Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Tipu was one of the dogs cared for by Arvind the cobbler who used to live on the sidewalk of Eros theater. He was pretty mild-mannered, surely wud hav made a good pet. He, along with a couple of other abandoned dogs, used to spend their days & nights with Arvind, giving him affection & protection. Alas....he's dead now. PIP . sori,, RIP.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Russian Ballet

The other day I went to see a performance of the Russian ballet troop Mariinsky Theater at Jamshed Baba Theater at the NCPA near Nariman point. I wouldn't have known about it at all if my sista Lak hadn't seen a mention of it in the newspaper. She wanted to go so me & my mom decided to accompany her.

Well, so after college, Lak & I bought ticket extensions to Churchgate coz we had passes only till Dadar. We were gonna meet mom at Churchgate. By the time we reached Dadar, I had a bangin headache, partly coz of the sun & partly coz of hunger (we'd eaten just a burger each for lunch, which was hours back). As it turned out, we found ourselves short of cash, so we didn't hav the money to buy much to eat. So, we decided first to go over to my gran's at Dadar & get some money & then continue our journey to Churchgate. But then we realized we'd have to stand in another queue to buy tickets coz the extension tickets which we had, hd to be used within an hour, & there was just 5 minutes left. So we wudn't hav time to go to my gran's & then make it back to the train. You wudn't understand all dis rubbish unless u lived in Mumbai & travelled by train.
Anyhoo, we decided to board the next train & this time we had to get into the yucky 2nd class cauz our 1st class pass is only upto Dadar. So, another 20 minutes to Churchgate; I had a gud ol' Crocin on an empty stomach on the way coz i cudn't bear it & then we called mom to ask her where she was; she mumbled something about not coming. But we forced her & she was like ' Ok, ok, see ya at 6 in Churchgate station!' Also, we found out she's short of cash too! And by short, I mean worse than us - she just had a few coins on her. But she had her credit card if we wanted to eat somewhere later.
By this time, I was literally dying of hunger, so I bought a packet o f bourbon biscuits & stuffed myself sitting in one of the shiny new steel bus stops outside the station. When the clock struck 6, we went back to the station & then mom calls to say she'll meet us at Asiatic entrance. So then we walk to Asiatic, & look all around for her but can't spot her. Then my irritated mom calls to ask where the hell we are. We are like where the hell are u? She's like - right here, at the entrance. We like 'where? where? ' And then, we spot her behind some bushes near the Asiatic entrance, & start waving & calling out. At this point, Lak stepped onto a huge steaming pile of shit, bang on the side of the road. You see, in Mumbai, it's red everywhere coz of paan spits & also, heaps of human shit & puddles of urine coz lots of ppl seem to think the roads are their toilets. In other countries, u can kiss in public but not piss in public; but here, in India, u can't kiss in public, but go ahead - u can piss in public.
And, i mean, this particular heap was HUGE. And stinking like the person responsible had loose motions. Lak emptied her full water bottle, but the shit stuck in the cracks & crevices of her ked/floater. (Thankfully, only one foot dipped into the mass of shite).
Now, we were already getting late ( the show was to start at 6.30), & there we were, waiting while Lak scraped her right leg on various grass patches, rocks & brick walls, to no avail. Finally, we decided to forget it & get in a cab to reach our destination - NCPA. But before getting in, we had to hurriedly fumble & check to see if we had atleast 20 bucks. Fortunately, we had around 40 bucks in all ( counting all three of us ). On the way, we discussed the best way to get rid of the shit pieces. We neither had an extra pair of shoes, nor socks. So, we cudn't throw Lak's shoes. How can she walk barefoot? Then, we thought - NCPA is a posh place, so their loo must have a handshower. So when hit with a force of water, the shits wud probably fall off.
By now, the shit had become caked & her shoe was stenching to high heaven. Anyhoo, we finally got there, & believe it or not, there was a huge crowd, waiting a t the entrance to get in. Surprisingly, entry for the ballet performance was free, & u just needed to get passes to attend. Mass after mass of hi fi ppl, arriving in their hi fi cars, waving their passes & noses turned up; were allowed to enter. But the rest of us, who'd just turned up, hoping to get passes on the spot, had to wait on the sides. The guard manning the entrance said that if there were any seats left after the hi & mighty with passes had passed thru', us low & powerless ppl cud enter. So, after wat seemed like hours, w e rushed thru' & ran our way up the stairs & into the auditorium. We found seats in the very last row. Soon, all the seats seemed filled up, & we cud even see some ppl standing. I cud see many foreigners & dear lil ole Parsi ladies in the crowd. And yes, it was a crowd. Barring one here or there, all the seats in the auditorium, which can accomodate 1000-odd ppl were taken.
The show'd already started. Now Lak cudn't possibly get up & go to the loo, risking the chance of losing her seat & anyway, the show'd already started.
Thankfully, I had deo/scent/parfum with me & she had to settle with discreetly spraying a lot over & around her right foot/shoe.
