Saturday, March 27, 2010

The city of Surprises

There are some places which you can't stop raving about no matter how much ever you read or write about them or visit them. They simply take you by surprise each time you are exploring those familiar lanes. They have something to offer always. But the city that you are living in, or the roads that you travel by each day - they take you by surprise? Hmmm, a bit difficult to believe right?

Actually, it is not so difficult if you live in a city like Mumbai.

They call it a City of Dreams. The city that can take you by surprise each day, each moment you live in it. Be it the ever increasing population that explodes in the train each morning; or the various political party people protesting. The serial bomb blasts in the local train that fails to stop the city; or the arrest warrant against Raj Thakrey resulting into a "Bandh".

Biggest of the things does not stop the pace; while a small thing makes us look for covers; we can do without food for a day, but not without the local train or bus. We respect our servants more than our family members; praying to God means singing Bhajans aloud in the train compartment; and comfort means getting a space to stand in the train without getting your foot stamped even once.

Still we love this city. We cannot live anywhere else if we have lived here once. And we cannot save ourselves from the surprises it throws at us. City with such an exploding population; the kind of jobs available for a normal man to survive; the efficiency they have to execute them is mind boggling to say the least. Like for example see the image below:

You will see two men sitting on the top of the hoarding. They are changing the poster and putting up a new one. Two men - one poster; one huge poster; sun is burning their back; the poster frame is hot too. Still they are working; working for livelihood.

We are blessed with a very comfortable life if you look at them!

I am yet to get over that scene and a new sight is waiting for me. Our very own BEST. It was my second ride after at least six years; the first one being a few days ago. And I had for sure failed to notice a few changes the last time in all the excitement of travelling by a BEST after so many years.

The first thing I spotted was a couple of 14" LCD TVs. And my usual belief and typical attitude made me think that they might not even be working. Then there was a cctv camera. Now a BEST where you spot more fights for the reserved seats than pick-pocketers; you do not expect a camera.

But it was indeed there. And thanks to 20 odd news channels; I had even seen once how the camera caught a man stealing 1 lac cash from one of the fellow passengers! That's Mumbai. Plastic bag will carry so much of cash and the mode of transport will be BEST.

To my greatest surprise; the TV worked too. That too; only one ad that featured John Abrahim was being played again and again!

Time has indeed changed. So has the city. The population keeps on increasing; new faces pour in each day so are the new jobs. But the city still runs ten steps ahead of you. It is difficult to keep up the pace. You are taken aback by the surprise each time you come out of your house.

The city of Dreams has indeed become a city of surprises too!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Crow Rescue Operation

Certain incidences happen in your life on which you can't help but laugh your heart out.

I guess the first sentence indicates that the post is intended to be a funny one; so please laugh after reading it; as I have somehow developed this complex about me that I am pathetic at writing a humorous post! So pathetic that at the end of my post, I only don't laugh. Hope you have got the hint about how to start the comment for this post.

Before moving on; let me warn you all:

This post is about CROW - the bird. So if you are a crow lover, then please stay away; as the content of this post may offend you.

My Saturday started with the melodious music coming from the fire brigade van siren. We all got a bit worried as it we thought there was some fire broken in our lane. But a few seconds letter, we got really scared as the van stopped right below our building.

Few men in their blue uniform came out rushing with bamboo sticks and ladder in their hands. The sight was too worrisome that we were thinking of grabbing home keys and leaving immediately.

I entered my room to get the keys, and spotted the same bamboo stick right opposite to the window going up above. It stopped at a point around twenty five - thirty feet above the ground and started moving and shaking one of the branches of the massive tree.

And there it was - the Target - CROW. Stuck at the wing in one of such branches trying hard to rescue but not managing to. Other crows were around too; not able to see the pain in their fellow brother's wings.

The image below is supposed to show the crow in trouble; but you can't see it very clearly as I clicked it from my cell phone. The bamboo stick is clearly visible though.

(Click on the image for a better and clearer view)

After almost five minutes struggle between the bamboo stick and the branch, the crow finally broke free and landed slowly on the ground. Those uniform men along with our building watchman rushed to him with a pride on their face, and took him I don't know where; but well, it's a crow. So maybe they left him in some safe corner or took him to the doctor. Any which ways, the operation was a success.

So much for the crow? Phew! I Wish we would care so much for humans and environment too. Not that I have anything against the crow, but people part of the rescue operation were so happy at the end of the whole five minute operation; that it made me really laugh at them.

