Saturday 17 October 2009

Bombay Notes

[I'm not entirely sure if I'd be starting things off again here. Let us see how it goes. However, for now, here's something I wrote about five years back, on a visit to Bombay with some friends]

...the low hills of the end of the Western Ghats; the Arabian sea; the lagoons, backwaters, some inlets; long islands on the coastline; waves and waves of the ocean; waves and waves of slums; touchdown; 38 degrees C on a November afternoon; heat waves off the airport tarmac; Andheri, in broad daylight!; the concretization of sidewalks; something-or-the-other-naka; oh yeah, Marol; flats, apartments; people, crowds; humidity; in search of an Orange; Traffic, Traffic in Andheri - peak hour; an auto ride for two - conversations; Bandra at night - sidewalk ladies' shoe shops and bangle stores reflecting the bright gold of bulbs, neon lights and silvery white of billboard hoardings - flashy, but essentially cheap; Hawaiian Shack - cover charge Rs.400 per head only - pretty cool, but essentially costly!; beer, breezers, screwdrivers, rum 'n coke, a lot of smoke; reunions; hot chinki waitress - what's her act? ;-); pop rock and loud conversations - mostly harmony, some discord; taxi ride in the night; Worli - Gandhi Nagar - Lady Ratan! - duplex apartment - home; eggs and noodles!; sleep...

...chai at home on a lazy Friday morning; afternoon taxi drive - the Flyover, Haji Ali, Pedder Road - in to Town!; Eros; Starters and More-or-less; sidewalk CD- and book- stalls - fountains of knowledge - science, art, wallpapers, cocktails, math, music, cooking, sex; fountains of entertainment - movies, remixes, magazines; the very end, a Fountain; Fabindia kurtas; Colaba; Rhythm House; mocha - coffee, Society, the Fez - a tall cylindrical red Moroccan hat, chinki waitresses!, smoke, biz plans and broadband, cutting chai; Marine Drive opposite Pizzeria; the Arabian sea; dusk; people, crowds; city lights in the distance; gujju teenagers in CRV's; nightlife - decisions decisions; beer, sangria, rum 'n coke, a bit of smoke; it's 10 - no jazz by the bay; samrat - gujjus eating; local train at night; Mahalakshmi; home; friends; old monk; friends; conversations; jokes; old monk; laughter; old monk; old monk; confusion; old monk; saturation; puke? no? decisions!; unease; a breath of fresh air; a walk; some conversation; sleep, blessed sleep...

...chai at home on a lazy Saturday morning; music, sweet music, soul food; hunger!; afternoon taxi drive - just get off at Kyani's :-); people, crowds; lanes, gullies, gaalis; Parsee bombay bawas; the Gujju restaurant at the end of the narrowest stairway in the universe - Bhagat Tarachand version 2; gujjus eating; chaach, tomato sev, paneer, ghi chapatis, 'binaghi' - (g)astronomical relief!; outside Rhythm House - the Enchanter with the Flute!; Crossword, the Sale; a borrowed marketing idea; home again; evening in Bandra - just get off at Boat Club!; from Lemon Grass, second right, first left; mocha - louuuunge; Dali - Persistence of Memory; coffee, chai, big cake; an analysis of Dali; letters to oneself; nice babes, man; huuuge cake - Attack of the Chocolate Brownies and Mousse!; uhh, Dissipation of the Persistence of Memory? - dont remember; on towards Bandstand - Mount Meri-flat-tumhari-se-expensive-hai; night sea (land?) breeze in the 13th floor apartment; the inauguration of a toilet; swank apartments, swanky cars, swanky women; to the Orchid - this auto driver needs direction in life; beer, conversation and karaoke; a farewell; a promise; some songs in the taxi ride home; sleep...

...reville at 5; hurry, hurry, to the Gateway; santoor strums up a soporific sunrise; eyes closed - santoor, crows, pigeons, santoor, the sea, santoor, digestive unease = nausea; take a run-up before puking into the sea; in search of Bisleri; walkers, joggers, meditators, bun maska, stray dogs, the faint strains of the santoor; breakfast at Kenai's!; paper, deep freeze; beans bread and bun maska; the waiter; an escalation to the management; the ruination of a French toast; homeward bound; a lockout - the transfer of keys at a railway station; an education about the Western line - it's Churchgate, Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri; a ride in a crowded train; people, crowds; bawling Hindi classics from a beggar child on a crowded train; santa cruz station kis side pe aata hai bhai saab?; disembarkation - the use of human masses as a means of propulsion; Okkaala mosque :-); lunch at a friends place; catch up conversation; a camera that breaks; the train to Churchgate; people, crowds; NCPA; Pune Highway - a well crafted slick bollywood play; hep crowds, people; a last walk on Marine Drive; horse-drawn buggies; dusk; solitude; people, crowds; city lights in the distance - a last look; a ride in a taxi with a bright blue neon light inside it; the train home; exhaustion; heat; fatigue; conversation; packing; Sukh Sagar - gujjus eating; people, crowds; idly sambar kulfi falooda; home and sleep, blessed sleep...

...up before the sun; a quick wash; sleepy farewells; a taxi ride for two - conversations; Siddhivinayak temple; the airport - a farewell; check-in; a take-off into the rising sun...