Random Musings

Monday, March 28, 2011

Where has the famous spirit of Mumbaikars disappeared?

I am not from Mumbai and have never witnessed the strength and resilience of the people either during the rains or the terror attacks. However, am sure every Indian has heard about the Mumbaikars 'never say die' and always helpful attitude. I myself have witnessed incidents in the Mumbai local where people have gone out of their way to be helpful. But of late, this attitude seems to have taken a turn for the worse.

A heavily pregnant woman entered the train this morning at Bandra. As always the train was jam packed. She fought her way towards the seats. But not a single person offered her a place to sit. People pushed past her as they moved in and out but still ignored the fact that she was heavily pregnant and in a lot of discomfort. Two college students were playing on their blackberries, comfortably seated at their window seats showing no empathy for this poor woman.

The last one year , I have had to use the local  train extensively and this trend of absolute disinterest towards are fellow passengers is really worrying. I hope we soon change for the better and go back to being the helpful, accommodating people of Mumbai...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Then and Now

Growing up in the sleepy town of Bangalore (it was small, sweet and sleepy till the IT crowd decided to descend on the poor city) I was a crazed SRK fan. The craziness was not limited to just me but also extended to my friends from school/mother/ grandmother/ all females around me. My father/ brother/ cousin/ other male members could never understand what we found in this hyperactive film star. But we girls were crazy fans.
When I was in school I had his posters all around my room. My cousin once gifted me a life size poster of SRK and I carried it back from Bhopal to Banaglore by train in an AC 2 tier compartment with an entire berth just dedicated to the poster :)
I think I must have watched every movie of his. When I was younger, most of them were with my mother who took me for his movies the week they released. She even bought tickets in black in some really seedy theater near Majestic for us to watch Yes Boss. She bought me the music cassette of all his movies which I played non stop for years. I have enjoyed all of his older movies: DDLJ, DTPH, Yes Boss, Duplicate, Baadsha ( We went all the way to the erstwhile Lido to watch this), Kal Ho Na Ho, Pardes, Main Hoon Na (this is my best memory of an SRK movie with a very close friend. Have never had so much fun watching an SRK movie again) etc etc. The obsession with SRK was so great that the day I finished writing my CAT, I rushed to the theater with a very good friend of mine to watch Don. The tickets were sold out, but we conned someone into giving us tickets (the first row) and had an awesome time watching SRK play Don.
Anyway, I moved to Mumabi a few years back, and moved into a PG. As luck would be, I met a person who was crazier than I was about SRK. Along with her and another friend I actually went to SRK's house in Bandra and asked his security guard when we could spot him. Thankfully this was the lowest I have ever fallen.
With time, SRK made some not so good movies and I slowly lost interest. Guess he now tries too hard now and has lost a little bit of the charm that he had before. Or maybe, I have grown out of the phase of liking movie stars. 
For most of you readers who are wondering why I am going on and on about SRK, my friend Smita who was also a fan of SRK asked me what I think of him now and this got me thinking. How did this star fall from being my absolute favourite to just another star in just a few years? Not very appealing movies/ scripts or is it just me growing up??

Butterflies in everyone's stomach :)

Thursday, the day we have been waiting from since last Sunday and the day we have to face Australia is finally here. I would like to think that I am still not affected by the cricket bug and I really don't care about today's result. But I know that is not true. Just like every other India, I am terribly worried about our show down with Australia today. Australia might not be at their best, but no one can predict the Indian's. We might just play one of the best matches of our lives, or millions might go to sleep today, terribly disappointed.

Many people haven't turned up at work today wanting to watch every bit of the match, and I hope taking the day off pays off for them. Am sure after this match, we will again be in this state of tension, if we have to play Pakistan. But atleast for today, Go India Go. Win this match and show the Aussies!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nano, when will you be mine??

I have finally learnt to drive! Or so I would like to convince myself!  (I still can’t reverse or park but I hope to get there in the next six months)
The learning process began in August last year when I joined a driving school. I wonder if most people know that there is actually a queue to join a driving school! I had to wait for two months to just get a time slot which fit my schedule. Anyway I spent a month with the driving 'Master’. (The trainer expected to be referred to this way) It was the most useless month. The master controlled the car from his end and kept telling me how beautifully I was driving. However, there were some times when he was preoccupied with phone calls and I was left to control the car. This total of half an hour must have been my only training in that one month.  Anyway after a wasted month, Harsh started teaching me to drive. The initial few months were real hard but after six months of diligent effort (although only over the weekends), I have finally learnt to drive!
Now am all set to have a car of my own and my current desire (A desire which started the first time I saw the tiny blue car zipping on the road  ) is to own a Nano
The desire just increases each time I look at the yellow/ red Nano maneuvering the tiny roads of Vile Parle with such absolute ease.  A friend of mine has actually spent time noticing all Nano drivers and come to the conclusion that they all look extremely happy and always have a big bright smile on their faces!!
The moment Tata announced the launch of this small car; I wanted to own it just because it was a Tata product and so cool with the low cost price tag. Now every time I see the tiny Nano whizzing past me (it once over took our Ikon), my heart stops.  I hope I own one very soon…

Monday, March 7, 2011

Does retail therapy really work?

