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.


The Idle Devil said...

Honestly, i really, really wish I could open this morning's paper to one of your posts. Only, I must wait until the load shedding ends to start up the internet and land here! Your account of Versovius is just like a fairytale with a happy ending. You make me want to be there!

omnithere said...

versova and white sandy, clean beach. if i didn't like the place so much myself, i'd laugh out loud .. like ha ha ha ha .. :)

Mukta said...


the place has cleaned up. a L-O-T!

Sushma said...

You should visit Bangalore! I live here and it's my favourite-est place on earth :)

Mumbai Diva said...

Ok. I need to visit this barista that you're so fond of. It's obviously close to office so maybe one of these days i'll make a trip there.

never been to versova beach. went to juhu once. Nah. didn't take to it. maybe coz it was a sunday and it was overflowing with people.

Aries said...

If the demons ever decide to promote hell as a tourist destination, they should come to you for a write up. I think I saw Versova beach once but I don't remember anything about it that warranted a second look.

You bet when I see it next, I'll stare.

Mukta said...

well, mumbai - i sorta like crowded maybe, you won't like it there. Although, I think everyone likes that place.

And Aries,

Maybe when you went there, it was dirty and all, but it has been cleaned up since. Hopefully it won't be so hard for you to like the place the next time round. And hope the birthday bash went well?

Aries said...

Mukta - The entire day went off well. Ended with dinner at this lovely little joint called "Not Just Paranthas" in GK II. They serve the most awesome kababs you'd ever taste - I could yell from the roof-tops about the non-veg version. They did also serve some vegetarian kababs and while those were lost on me, my vegetarian friends say they was yummy too!

Mukta said...

that does sound nice! :-)