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Mumbai tales: of hot spot and high on alien territory


Image credit: ttps://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-regal-cinema-colaba-mumbai-india-12260448.html

 

Nursing a breakup. Wandering aimlessly on the elongated parapet in the morning and night to conquer sleeplessness and unchecked love emotions. I watched the Queen’s necklace sitting on the edge of the Arabian Sea and dreamed to chase the stars adorned in the unblemished sky like velvet. The crowded road of Colaba yearned for my company and the invisible force turned me into a tornado visiting bars and places. The crowded night in South Mumbai wore various shades and depth. There was a company. An old chum nurturing a love and hate relationship with a soon to be ex-boyfriend checking on her. I was clueless about human relationships and on the verge of losing a love that didn’t belong.

The name is Sports Express Bar, sandwiched between the popularly frequented Leopold crazed by tourists and Cafe Mondegar as beer flew in jumbo glasses. We spoke about everything under the sun, right from exes to fucked up relationships and the city. Who says the slice of life is given shape in reality but expressed on screen. I was hurt in the name of love, constantly fiddling with my cell phone, checking on her messages sent a fortnight back. I wished for routine love, pretty much like mushy songs giving false promises of reunited in the climax. Life is the only real.

My companion was a college friend-cum, journalist-cum social activist, fast forward in the present. She got loads to tell. I tried to be interested in her sob and exciting stories. There was a hole in my heart. We were half tipsy. I was boring. She got a knack and called a common friend, a medical student to give her company. We were boozing to heavenly sake. Regal cinema was a step away. The dude joined us. The three of us watched Bachna Aye Haseena with the Kapoor hunk, Ranbir, playing what he is in real life. Lucky Casanova bastard romancing three women.

Ah! The love sentiments. I am whining at the interval on the fallacy of love like a bruised and defeatist poet. Both of them laughed at me turning into a Devdas, jilted lover in real life. I was blabbering…must be a major embarrassment to them. Movie got over and samoosa stuffed the belly. The alcohol scene was still on. I wanna sleep. Fed up of the hostel and doc in waiting dude ushered me in a cab to Churchgate. I was sloshed and stormed inside the local train before 1.40 am. I was given the direction by this blink-and-eye chum to enter his medical school in the wee hours.

No guard was interested to stop this stranger. I pretended to be a medical student and gyrated aimlessly, flushed with alcohol, in an unattended hostel room, nostril bearing the scent of medicine. A feeling of euphoria to gatecrash in a medical school, battling sleep. I dozed off till the morning. Pride wore thick on the face for entering lines that shouldn’t be crossed and unsure that I slept in dude’s room. Alcohol and Mumbai can do wonders in entering an alien premise and nobody shall stop you. Simply not least interested.

Love

V

 

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Be them!


Flap the pages,

ink a new tale on a blank leaf,

march in the unknown territory,

jump inside the icy storm,

tick the clock fast forward,

make a deal with time,

challenge the planet,

be wild,

kiss the unknown,

be the rain and sunshine,

smear the snowflake on the face,

chuck out dime and coin,

sing on the street for chillar,

travel the world shabbily,

be a poor nomad,

wear the cloak of invisibility,

take a new identity,

every single day,

alien language,

people,

food,

celebrate the unique you,

be them.

Love

V

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Cliche words I use in my routine life


The lingo learned over time, titbit of conversation, cuss words and almost everything that we carry like a heavy bundle, no matter where we sashay our way in this world. Cliche as it seems adjectives and dash of conversation is internalized and remain an inherent part of us that keeps popping in the mouth or sound to the ear, like music that serves as an aphrodisiac of sort and helping us to vent out, practicing stress alleviation exercise.  There are so many words that I keep repeating to myself in the routinesque drivel of thoughts. It helps me to be sorted out, flows like happiness a bit like the breeze of the season and without which, life would be bland. Here it goes!

1. Indian lingo

I keep saying, haan and yaa to everything people tells me and at times it can be a question or someone seeking my opinion on anything. Muttering haan to myself at times become a pleasurable exercise. Last time, I found myself saying haan to a client on phone and it did look weird since the person couldn’t make out the Hindi version. My boss is British and this week only, told her ‘haan’ to something. In the nick of time, I was able to change the conversational tone and drifted to a yes and explaining things. Indian habits, I tell you! It stays with us forever.

