Sunday, April 26, 2009

Family support is such a delusion

Cousin's taken us out for a lovely meal to a small, little vegetarian joint in Lokhandwala or 4 bungalows (thereabouts). We've just polished off palak khichdi (my favorite, favorite type of khichdi), daal, aaloo gobi, pudina parathas, and a bowl of very nicely prepared raita. In fact, the raita was pretty simple, yet it looked and tasted so lovely! Just some chunks of cucumber mixed with beaten curd and topped with a thick slice of a juicy, red tomato. The bowl looked and tasted so wholesome and pure - like it had packed in all sorts of cool, soothing goodness that comes in handy during summers.

The treat is in honor of some producer finally paying my cousin his dues. So, he and my mum are generally talking about how miracles happen and stuff like that. I'm thinking about my work and feeling a little blue. A lot blue, in fact. I'm feeling like the 20,000 league mid-layer of a deep ocean.

"What happened to you?", asks my cousin.

"You want jelly and ice-cream?", asks my mother. (Why my mother thinks I, at the age of 30, should be sulking for jelly and ice-cream, I don't know. Maybe she's mistaken me for my brother.)

"I just happen to have a lot on my mind," I snap.

"So this producer...he couldn't afford the muhurat there, so this hero arranged for it in Yashraj Studios...." My cousin chatters on.

"Yashraj Studios? Near that dirty lane, no? That lane near that ...", my mum.

"Yeah, yeah...that one."

So no one is listening to me. I drop a fork accidentally.

"What IS wrong with you?!", my cousin looks alarmed. Gasp! Dropping a fork is such a strong indicator of dysfunction. How perceptive of him to get that!

"Well, nothing...its just that...my job, you know...", I start hesitatingly.

"You still have it, right?," my cousin asks.

"Yes", I reply.

"Then WHAT!?", my mum's getting impatient now, what with all this time being spent on my seemingly non-existent problems when she could be finding out such trivia from inside the Yash Raj studios.

"Well, sometimes I wonder if I'm good enough. (a longish pause.) I wonder why I think that."

"Maybe because you're not." My cousin's really the one with all the helpful advice.

"Exactly!", says my mother.

Now, see, THIS is why people go and live in caves.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

So cute!

A colleague forwarded this joke today. The best part was that this joke was titled 'Jungle Book'. Imagine a cuddly, fuzzy little rabbit running about like this!

***************

A little rabbit happily running through the forest stumbles upon a giraffe rolling a marijuana cigarette. The rabbit looks at her and says, "Giraffe my friend, why do you do this? Think about your health. Come with merunning through the forest, you'll see, you'll feel so much better!"

The giraffe looks at him, looks at the joint, tosses it and goes off running with the rabbit.

Then they come across an elephant doing opium, so the rabbit again says,"Elephant my friend, why do you do this? Think about your health. Comerunning with us through the pretty forest, you'll see, you'll feel so good!" The elephant looks at them, looks at his razor, mirror and all, and then tosses them and starts running with the rabbit and giraffe.

The three animals then come across a lion about to take a heroin shot...The rabbit says "Lion my friend, why do you do this? Think about your health! Come running with us through the sunny forest, you will feel so good!"

The lion looks at him, puts down his needle, and starts to beat the hell out of the little rabbit. As the giraffe and elephant watch in horror, they look at him and ask,"Lion, why did you do this? He was merely trying to help us all!"

The lion answers... That little devil makes me run around the forest like an idiot for hours every time he's high on cocaine!"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thinking about stuff on Friday evening

There was an office party at Vie lounge in Juhu. At first, I was not keen on going – but later, the thought of spending an evening by the sea was too tempting to turn down.

It was a very nice evening. The lounge wasn’t too crowded and the tide was high. The al fresco dining area in Vie is so pretty. It overlooks the cleaner part of Juhu beach and is not choked with tables. There are a few tasteful seating arrangements, a small bar in the corner, some candles on dark, wooden table-tops, and that’s it.

It was very humid. So much so, that even the stars looked moist. I absolutely love this about this time of the year. Humidity, I think, is very nourishing. I like the way it envelopes you, getting your pores to open up, making you sweat. I like the way it slowly, but surely, goads the body to respond. I like the moistness that shines on the skin – making one look like one has washed the face in moonlight.

Humidity is like a sticky kind of love. It’s love that makes you glow, it’s love that doesn’t leave, and it’s love that – even you if scrub it off you – returns ever so quickly. Maybe it’s not easy to deal with, but it beats dry, distant parchness any day.