So, on stage, there was this waifish girl doin cool & weird things with her legs. A guy soon joined her & they did many intricate leaps & prances. It was all very different from wat we usually see. There were a few more performances by different pairs to follow. They were all pretty (yup, even the men) & most of the stuff they did was awesome. The gurlz were either in shiny tutus or sweet frocks/dresses. The boyz were either in fitting white slacks, flaming harem-type pants or other leetle bits of colorful outfits ( a lil fruity), depending on wat they were portraying. One of the dances was graceful, the next seductive, another energetic & one quirky. A few words that come to mind are elastic, rubbery, boneless, flexible. they were always on their toes. Just looking at them made my legs feel tired. It was quite a short show, about 1.5 hrs. Though they were given bouquets at the end, the dancers were not introduced.
Overall the show was a hit - unique & enjoyable. I don't think Mumbai gets to witness such programs too often.
Anyhoo, continuing where i left off about the bad things about the day..........
Now & then, inside the theater, during the show, the yucky smell of u-know-wat used to waft up to our noses. But somehow we ignored it. then, once the show ended, we went to the loos, where there was, as expected, a queue. When it was finally her turn, Lak found no handshower, & thus no freedom from the shit. So, we trudged on, caught a bus to Churchgate station, thinking we'd first go to Gaylord's fot a bite.While walking there, we saw a man walking his 2 dogs - one a big black lab & the other a tiny fluffy poodle! The latter was soooooooooooo cute....the way it was running to keep up with its master. We thought it wud get blown away by the wind, it was so tiny! Anyhoo, we enter the bakery at Gaylord & start picking out wat we wanted on a tray. I said at the beginning to check if they accept credit cards at the bakery, but my mom said - 'Oh of course they will! It's ok, don't ask.' So we go ahead & fill the tray with mouth-watering goodies (too sinful to name) & top it off with 3 yummy chocolate muffins. And then, guess wat, they say at the counter - 'Only cash'.
Dejected, we walked out of there, wondering where credit cards (CCs)are accepted, cauz we all were unbearably hungry by now. We decide to try our luck at Satkar, & trudge there, my mom feeling guilty when i say that the image of that tantalizing tray is still stuck in my mind. At Satkar, we confirm that they accept CCs, & plonk ourselves down in the inner AC area. Five minutes later, after placing our orders, the shit smell hits us again. By now, Lak was really sick & tired of keeping her right foot down firmly on the ground all the time(even during the show). So then we thought of going outside & sitting at a table in the non-enclosed, non-AC area of the restaurant. But alas, they accept CCs only inside.
Lak was thinking how she cud eat, the smell was making her puke. Then, I got one of my bright ideas & suggested that my mom & sis go over to Asiatic & buy shoes over there, provided they accept CCs. My mom argued that it was late, so they wud have closed. But I had seen it was open, when we passed it on our way to the restaurant. So the 2 of them made their way there, while i sat at the restaurant, waiting for our food. But they returned within 10 minutes - Asiatic had shut shop by the time they got there.
So we ate our dosas quickly, holding our breaths. Finally, we were back in the train, on our way to Dadar. We made a stop at gran's for some cash & then caught a cab to my place. On the way my mom said she knew a shorter route than the one we usually take, & forced the driver to take it, though the driver & myself were against it. So it had to happen - we got stuck in a traffic jam, & ended up paying the guy the amount we wud have paid if we'd taken the usual route - and this after we decided to get off in the middle of the jam & walk a little way & then catch another cab once the roads became clear! The driver of the 2nd cab we took forced us to share it with another passenger. I hate to share cabs, but we had no other options in the dead of the night. As is turned out, the driver was a little crazy in the head - kept muttering something & threatening to take wrong turns!
Well, we finally reached home, threw Lak's shoes & thought - "Was 1.5 nice hours worth about 5 horrible hours?"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yesssss!! Obama won!!!!!!!

I'm sooooooo glad Obama won! Since the past 2-3 months there's been so much hype over the elections, & i'd started watching CNN & all. Since the beginning i've been an Obama fan. Well, one of the reasons is that he's black. So, now we know that the American ppl have changed...for the better.
He had everthing "against" him; forget the fact that he's black - his middle name is Hussein & last name rhymes with Osama! But now it's known that even if white America alone wud have voted, he'd have still probably won.
The most overused word to describe this election is probably 'historic'. Pretty much the whole world is celebrating his victory. But it's so sad that his grandma died just before he got elected. But he almost always manages to look calm, cool & worries. Now he has to live up to lots of expectations.....gotta save the day. I'm sure he will.
Anyhoo, i gotta hand it to John Mccain; he accepted defeat quite graciously. If it had been Sarah Palin, it wud hav been a different story sorry speech altogether.
Hmm now i wonder wat news the media will have, now that the election's over. Guess they'll continue dissing the Republicans...
Again, i'm so happy barack Obama won!