2. Cuss words!

Ah! The Indian classic cuss words have now been internalized even in movies that give them color and unique character.  They are my free wheeler and visa to happiness, venting out anger or frustration or spitting them out of the blue. The fuck word is a normal in my life or ‘fuck bhenchod’ which I utter from time to time to my lap top. Poor lap top bearing the brunt. An art in giving character to the North Indian, cuss words. Or bhosadi ke, it can be to someone who pissed me off, of course not to the person and the bus failing to run on time. Chutiya is just another oft-repeated adjective during the day.

3. Aye shapath

The perks of being this North Indian, bhaiya dude who stayed in Maharashtra and made the state my home for so many years that the Marathi lingo or words would always dog me like an endless tailspin. Unbelievable! Any single thing that blows the mind in bits and pieces is met with, ‘Aye Shapath from me’. It can be politics or something stupid uttered by the netas.

4. Tag line

The mind is a free-thinker and man, so many time I have come up with taglines that have been completely made up by the brain to be lost in translation. And, to think, I could have made a killing as an ad man who I am not! Baal baal dekho….got no hair, wash the head with detol…money money who stole my coins…smartphone pe asli baat nahin karte….filter coffee every morning makes me a cracko, weirdo and mad man….deewana bana de. Can’t it get more weirder than that!

5. What’s happening dude!

Words lost in translation, what’s happening dude? Cool chick! cool, babe and rocking are stuff that we used during college days and suddenly found myself using the uber cool words again while conversing with some people in our office space or online conversation. Makes me wonder what the new age kids or millennial use as lingo in their everyday life. Could be fuck and forget! Ah! Bad joke! Chill or chillax! How I love using that word!

6. Wazaa and Hiya!

Wazaa and Hiyaa are sent to people on whatsapp or pinging on Gchat and Facebook! Do tell me what do they mean since haven’t been able to figure them out I have got this habit on waking up to call Maa, doesn’t matter if she is a distance away from me out of the scene and coming home knocking the door with Maa so much that the next door toddler has started mocking me when he sees me, the tiny voice starts singing, Maa! The child in me is forever alive and know that! Yeah I do send people a ‘wassup’ on whatsapp! Trying to be cool and jazzy! Err! No! I miss using words like kashi ahes or kaimantas, sorely thinking of the Mumbai and Pune days.

Much love

V

 

 

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Day 19: Bookmarks


There is something personal and sexy about bookmarks. Colorful and artfully designed, cut to perfection or scale-shaped gives a comfort and homely feeling to flipping book pages, snuggling on the sofa with coffee makes the reading experience a journey worth taking. Reading books feel like a road trip, emotional or romantic roller coaster ride coated with philosophic musing or whichever way you call them.

Books are very personal to me and at best a journey, pretty much like the memories carved and cherished over time pretty much like starters or deserts to make the trip merry. It’s similar to crushes, friends made and a harmless fling. Just got this amazing and yellow coated bookmark bearing the imprint of Jojo Moyes’s Still me with a cool print of this creature pasted in white and black that sits beautifully on the yellow. I am yet to read the former’s books and visited the bookshop to buy Shashi Tharoor’s Why I am a Hindu when out of the blue asked for bookmarks at the counter. It was a random ask since the counter person always gives me bookmarks for free.

Turning into an accidental hoarder of stuff first landed on my lap as a gift. The favorite one was gifted to me by a friend and colleague Shruti a couple of years back on the birthday and was an amazing one flapping in shape of pages embedded with quotes. I don’t even know where the bookmark has been misplaced and hope that it didn’t slip in a public space since got this habit of reading in buses or coffee shops. She doesn’t know about the disappearance, though. Another favorite is the hand-carved one that an author and blogger friend Chissy sent me all the way from Montreal, Canada as a token of appreciation for reviewing the amazing, sensual and scintillating poetry book that she penned.