We had the members’ area to ourselves, where we spent some time chatting. But mostly, we watched Nigella Lawson’s show on Travel and Living. She’s so gorgeous! And she can cook! I suppose that would make her the most coveted woman in the world.

A friend remarked, though, that just because she’s rich and famous, she’s ‘voluptuous’. If she were just one of us, she’d be “…like…FAT.” It’s an amusing observation, but not entirely true, I think. First of all, she’s got that face…it could easily launch a thousand dips!

When Nigella was done and a yellowish man came on (peeling basils like they were envelopes laced with arsenic), we stepped out again.

The glass wall that divides the lounge from the beach represents an interesting paradox. It separates without really insulating. Let’s say you used your clout to get a seat with a sea-view – apart from the commoners in the other area. You are sitting at your pricey table, gazing at white, frothy licks of a dark ocean. But some guy, suddenly, comes into your line of vision, drops his pants, and begins peeing into the wind. Now, there’s nothing you can do about it. So you’ll use your clout, now, to go inside with the plebeians. But that place is full already. You’ll just shift your seat and sit with your back to the sea. The glass on the opposite side, however, will mirror the beach, so you can’t really escape it. It’s quite funny.

The glass wall is oddly reassuring too. Here we were, a group of people who could afford to be in this place – nursing our sweaty glasses under an open sky, making conversation, listening to polite laughter on other tables, having a good time. A group taking a well-deserved break on a Friday.

On the other side of the wall, another group was probably doing the same. Except that they were slurping coconut water and wearing assortments of parrot-green and pink kurtas with jeans or red corduroys. They were tracing some designs in the sand distractedly, wiping their brows and looking up at the sky.

In a weird way, I felt comforted. If ever I find myself on the other side of the wall, I’ll still be okay…and happy. As people with sticky kinds of love usually are.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A good, good lunch

Today I was in a meeting that ate up into my routine lunch time. I was so hungry, i could feel my insides gnawing on each other. Started feeling giddy and all. As soon as I stepped out, I opened my lunch and tucked into my risotto. Yummy, that was!

Aah! Rice! The goodness of the world CAN be found in a grain...a grain of rice. Many grains of rice. Nice, happy mounds of rice. Sweet, little heaps of rice.

Goodness is rice. Godness is rice. Rice is nice.

And after that I ate some pedhas. A colleague was promoted and he'd got them.

Sigh! In the most centered little crevice of any molecular structure is satiety. (Mine, at least.) That's the feeling I live for.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You're my angel, my darling angel...


A colleague sent me a forward with an 'angel's message'. That's what the angel looked like.
I happen to really like the people I work with.



Great weather today!

I woke up to, what will be, a never-ending day at work. But the weather is just so pretty! It's like a great, sloshy cloud has come down and given this city a great big hug.

It hasn't rained yet, but it's so wonderfully cloudy and humid that I'm hoping it will soon.

Oh gosh, I hope it does. I wish it does. I am sure it will.

Now, I'll go down for a chilled glass of mango milkshake.

Coming to work is such fun!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A really cool gift!

I got the most adorable gift from a friend. It’s one of those tie-up diaries made of handmade paper, and the cover has little prints of elephant posteriors in green. It is so cute! I have been contemplating scrapbooking for a while, and this is the perfect book to start with. It’s not the regular scrapbooking size book, but I can already see myself filling its pages with small, interesting cut-outs, etc.

I’m really looking forward to getting started on this! I wish a long weekend were here already!

Yay!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Roses from the town of Versovius

This weekend ended in very high drama. I now realize that if I don’t control my anger, I will actually be risking the safety of my family. I don’t know why that’s started all over again. This white-hot rage, where I can’t see anything, my head starts pounding and I yell stuff all loud, pained, and garbled as if my mouth is full of blood. Anyway, it’s only temper. I’m sure I’ll control it in a matter of time. Last night was just a small incident.

For now, I must think of more soothing things. Like the lovely weekend I had. It started with me driving to Anumita’s place at around seven in the evening. The sun was just about to set. Vashi bridge looked like this long slope at the end of which a huge, ball of lava - the color of marigold - was placed. The sun looked liquid, yet solid enough to have a shape – like this big globule that was going to tip over and splash into the sea any minute now. I was just thinking of what would happen then. A great big orange splash would usurp this mighty bridge for a second and we’d all be drenched and soaked in a large wave of tangerine-hued, salted water. Anumita’s party was beautiful, as usual. I stayed over and got woken up by her little adorable niece, who took a shine to my nail that was painted black. “Nice”, she told me. Well, it is the trend of the season.