See I warned you already - crow lovers; stay away!

In the meanwhile, crowd had gathered below the tree. Adults left the moment the crow came down on the ground; but a few school children were too excited to see such a scene for the first time in their lives. But their happiness was short lived. The watchman returned soon and started pushing those kids out of the gate. Poor kids! The expressions on their face clearly said:

Kaash, hum bhi kauve hote!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Door Conference

Our lovely relatives!

Again one of those species whom we love or hate, but cannot ignore. They help us to have a so called social life, they give us the tag of "family person", they help our parents to look for a match for us, they help others in gossiping about us and such. You find them interfering when you are in your twenties. You become the interfering one once you are in your thirties.

But, no matter what we think about them or how we react to their "concern" for us, we always welcome them home with a smile on our face. Those lunches and dinners together have always been a fun affair. Well Almost a fun affair I should say.

Since morning, we see our mother running around, arranging for crockery, new table cloth, shining cutlery, etc. Windows wear new curtains too. The menu is decided two days in advance, consisting of one sweet and couple of special dishes, with starters, deserts and welcome drinks in place.

There are certain instructions issued to us about behaving ourselves (even dad gets the same), wearing certain kind of clothes and keep an eye on their plate while they are eating. All said and done, with many rounds of laughter and saying good bye officially; it is a time for the door conference!

I am sure, most of you will be saying now - oh ditto happens with us too.

We all fail to understand - why is it so that people prefer talking at the door than in a room on comfortable sofas?

At least in my family this is a common phenomenon. My mother and aunties keep talking at the door for at least an hour, no matter what time it is! Our dinner plan usually starts late as people arrive after nine, but the door conference goes on even if it is past mid-night!

I once made one of the biggest mistakes of my life by asking my mom the logic behind this. She was too sentimentally attached to the ritual it seems. But well, I was "illogical and stupid" as I had asked such a dumb question.

My assumption - the door conference is usually a gossip session that the ladies never want to admit they do. But they are at their happiest at that time, so let the sleeping dogs lie.

Thank god my mother does not read my blog.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Does he love me?!?

My first day of hostel; that feeling of anxiety and excitement for shifting in new city all alone. Initially I was a bit scared of the ragging part; but I joined hostel well before others. So the luck was on my side so far. I went inside my room. It was a new room with fresh paint and old cupboards; but far better than expected. I kept my bags aside and decided to grab a bite before unpacking.

I turn towards the door and got stunned as somebody was waiting for me with a killer glare to welcome (?) me. He ran to me in full speed and before I realized anything; I passed out.

I didn't check the time before passing out nor I know for how long I was unconscious; but I got up with a start with a worse fear and the worst imagination - so what if that cockroach crawl on me? Ewwwww, with that feeling of total hatred for my imagination and weak heart for falling prey to that disgusting creature, I ran out of my room without looking back.

That day, I was hundred percent sure that my heart had almost come out of my mouth; but God didn't want my life to end so soon; thus I am still alive. But my fear for cockroaches have grown steadily since then.

I had got really lucky as that was one orphan cockroach in the hostel; otherwise there were thankfully no cockroaches there. My luck even continues at home too as it is a cockroach free zone. But even if I spot one on tv, I change the channel.

Once while surfing the channels, one phone call came; and I got busy talking without paying any attention to which channel was playing then. While talking, I just looked at the tv, and I saw cockroach movie playing on Star Movies. I rushed to the loo and threw up whatever I had eaten for lunch.

The worst thing is that the cockroaches always run behind me as if they are madly in love with me! They scared the hell out of me each time I see them. I maybe their love interest; but I hate them to the core because they scare the s#!& out of me!

The irony of my situation is that I am not at all scared of lizards! Rather, they really amuse me. No wonder I am very fond of Kaddu the blogger. I love her writing style; but the reason I am fond of her was that she used to look quite similar to lizzy. Now "Really, Wow, How, Why" etc. questions I feel you should ask her.

But I guess our love for the lizzy has helped us to become good friends. And I just now got to know that she is scared of cockroaches too. Kya hoga humara. But there is a solution to it - Insignia's chappal. She is an expert at murdering those scariest and disgusting most creatures. As she puts it "Wherever I see them - PHAT" - her chappal does the work.

So now we know who can be mine and Kaddu's greatest and bestest company when we go in that cockroach zone.