Speaking of books, a sense of relief expressed after wrapping all pending book reviews on the blog.  Over the years, I’ve cut down on reviews since couldn’t handle the overbearing pressure of reading a book, taking notes and putting the review in time. Reading is an enjoyable exercise and didn’t want to do reviews out of compulsions, to give favorable stars or putting them online like junk food. I am becoming very selective when it comes to reviews and time to make the most of reading, removing that intense pressure on the head. It’s too much to take.  Honesty is one reader and reviewing trait that shall define all the critical appreciations that I shall do from now.

I just wrapped George Orwell’s 1984 that came as a gift from Delhi and it’s a book that everyone must read. The author speaks about the ‘truth’ that is often manufactured and takes readers on a trip that is relevant in the modern times with political powers colliding in brainwashing people by using emotions as a shield. It’s so easy to fuck people’s brains.  From Brexit to the Trump era and Modi years, the world is becoming more misogynistic as one wonders on the world or nations claiming to be a beacon of democracy. The issues are addressed in a thought-provoking manner and the syndrome of ideological loyalty we are afflicted or an education system that prevents the questioning of values or ideologies must push us to discuss issues in a healthy manner. Often, unilateral thinking is doing a moral disservice to scholars who often wage war in dissecting hypothesis for a better and fair society, increasingly lost in translation.

Quite a busy week it’s been work-wise and so many things roiling in the head, right from this super-duper crazy deadline for one of our clients, an additional work assignment which calls for some street smartness and the usual regular writing on blog or promised guest post for a friend. We need a de-clutter sometimes and on Saturday, stormed to the coffee shop to remove crap from the head.

Sitting in peace, waving to the cute girl at the coffee shop and jotting stuff in the agenda diary helped me relax and breathe free. We all need this ME time to figure things in life be it battling personal issues or giving priority to the most pressing matters. It worked wonders for the soul and a constant reminder to push oneself to the edge to make miracles. I mean, till we don’t address the demons or force the challenges down the throat, we will be content in the routine, unaware of our strengths as humans.

At times, can’t help the feeling of wanting the past life back that was pure bliss and the mind often verges to those carefree days minus loads of life. The same old place or the people who moved on, laughter and setting the self-free can be defining and empowering at the same time. Biggest challenge is to kick the butt which is not happening so far but bet today been better in cutting the fag and chatting with an old chum on whom I wrote the latest Pune Memoirs post.

Love

V

 

 

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Satire: Karnataka, Mai Baap of entertainment and 100 crore MLA


The perfect honeymoon just went kaput. After all, who offer 100 crores as dowry to the new brides in waiting? Trust Karnataka to steal the thunder away right under the nose of Prince Harry and Megan. After all, the Kohinoor wrecked vengeance in a truly grand style with B S Yeddyurappa turning into the good old horse trader. Baap re! One horse is worth 100 crores with politicians now getting into the business of buying and selling horses. Rajneet is passe.

Who would’ve thought that Karnataka would emerge as the Mai Baap of entertainment in true philmy style, beating the royal shaadi to shame and making us get over the biggest entertainment on the silver screen, Sholay! Gabbar Singh must be fuming in his tomb and would get even with Ramesh Sippy for failing to give him the line, Kitne MLA? First BJP stakes claim to form Satta, our dear old chum Yeddyurappa becoming a record Chief Minister for three days and making a quick exit faster than anyone would break their virginity. Now, no hero ever made the fastest move. Ever wondered of playing Faster Finger First on Kaun Banega Crorepati,  B S Yeddyurappa!  Our Vajubhai Vala played Samba to the two-faced Gabbar Singh, head toss Narendra Modi and tail toss Amit Shah. Can it get bigger than that?!

Image credit: Google.

What a chilled and nail-biting climax that would put to shame several B town potboilers with BJP emerging as the single largest party, then failing to make the cut with the magical figure and getting off the driving seat. The many faces of politics and the political shenanigans losing it exactly four years after Narendra Modi won a chest-thumping electoral victory! Now, who stole the coffee grains from the Pradhan Sewak?! Ek aur ek doesn’t make gyarah! Shut the fuck up, we all know this mathematical calculation in today’s times.

Karnataka is suddenly more famous on the global map than Virushka’s Tuscany with Band, Baajaa minus Baraat. Our netas have suddenly become the runaway brides or grooms for not being given dowry or Mere Nau Lakh ka Har by groom dearest. Now, who leaves a caboodle shaadi empty handed? Our Yeddyurappa must have practiced the speech watching Hrithik Roshan jigging to Khali haath aaya hai Khali haath jayenge. Would you believe the fellow Roshan ruining the party for poor Yeddu? Now, who stole the Kangan (a) and laddoo!