I quite like having loads of beautiful clothes to wear. I am sure every does. But I am not much of a shopper. I hate the process of wading through racks of clothes, choosing something I like and then trying it on for size. The wait outside the trial room, the innumerable sizes and fits that have to be tried on before I actually find something that fits and makes me look presentable are few more tedious issues that discourage me from entering shopping malls.
Anyway I set out early yesterday morning to find myself something to wear for my birthday. I actually reached Shoppers Stop even before it opened and assumed that I would be the only one there.  (Who else gets up on a Sunday morning and reached a store at 11 A.M.??) Unfortunately, I was mistaken. There was a queue to enter the place even before the shutters were opened. When I finally did enter the place, I had to wait in another long queue to get a gate pass made to carry my Kurta, for which I needed a matching Chudhidhar, inside. In front of me was a middle aged woman with a haggard expression and a ton of clothes. She had two shirts, two pairs of shoes and a set of infant clothes that need to be exchanged. After waiting for fifteen agonizingly long minutes for the middle aged woman searched her huge bag for all her old bills, I finally got my gate pass made. It took me five minutes to realize that they did not have the Chudhidhar in the color that I wanted. I spent another five minutes trying to find something else that fit, another ten minutes standing in queue paying for my purchase, fifteen minutes returning my gate pass (This time, the guy in front of me was exchanging eight pairs of trousers. I actually counted them and was stunned that somebody actually bought so much at one go and then returned to the store to exchange them) before I could actually get out! The total time in selecting my outfit was five minutes and the remaining half an hour was spent waiting in various queues. This makes me wonder if shopping is really a fun activity. I’ve left a poll on the right. Please do let me know whether you think retail therapy works, or if it is a boring activity that just needs to be endured.

Friday, March 4, 2011

End of three months of glorious weather.. Sigh.... :(

Mumbai, rather Bombay as my parents still refer to it was synonymous with extreme weather. My mother's greatest worry when I decided to shift to this city was how I would manage the rains. I first landed in this city in the month of August when the rains were at their worst. The first time I travelled to Parel from Thane in August was when the city was experiencing one of its worst rains. The road was flooded at Lower Parel and I was actually lifted into a Pepsi van by a nice cop and dropped off outside my place of work.  The only other bad experience was after watching the movie Sarakar 2. The rains were really bad that night and it took us nearly three hours to travel from Andheri to Prabhadevi with the water level reaching the car window.

Besides these two bad experiences I have quiet enjoyed the rain, either when I am sitting in the comfort of my house, or inside a car. (I hate the muck which covers my feet, the filth at Dadar station, and the general tendencies for auto’s and cab’s to disappear from the roads once a few drops of water start falling) Earlier, when I stayed at Prabha Devi, I used to walk to Worli sea face with my flat mate Arpita and we used to sit there waiting for it to start raining. We always left the moment it started drizzling :)

Anyway, the summers in Mumbai are no better. It gets so unbearably hot that I don't think I can ever step out after ten in the morning and before six in the evening (I will now have to start reaching work earlier to avoid the heat. Sigh!! Weather woes never end)

Despite these extreme climates for most part of the year, this winter (December 2010 to February 2011) has been one of the best times I have spent in Mumbai. The weather has been absolutely perfect the last three months. (I came down with viral fever thrice over this period, but I am choosing to not blame it on the weather!) It actually got so cold that I needed to wear a sweater/ jacket few times. We made the most of this winter and went out as much as possible, especially to outdoor restaurants ( By outdoor I mean, repeated visits to Yellow Tree at Bandra and one visit to Karl Residency in Vile Parle.). I made a resolution to make most of the weather and go on walks every day. I did manage to do it a couple of times. J
March is here. And with it comes and end to three months no heat/ rain. We will now go back into the cycle of extreme heat and heavy rains. I know global warming etc. etc. is not a good thing. But its effect led us to have a peaceful three months in the otherwise hot and sultry Mumbai.