I am finally back in Mumbai. It feels yippee-dippee-doo great with three exclamation marks. (Like this – yippee dippee doo great !!!) I left Pune with a really smart top my office guys gave me. At first glance, it looks too trendy for someone as staid as me…but I loved it all the same. It’s a sheer, black ruffled top that scrunches a little bit at the waist. And the panache dimension of the garment is in the back – it has a pink rubber print of a pop-star. Really cool! (Of course J’s taste. She’s the only one who would select my farewell gift from ‘Potion 9’. Thanks J. Thanks a heap!)
In a few hours of reaching Mumbai, I left for Anumita’s party. Her house is really one of the cutest homes I have stayed at. The last time I was there, I clicked a whole lot of photos of her verandah and the rust-brown-ochre mountains it overlooks and the vibrant striped tray with the little cup and the diaphanous white and gold drapes and the illuminated bar that looks vintage and contemporary at the same time. I love her place. In fact, I introduced her home via the photos to practically all my pals in Pune. They asked me why Anumita or her husband weren’t in any of the snaps. A couple of them even speculated that I had probably broken in when they weren’t home.
Anyway, it was a really great evening. As with the previous parties at her place, I sat and hogged the bowl of the best non-vegetarian starters, while passing around other plates of vegetarian food. It has worked well in the past because all her friends are too polite to say anything. This time though, SS was there with me. And not so subtly she would nudge me to pass the potato and egg salad. I think that’s because she didn’t want to share the wontons herself.
Anyway, after a little bit of karaoke session where SS again stole my thunder (she KNOWS the lyrics of that ‘Ya Ali’ number – show off), we went to sleep.
But was party time over? Not at all because…
The next day I went to Anumita’s niece’s birthday party. And she is such a little scoop of vanilla….with two little teeth. Cho chweet! It was a whole lot of fun – all those cute balloons and excellent, excellent starters. I followed the tray of batter-fried vegetables so keenly that the bearer who was taking it around quickly swapped it for a platter of manchurian. Well, I didn’t mean to stalk him but food is such a weakness. And batter-fried stuff? I can offer absolutely no resistance.
And then there were the interesting young men I met – one who pulled people’s noses in greeting and another who somberly held court on a vast range of topics. A couple of other boys were the bullies you find at all parties. They kept bursting balloons just as I was about to put a starter in my mouth. Sheesh, God – a daughter…please!
And is it my imagination or are mothers looking scorching nowadays?
Finally, after two days of staying at Anumita’s place (I really am the guest that doesn’t leave. Shudder shudder!), I came back home. My house is getting painted so Ma was cranky. After I got the initial welcome whoop and bear hug, she asked me what I was doing there. On being reminded that I was her daughter and I will soon be married and therefore had come to spend my last few days in parental love, she shrugged and went back to do her hisaab. She has this habit of writing down expenses at the end of the day. This, she tells me, gives her perspective on the spending. Of course, she expects me to do the same. But as I tell her, my spending doesn’t need perspective, it needs more money. And then, in my case, the pattern is pretty much like this: ‘Saturday: 350 bucks – food’, ‘Monday: 280 bucks – food’, etc. etc. What’s there to write down? But I guess, I’ll try it sometime.
Other welcoming notes in Mumbai go thus:
This morning, I went for a jog and actually saw a crow shitting on a black Sumo. Strangely, so far, I have seen the shit after it has landed somewhere, but this time, I saw the whole thing in continuum. It’s so funny – watching this thread of something white and piddly come out of something that’s black and solid. I wonder if other birds poop like the crow. I know pigeons and sparrows don’t and eagles probably use toilet paper while peacocks and ducks seem constipated all the time. So, that leaves the crow and the raven and well, what about the vulture? Having no job makes one think. And I’m not too sure if it’s a good thing.
Then I misplaced 6,500 rupees somewhere. It really hurts because I have no job now and I so wanted to just enjoy Bombay for the next 4 months. I was counting on watching all the plays at Prithvi and working on my script or book or novel or play or cartoon character at Mocha, Juhu. But for now, much planning has to be done. Limited resources is quite a bummer.
Finally, there are all these fittings for the engagement outfit and the wedding dress, etc., etc. The jogging has narrowed my waist and the push-ups have broadened my shoulders so none of the clothes really fit according to the earlier measurements. This leads to an exasperated tailor who secretly wonders why anyone would want to marry someone so disproportionate.
Love is blind is my telepathic response. But in case it gets its sights back, well-fitted clothes wouldn’t hurt.