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Showing posts from March, 2010

Just let me breathe

Perhaps this is a mixture of sleepiness (I caught the 6 am bus again) & tiredness talking, but I have a sudden longing to visit a musty museum.

You're probably thinking "Whaaaaa ??"

I can't explain why myself. I can actually see the kind of place I want to visit, in my mind's eye. It is an inherently dark place, lit by yellow bulbs throwing the same light as those old ones on local trains in Mumbai. The showcases are all wood with a faintly gleaming cherry hue. It is neither cool nor hot in the museum. Just very quiet. I'm the only one there, although I imagine the curator is pottering around somewhere. The room I'd ideally like to be in is the one covering Ancient Egypt. I want to slowly read through the interesting stories and take in every detail of the impassive royal faces, losing myself in the moment. Letting history wash over me.

Once again, without explanations, this yearning is replaced by a memory. I'm in school and the exams are on. Back w…

Nobody's Home

I have a text message sent to my cellphone on the 5th of March 2009, 8:42 pm. It says 'Beer'.

To me, this terse SMS encapsulates what it was like to have lived in Mumbai in the year 2009. By reading it, I knew when & where to be. Toto's in Bandra at about 9:15 pm, in case you were wondering.

I'd head out of my house, reach the now-familiar corner of Pali Hill, make my way into a pub literally vibrating to rock music, look around and spot 2 gents in formal work attire either slouched at the bar or standing in an unobtrusive corner. Wherever they stood, they'd be holding mugs of beer. I'd make my way over to them and we'd grin collectively. Nothing would be said. I'd signal for an empty mug and be handed one. Nothing would be said. I'd pour myself a glass of beer with a sliver of foam at the top. 3 mugs would clink, sips would be taken, the first cold, bitter spark would ignite at the back of the throat, we'd sigh...

"So, what's happe…

Cold, dark room

One of the most valued experiences in a man's life is sitting down with a few other guys over a mug of beer & shooting the breeze. Its a chance for us to step out of a carefully contrived public persona (if there is one), discuss events & sports, be witty without the hazard of blank looks & just stare into our mugs, silently singing along to our favourite songs or appreciate the comfortable pause. We get to give the stoicism a rest & really talk.

These are not Marlboro cigarette advertisement moments. These are 'in the eye of the hurricane' moments. We are the kind of guys who were born with a serious air & a large sign on our behinds asking fate to kindly oblige. We will laugh at emails about why guys with names like ours will never get any & empathise with the ones wondering why we're stuck in 'best friend' mode all the time. Its so very natural for us to empathise.

Do you know how hard it is to find the right people to shoot the breeze…

We do it like this

It was perhaps a sign of our times or a gentle reminder that life isn't anything like the movies. To the strains of a moving background score, I should have been framed in the bus window forlornly staring at the turn for Bandra as we crossed Sion subway on Tuesday morning. A selection of memory-images from my previous workplace should have flashed before my eyes, followed by a sigh & an apprehensive look to the heavens.

None of that happened because I was fast asleep. Getting up early (anything prior to 8 am is early) and catching the 6 am bus to Bombay has its price, you see. So, when the literal & figurative fork in the road between my old and new job showed up, I was snoozing. I did feel slightly melancholic later but like many times before, it was because I was bidding goodbye to the familiar. Also drowsy. The depth of feeling on Tuesday was akin to a wisp of cloud passing over the sun.

On Thursday morning, the enormity of the change caught up with me. I was performing a…