Next morning, I drove off to meet another friend. She took me to this shop in Versova, called ‘Choosies’. In keeping with everything around that area, it’s slightly bizarre and totally unpredictable. For 250 bucks, you get some rather snazzy sundresses, skirts, slightly over-the-top shirts, etc. But their collection of shorts is ex-ce-llent! They had this pair of white, linen shorts with strawberry detailing on its pockets. It was very St. Tropez-chic. Then, I liked another corduroy pair with white and mint-colored stripes. All for 250 bucks! That’s more than a steal! It’s like…happy dacoity! If you looked at them, you’d think they were for 800 bucks at least.

We went back to her place for a good lunch and all of a sudden, I wanted to be in Versova again. At that happy Barista, which my friend didn’t want to be seen in. I don’t know why. That place is always so cheery. We went there first, but the AC wasn’t strong enough. So she and I went off to Ivy. It’s a wine and coffee place opposite the Versova beach. It’s quite cute, really. Frankly, I associate wine with a more formal, stylish ambience, but on this hot, humid, breezy Sunday afternoon, it seemed perfect. There were very few people in there, and the table next to us had a couple of models (one of who I recognized) sipping some sparkling wine. It looked so refreshing I wanted to dive into it. They’d ordered French-fries and were playing scrabble. I kept staring at them and wondering, “Now why didn’t I think of that?” That seemed like the most obvious thing to do.

I really wanted to have wine. But just the combination of a full stomach, excellent sun, and slightly salty breeze was making me heady. A nice glass of wine would’ve been perfect. Of course, since I don’t yet know how to drive in my sleep, I decided to give it a miss. (I suppose it’s a good thing I don’t drink anymore. But there are moments – segments of shining, sweet moments – when wine begs to be savoured. That evening was it.)

We did have really nice cups of coffee, though, and quite a sturdy slab of apple pie. My friend told me about her recent holiday to Bangalore. She loved it. I really, really want to visit Bangalore! It seems to me that everyone’s been there but me. I have a cousin there who seems to be touring the world throughout the year. So once I get a fix on when she’s going to be in town, I shall promptly go over to visit the city! It sounds like a happy, fun place to live in. “Young, fresh, peppy”, she said.

Later, we went for a walk on the beach. And…man! When did Versova beach get so clean?! It’s like…white, soft sand, and dazzling grey-blue water! I was blown! Of course, there was a gentleman there who provided the necessary reality check. It was barely 6:00 p.m. and he was drinking on the rocks. But he didn’t leer or anything. Looked at us lazily and then attended to more interesting matters in his bottle. I can just imagine the kind of a glorious high he must have been feeling at the time.

Walking with my friend on the beach, I noticed kids take pony rides, boys play cricket, plump ladies fiddle with their toe-rings…it made Versova look so innocent. Not like the loud, brash, filmy place it usually comes across as. But child-like, dream-like, quiet. A shy bud. Almost virginal.

Sometimes, I think that you catch places off-guard…just like people. When they are free of make-up, or when have just reached home and untucked their shirts or loosened their ties. That evening, I saw that insouciance in Versova. It was the time of the day when it was too late for the shades to come out, too early for the blings to get on. It was a simple place with simple pleasures and plenty of smiles.

While driving back, I bought a bunch of roses at a traffic. They were almost white with little patches of pink suffused around the rims of petals. They reminded me of the place I had spent such a good evening at.

It’s a strange thing – this evening light. It takes a pure thing and taints it with beauty. Something like fond memories.

Friday, April 10, 2009

On Elizabeth Gilbert

Some people you like instantly. You like them before you know much about them or before you have met them or, in this case, even before you have read what they’ve written. It is therefore strange that I like Elizabeth Gilbert.

She’s the author of the novel ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’ It’s a memoir of her one year sabbatical after a difficult divorce. During her sabbatical, she went to three places to find answers. She travelled to Italy (in pursuit of pleasure), to India (in pursuit of peace), and Indonesia (in pursuit of balance.)

I read about the book some place, then for some reason, I got really curious about the author. When I read about her, I realized why. I am subliminally drawn to everything associated with New York University. All good things and all good people and all good ideas and all good good comes from New York University. Elizabeth Gilbert studied there but didn’t do her MFA program. Instead, she travelled and ‘created her own program’.