Ekta Kapoor thought Sasural Simar ka and Kyon Ki Saas Kabhi Bahu Thi made her cool on TV but she was yet to watch the Karnataka soap opera unfold in front of the eyes. There is hope for everyone, from Ekta to Yeddyurappa to redeem themselves, pretty much like the huge queue at ATM branches to watch the biggest 100 crore club playing, demonetization. Karnataka is the new Bahubali in town, our own superman who beats every angry young man or Dabbang to style and in deathly fashion, keeping us on the edge of the seat. The battle of sexes was never about men vs woman but BJP vs Congress vs JD (S) all in the name of 100 crores MP. Ram Ram ke Bhakt must be wondering so much rokra that once made the underworld’s fortune who ruled Mumbai irrelevant.

Modi and Amit Shah’s BJP must be the new don in town. Our Governor giving 15 days for chakki pissing pissing and pissing makes for money thicked roti in the assembly. After all, Rahul is no longer a Baba that BJP always wanted us to believe. Kabhi kabhie bacha bada bhi hota hai, bhai! Pappu Paas Ho Gaya kyon the numbers are here. BJP and Congress-JD (S) alliance are playing Pehle Aap in reverse, first one annoited CM for three days and the second claiming the crown…picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!

Three days can be a long time in politics. BJP must be feeling like the new Rakhi Sawant in town after being smacked by Mika Singh to finally find themselves beaten at their own game of poaching, stitching a hurried victory claim or a victim of their own oft-repeated phrase. From Congress Mukt Bharat to BJP Mukt Karnataka. Wondering on the vociferating bhakts on social media and perhaps burnol will do the trick!

Ek MLA ki keemat tum kya jano Modi Babu aur Amit Shah Babu! Remember those failed show on Indian TV, Sawaal Dus crores ka, Jeeta Chapphar ke and Dus ka Dum! This one beats all of them with 100 crores ka MLA!

Politically Incorrect and Controversially Yours with Love

V

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Pune Memoirs (III): Friends’ circle, mannequin challenge and peppy conversation


Pune Memoirs

Final Year:

2005-06:

A drivel of thoughts wandering aimlessly pretty much like the person in jolly good spirit and sitting still at the same old table not giving zero fucks to the world. There is an emotion for every season in India but the delirious spasm bore shade of colorful during the routine days, sitting with coffee, shit loads of smoke, zillion crushes, salty conversation, tiny dot of thoughts resembling a speck of light that segues inside the brain.

The still and carefree days of yore staying put at Savera with friends and indulging in mindless gossip for you know more is the merrier with countless cups of chai and coffee. Usual trick is to order two cups of tea or coffee and ask for two extra glasses so that four people can share and gulp at ease. It’s no secret that now and then, order would be passed so that we are not compelled to be chased out of the most loved place. Life could never be imagined without Savera but neither am in the city nor is the adorable place that carved college memories at the same place facing the college gate. The place that sat opposite the alma mater, Fergusson College, is closed for good to be opened at another place.

Last time, saw on a peppy page on Facebook something that spoke directly and sent me into a tizzy of memory, ‘In Pune Friend Circle is Incomplete Without Joshi,.’ I couldn’t agree more and this post in the memoirs is about this wondrous friendship with the junior chick, the Joshi girl who became such a good friend over time. She was junior to me and would call her, ‘NJO’. Calling her my buddy on the campus and outside in front of everyone that people thought that I had a huge crush on her and P once told me to tell her if I like her so much. P was like, “Tell her, she is a very understanding girl.” It was funny since there was nothing sentimental and and people thought so probably because when I saw her, would jeeringly yell her name the loudest and start pulling her with my silly antics. It was all about the vibes and energy.

