published but otherwise e books and the whole concept of digitizing everything around us drives me nuts.
certain inalienable truths need to remain tangible. like sea breeze, like literature and like tropical summers. literature needs to be pulled out of bookshelves, dusted and read sitting in the attic, away from everyone.
the reason i havent read as much or as many as my other J school contemporaries is because i re-read a book if i like it, till its engraved in my mind for a little more time.
i remember in my early teens every summer i would re-read LITTLE WOMEN, till i stopped relating to it. and then suddenly MADAME BOVARY made a lot of sense. and then i used to read a host of short stories and translations. one of the best i have ever read would be the HAPPY PRINCE, it was anything but a fairytale. i felt MILLS AND BOONS wronged us immensely, i read one of them and couldn't imagine that we as a species are capable of so much of stupidity. also it morphed my ideas about love and eternal romance. no wonder i am still single.
and then i discovered Camus, Sartre and Remarque and various other short stories till i started reading Steinbeck and Hemingway and the rest...
ours is a Bengali family where literature is served alongside macher jhol everyday. my grandfather was a mathematics professor and a poet. i still have all the birthday cards where he would write us poems. books were to be gifted, to be quoted in love letters, to be discussed over evening tea and sugar-coated biscuits but to be read in company of no one but the self. i loved the attic of my grandparents' house, it had a broken down cupboard full of books and diaries. that's where i discovered the 23 yr old writer that was my uncle and his personal diaries with entries about table tennis and occasional stray comments about girls. did he know two decades later on a lazy Sunday afternoon his niece would dig up his diary? did he consciously never indulge too much? i gave the diary back to him, i was never interested in table tennis. i don't remember if i kept his fiction pieces, i remembered them by heart for quite some time.
after the whole rush of alcohol in the past few years, my memory has got washed away in bits and pieces.
and then there was the wall aligned bookcase. that is where i met Hemingway and Flaubert and even Harrold Robbins. yellowed front pages with the owners name scribbled on, with the year next to it. it was womb like; the experience. the room was dark and damp and i remember climbing on the sofa to reach out to the books on the topmost shelves. somewhere some treasure was always hidden for me to find it.
when my grandparents passed away, the selfish me didn't want anything from there but some of the books. i never got them, somebody else rightfully owned them and took them away.
and then there the ones that i stole from there.
it was like stealing from a library.
ordinary books that i could avail now if i wanted, but i remember wanting only that copy with that font and that feel. i remember especially the copy of HAPPY PRINCE and other stories that i stole. my uncle's name scribbled on top reminded me of my crime like an apparition. but i read and re-read and today even if i had to give the book away, i would never forget it. the feel and the stories......
from what i remember that was the only book i stole. i couldn't bear to own a book with somebody else's name written on it. HAPPY PRINCE AND OTHER STORIES was the only exception.
even today when i buy a book, its like a love affair. a sense of possessiveness bordering on gentle obsessiveness. i write my name and the year, hoping someday, another sunny summer afternoon somebody would discover me in some broken down cupboard.