I read up some of her interviews and watched a couple of her talks on youtube. (In fact, you know how whatever you think about a lot comes your way? Zigzackly (http://zigzackly.blogspot.com/) forwarded a link of one of her talks. It’s on ted.com. I don’t have the link now, but I’m sure it’ll come up if you go there and search for it.)

She is so sorted. Her best selling book may have been born out of anguish, but she exudes so much…honesty and humility. It’s been a long, long time since I liked someone so much so suddenly. Someone I probably will never meet, our paths may never cross, but someone I wholeheartedly wish the very best for. The last time I instantly felt that way was when I saw a crazy haired girl in a movie. She wasn’t all that perfect to look at, but man – that smile and those really gentle eyes... with so much kindness that her face was like morning light on a hill-top. The last time I got this besotted was when I first saw Julia Roberts in Mystic Pizza.

And now, it turns out that ‘Eat, pray, love’ will be made into a movie. And a certain Ms. Roberts is said to star in it.

Takes one to play one, I suppose.

**************************************************************

More about Elizabeth Gilbert: http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/

Whaddaya know!

There's a site called blogged.com that rates blogs amongst other things. (I think the site does other things too. Haven't really checked it.) I got an email from them today informing me that they rated my blog at 6.4 points. This score, according to their scoring category, is 'Good'.

Feels nice. I didn't think people I do not know were actually reading my blog, much less rating it.

I shall treat myself to a nice cup of coffee at Bagel Shop tonight.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Good things that happened

Nephew: I met one of my many nephews for the first time. He lives in Dubai and will soon be shifting to Canada. He’s one year and three months and is so cute I want to carry him in my purse all the time. He’s a very analytical child, keenly and quietly observing everything around him. But he took a certain hostile stance towards me initially. Took off his wee Nike sneaker and started hitting me. Later, he used the sneaker to pound a piece of banana and then hit me with it. At night when he’d fallen asleep, I took the chance to look at his pink fingers and toes and stroke his smooth cheek. He woke up, blinked, pointed at me and smiled the most precious smile! Then he spoke to me for the very first time. He called me, “baby.”

The Wheel Work-out: On the days that I skip a work-out, I think I should drive from Vashi to the airport, and then from the airport to my office, and finally try and get a parking space in the premises. I did all that today. The signage in Mumbai is so weird! All the signs only state ‘Airport’. They won’t mention ‘Domestic’ or ‘International’. And both are called ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Airports’! Why? It’s like they want people to get lost here, miss flights, and remain stranded. Why should a simple matter like getting to the airport be like this Da Vinci Code game where you collect clues from here and there and reach your destination? Maybe that’s why the city is so crowded. Everybody’s just going round in circles to find the right airport to fly out from! In any case, I reached, dropped my cousin off, and then went to find a parking spot, which takes you on another little trip around the world. Then I had to walk all the way back to the goddamn departure terminal. The only good thing is that people are really helpful around the airport. It’s like they sympathize with you for having gone through whatever you did to reach there. (In fact the guy who collected the parking charge was so polite that my eyes brimmed over!) In any case, my arms and calves feel toned now.

Not exactly a walk in the ‘park’: I have a sneaky feeling that just because I hadn’t given Diwali baksheesh to this security guard, he won’t let me park in some spots anymore. Earlier he was valet-parking my car. Now, he officiously trundles over and says stuff like ‘Parking Full’ and ‘You can’t park here.’ And shrugs. Damn! So I find a slender piece of parking between two cars, but I can’t manage to park between them. Some guy then tries to guide me. I ask him if he could please park my car. He nods. Car is parked. The world is a good place!

A good, greasy lunch: My other cousin, W, who had come with me to drop off my cousin is in the, ahem, film business, so to speak. So he suggested that we take the day off, go and sit in Versova for a bit, catch a film, and generally hang out. It sounded superb! I tried to frantically call office and ask my team if I could take the day off. But as luck would have it, I couldn’t get in touch with them. So, very grudgingly, I thought it best that we worked that day. I dropped him off and reached office. An hour later he called to ask if I’d be free for lunch… and I was…free, willing, and totally gung-ho! So we met at Spirit – a really small hole-in-the-wall place near my office. The joint has cheap liquor and pretty economical food. But it’s tasty – to a palate that wants heavy, greasy, spicy, very Bombayi-zed version of Mughlai, Chinese, Punjabi, etc. After ages, I had fat, soft, oily parathas and hot tandoori rotis with thick, yellow dal, sour raita, and chicken with red, spicy gravy. (I didn’t physically consume the chicken, but I devoured it with my eyes. That counts, I think.) Man! That meal felt SOOO good! It’s great fun having cousins who make the time to lunch with you. (Even if they do tirelessly remind you of the fact.)