There are some girls like that who are the buddies and with whom you can speak anything under the sun without inhibition, to discuss love life and what’s not. She was always my dude friend. I always told her, “NJO, you are not a girl but a boy.” She would smile and tell me, “Look at my features and you call me a boy.” There was no reason why I called her NJO but it was like Jenifer Lopez for JLO. Such was my chemistry with her. NJO was someone who showed a keen interest in politics and current affairs discussing the state of the country, corruption or the kind of politicians that we have, making smart and sensible arguments. Can’t even remember how we met for the first time and probably our friends’ circle at Savera.

I remember her passion for singing, everything creative and musical instruments.  Once, a friend in our group S asked me if I would like to hang out at NJO’s place. I was a bit hesitant and said, may be some other time. S and NJO wanted to do some jigging and songs together. A landline number buzzed on my modest Nokia 3310 but for some reason or the other, couldn’t pick up and a sms came in no time, telling to call her. I dashed to the nearest PCO at Satish’s panwalla,  when she asked if I’d like to come to her place along with S. That’s NJO for you. No airs but simple, heart to heart to convince you. She is one of the easiest peeps that I’ve met.

A rickshaw trip off Fergusson College to NJO’s place at Kothrud and was treated to some passionate, soulful and composed music with S doing the guitar and NJO soft and warbling voice beautifully accompanying the music. I discovered a new aspect in the soft-spoken and calm girl whose music reached the soul. Friendship and the bond that we make with people have seamless layers that stay forever. After some time of watching both S and NJO playing music and trying various genres from Hindi classical to English, I decided to leave past one or two pm on Saturday. She accompanied me towards the door.  The genuine and affable smile on the face taught me to treasure people in life who makes us special and unique as a human being. We often take our friends and loved ones for granted but a gentle tap on the shoulder or smidgen of words can work wonders on us.

The habit of going on uninterruptedly was something which I wrote as part of the Pune Memoirs and my trait of blabberED with people that mattered lot in those days. NJO gave me a mannequin challenge. She flitted her way in Savera and casually challenged me, “I want to ask you something. A bet. Can you keep silent for 10 minutes without uttering a single word!” It was quite an uphill task and my mouth was shut, poker face at everyone, people who joined my table wondered what happened to me. I turned mute in no time communicating with the hand and face with people. The whole gang was amused and bewildered how someone who doesn’t let the world breathe just went out for a toss with this loss of words. I was dying to play around with the bet. Somebody was able to delete words out of my words.

The monkey face that I was a maven at making and the ludicrous jokes always amused NJO to the hilt. I was happy to be the joker in the group and perhaps an attention seeker. I don’t know. Aren’t we all at some point or the other! There was another chick P who would always hang out with us and for some reason or the other, she was telling, I am leaving now. She must have repeated herself several times and the sarcastic evil pushed its might inside me, “Go away, don’t come again.” I was just trying to be phunny and P pretended she didn’t hear me out. NJO was amused at the comment and the wry smile she exuded is still captured in my mind that gives the impression of wondering what planet this dude lives in.

Another innocent anecdote that felt like cherry on cake was once,  S and Me sat to argue right in front of N, with this battle about hot vs cute. NJO must be fuming inside and wanted to break the faces of two guys, S saying she is hot and I was arguing that she’s cute.  Of course, a healthy and silly banter among friends not online but among humans over coffee. I guess, she just ignored us with a grin. The favorite expression, ‘You lost it’ to all my pulling still rings an echo decades later. Some people were calling her the specky chick.

So many instances of hanging out with the favorite people and as the memoirs progress, efforts shall not be spared to recollect moments about the Pune days to pen on this space. Remembering every interesting and tiny detail can be quite a tough nut to crack, emotional at times but a good exercise for the brain. Something that I am learning at the meditation center to always remember about happy moments and the mind always go back to Pune, recollecting the college days.

Love

V

 

 

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Impermanence of everlastings!


Everlasting love and relationships!

whoever told so!

Nothing stays permanently,

not the bruise,

wounds,

scars,

disappointments,

chocolate of romance,

or excitement of till death do us apart,

a face reminds us of the romance season

change the season,

pain can be healed,

create fresh memories,

make new moments,

stay alive,

fragmented pieces don’t make a whole,

bury the past,

if you may,

unfetter the wings,

forever shall be relegated to the ruined palace,

lick your wounds,

spit the poison of separation,

you are no snake,

to be rattled and conquered!

Love

V