Friday, March 05, 2010

I love movies

Hindi Movies – I love to watch prefer them to English movies. I have nothing against English movies; but I feel they somehow lack that cliché that is provided by our bollywood movies. Those actors and actresses dancing around the tree; or the trademark yell of “nahiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” for anything and everything; or losing your sibling in Kumbh ka mela and finding them after twenty odd years – their lockets being the common factor to recognize each other; or two best friends falling in love with the same girl and "Kurbani Dega Kaun?" wala situation. And such!

The very first movie that I remember seeing was either Nageena or Nageen – ichchadhari Naag Naagin ki kahani. I had actually believed them to be true and wondered who that snake might be among the people around me. I used to literally get scared of ladies with makeup especially the ones with thick eye liner, kohl and green eyes.

With time, I stopped getting scared of human beings as I realized those shown in the movies were fictional characters and not ichchadhari snakes; but few things got worse. My mother is a very emotional person. Whenever there was a very happy or very sad scene playing, she cried. And I kind of inherited this quality from her.

Be it a C grade sappiest movie, I cry when an emotional scene plays. I get tears in my eyes when somebody dies or there is a break up between two people due to some stupid reason; I feel for those poor people who sleep hungry in the movie in spite of knowing the fact that in real life, they are very well to do. The irony of my situation is that I am totally opposite in real life. I do not cry easily. For beggers, I feel that they have an option of working but it’s just that they are too used to earn money without doing any kind of hard work.

I cannot watch horror movies. I always wonder – why do people have to move around or visit their garden area on a full moon/ new moon at midnight? Why do they murder somebody and bury the dead body behind their bungalows? Can’t they repair their screeching doors or leaking taps? Even in case of a thriller, I prefer avoiding those scenes in which the investigation happens at night!

But somehow, I am allergic to super duper hits and blockbusters! I have rarely liked a super hit movie! I got bored while watching Avatar, and I had a major headache after watching Kal Ho na Ho! I fail to understand what is so great about Hera Pheri and Slumdog Millionaire!

Whatever the case maybe, I love to watch movies. I can watch two movies back to back in theatre every day. I can tolerate even the crappiest movie ever released if I don’t have anything else to do. I love Harry Potter movies so much that I have seen each one at least 40 times and remember almost all the dialogues and scenes verbatim.

And I so wish to be a part of Harry Potter 7!!!!

Image Source:

Monday, March 01, 2010

My Cooking Woes

My hindi movie dialogue fixation continues with this post too. This post will not be on the dialogues again; just one of the typical and clichéd most dialogues I remember:

Ek aurat ki jagah rasoi mein hoti hai. (A woman belongs to the kitchen)

Whenever the hero used to say this; my blood boiled. I am sure most of the girls must be feeling like slapping that guy with all the hatred for saying it. Guys, before you start accusing me of calling you MCPs; let me clarify - I hated this dialogue very much as I hate cooking; and not because I hate you for discriminating on the basis of gender.

Time changed; dialogue became almost extinct; but situation at most of the places is the same. A lady is expected to cook. Well, that's perfectly all right; but I thought people around me were at least sensible enough to care for their lives! Or at least, I want them to be; so that I don't have to face my worst nightmare!

There was time when Mom used to be unwell and ordering food from outside was a complete no no. I had tried to prepare daal-rice the first time. The next time onwards, we started surviving on thepla and pickle. I was so pathetic at cooking then that I could not even make maggi in spite of going as per the instruction. The first time when I tried it, set up the stop watch for two minutes after boiling the water. Do I need to tell you the outcome?

Then I got married. First time in kitchen; I was asked to make kheer. My Mother-in-law (MIL)was standing behind me giving me instructions. All I did was to add a few ingredients and stir. It turned out awesome and I got the credit for something I didn't do. Slowly I learnt how to cook; and now I can make decent and edible food (proof: my family people are still alive and not even once they have suffered from food poisoning); but I still loathe cooking.

Many times my MIL pushes her luck to make me like cooking by showing me various quick recipes, or Sanjeev Kapoor etc. all shows; but no success so far. Nonetheless, she is happy with my regular cooking; and I am quite habituated to prepare regular food. Her dream was that my daughter-in-law will learn various kind of food and cuisines; but well, some things are better preserved as dreams than reality.

When people say that way to a man's heart is through his stomach; I feel like gifting them the dvd of Omkara movie.

Image Source: Google Images