Tarot Cards: As a birthday present, my mum got me some very pretty-looking tarot cards. And now she’s keen I do a reading for her. I wonder why. She doesn’t trust my judgment in this material dimension, so I wonder how I can be of more use in any other dimension. Now, the reason I wanted a tarot deck with intricate cards is because I love the way some of these figures are sketched. I want to create stained glass panels of these figures someday and have them in my home. To which my mum says that maybe I should ask the Universe when I can own a house big enough to have all these glass panels. And of course, the Universe being what it is, says stuff like ‘No Comments’. But this should be fun! I love ribbing my mom about such stuff. In college, I tried to learn palmistry. And I was freakingly good at it! One day my mum asked me something…about wealth or a house or a relative or something. When I said that she wouldn’t get her way, she actually thwacked me on the head and told me to “read more carefully.” But it is an interesting path to get what you want – simply bully fate. My mum’s birthday is sometime this month too. Maybe I’ll give her a ‘free reading’. Hee hee!

Well, the future DOES look good…even though many more thwacks do seem to be in offing.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

My skin, my call

See, here’s my take on skin…it’s a beautiful canvas that came with the body. It came so that nature and its elements could paint its story on you. Skin has a memory. It remembers being enveloped with the spray from a waterfall, the mist on a mountain, the dampness in a jungle, the arid heat of a desert, a clammy touch, a warm hug. It breathes, sweats, lives, dies, changes, and remembers. As far as possible, it must be allowed to do all this in its most natural and free form. If it must be tampered with, it must be done only with a tattoo. Because tattoo is an art form and it takes skill and precision to get it right.

So, sun creases, dehydrates, and wrinkles. And all that makes the skin look pretty…with a soul and character. Flawless skin is lovely, but it is not my idea of beauty. To me, unlined and smooth skins belong to babies. For people who work, live, sweat, and bleed, the skin must record that trajectory.

This is my theory. It is my opinion. I don’t think I’m abnormal for thinking that way. I don’t use creams and lotions and sun-blocks because I genuinely believe that it doesn’t enhance one’s looks or protect the skin. And it definitely does not help one look younger. To look younger, one must learn something new every day, one must play an instrument, sketch a mountain, write a poem, travel, compliment, eat well, be grateful, laugh a lot, sleep well and run in the rain. Skin is, ultimately, a reflection of a soul, and if one wants it to look a particular way, that must be nourished. Massaging glop on the surface area while thinking withering thoughts and smoking does what good to anyone, I will never know.

My arms and feet are scaly and I love that. It reminds me of my first trek in Karjat and my latest trek in Triund. I don’t insist that people think the way I do. I only wish to be left alone. I don’t want to be pointed at and told, “See this! This will go away! It’ll be smooth.” Or, “You are lucky you have good skin, but if you use this, you’ll look better. This is age-defying.”

Why? Why defy age? It is so absurd! To me, holding back age is like holding in urine. It must be let out to be healthy.

Fine, I get that many people don’t share these ideas. As much as I don’t like disagreement, I can make my peace with it. But just as I don’t force people to go out for an afternoon walk with me after lunch (in the sun), I expect the courtesy of not having Elizabeth Arden nourishing therapy or some such pretty but meaningless jar shoved in my hands. And be told, “This will improve you.”

If people don’t want to age, they must just arrange to die young. I’d be happy to help. :-)

Monday, April 06, 2009

I absolutely love this piece!

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

A very nice coupla days

It was a good, satisfying birthday. Went to Hard Rock with Anumita and some friends, and on the way discovered how beautiful the flyovers in Parel look at night. Also, I think I just might remember the way to that place next time round. We also almost got clicked for some website, India-nightlife.com or something. But we decided to guard our celebrity status and said stuff like, “No, not this time.”,Umm, we’re not very sure,” etc. etc.

I really like Hard Rock. The people there are so friendly and say the sweetest things, even when they make out you’re lying. I didn’t have reservations and I was meeting my friends there directly. I was the first to reach. It was reasonably early, around 8, but all the tables were taken. And it didn’t look like any of them were going to be vacated any time soon, considering they were heaving under platters of nachos, onion rings, and garanguatan pitchers of beer. I had just driven through horrible traffic and really, really wanted to sit. So, I went and committed the shameful act of lying through my teeth. One of the maitre d’ type person looked friendly and gullible enough. I told him that I couldn’t stand for very long because I had a ‘medical condition’. I also nodded sadly for good measure. He was all polite and brisk and told me ‘not to worry’ and ‘just a minute’ and ‘I’ll get back in a jiffy’. I waited, expecting him to go and clear a table for us to go and wait. What he did instead, was to get a chair and place it near the bar. Sheesh! I gingerly stepped on to the chair and he looked very concerned and asked me, “If you don’t mind, ma’am, what sort of medical condition is it?”

Now I couldn’t think of anything to say, so I sheepishly replied, “Oh, I’m lazy.” This was embarrassing! But thankfully, he laughed and said, “I suppose with that smile, you could get away with anything.” So sweet!

Aside from charming banter, though, HRC one of the few places in Bombay that has space and air that is not foggy with smoke (vehicular or otherwise). Also, it doesn’t hurt to see men dance and children smear their faces with ketchup. And of course, I like the food there. Most of the stuff I consume in pubs is some variation of fried potatoes, and these guys do it well.

After that, all of us went to the Versova Barista where I cut a cake and it was so much fun! A part of me is always thrilled to go to Versova. It was nearly 2 a.m., I think, but I was still very gung-ho about doing some celeb spotting. Anumita, very regally, pointed out a few people here and there, and then gave me some background about each of them. Sea, music, coffee, cake, friends, and celebrity gossip. It was a lovely, lovely night!

The next day, I met my parents, cousins, and some other friends at Mainland China in Powai. It’s a reasonably good place, but I think Mainland China is losing its touch. {My favourite Chinese place in Bombay still remains Ling’s Pavilion (sigh! those crab cakes!). Silk Route is a very close second. Both these are, of course, in Colaba. In the ‘burbs, it would have to be Golden Orchid in Bandra.} After lunch, I got my cousin to drive us to Bandra (he’s living there, in the cutest little shaded lane near Hill Road. He’d got me a very cubby-looking pouch of home-made cookies. I think that’s a really nice gift!)

After dropping him off, my friend and I went to Bandstand and sat on the rocks. The sun was just setting and the water positively dazzled in the golden light. There was a strong breeze - a much blessed respite from the heat and humidity. People walked about happily, and if one paid very close attention, one could hear music.

I think it came from the sea.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

While driving to work today, I saw a cab with a sticker that read, “Sabka maalik ek.” Scribbled next to it was, “Main.”

Interesting thing – I come across a fabulous line for my obituary on the day I was born.

Enjoy everyone!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Helloooo April!

I had the best morning! Woke up at 5:30, had a banana, and after what seems like an eternity, went running. Sometimes I wonder why I stopped getting out of the house at sunrise. I love going out to run. Although I have a long way to go to build up stamina, it’s great to move through the fresh coolness of the morning. As I walked to the promenade, I saw a couple of trees – laburnums and something else with little red flowers that looked like pouted lips. Near the promenade, there was a huge bush bursting with hundreds of white, crisp paper-flowers. It all looked so lovely! And in the mornings, one just feels that the world has spruced itself up only for you.

The skies were getting clearer slowly, and the pond near the promenade was swirling with all these secret shades purple, blue and gold. From one part of the promenade, the water looked like shifting sheaths of rich silk.

The herons were there too. Elegant, soft and pristine white. And when they flew about, their wings flapped with liquid grace.

Then I saw something so beautiful that it could very well have been a conscious-altering reality. A flock of black birds swooped down into the pond and then glided across the water. They looked like winged figure-skaters skating on a glassy surface of pink ice. It was so surreal. In fact, at the time, it seemed as if every thing else was stupefied, except for the little bizarre drama that was playing out in the water.

I came home and had a really cold shower, which is possibly the best corporeal sensation I think of. And then I had a really nice, big breakfast of rice and daal followed by hot tea.

I am full of such a brilliant sense of well-being, it’s amazing! I think I’ve had my share of long nights spent talking, reading, chatting, partying, driving…or whatever else I used to do to while away nocturnal lethargy. I mean, I do enjoy the nights. But I think I’ve done that substantially and wholeheartedly enough. But staying up late usually means missing the sunrise. It means slumbering under a blanket when outside, a million little miracles unfold at every corner. They are too precious to ignore.

It’s my birthday month, and if I can give myself a present for a lifetime, it’s this – the gift of greeting the sun in the open, every single day.

You are born on one day, you awaken on another.