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Showing posts from October, 2017

Waisa Bhi Hota Hai

Dear Reader,

This has been a weekend of discovery. Most of which would not make my pleasant Colgate Top 10, but then again, things rarely do. Still, like Sisyphus, I persevere so let's get to it.

Getting drunk no longer has an upside

I said "getting drunk" not drinking so don't chuck a frustrated "pshaw!" in my direction just yet. If my life experiences have taught anything, it's to keep a bottle handy when the twists & turns take on a fully hyper-bola level curve. And, if you've been reading this blog long enough, life most certainly does throw me a beautiful curveball ever so often. So, as I was saying, getting drunk. Being in the advertising racket, I do have friends on the wrong side of 30 (in my opinion) and whose idea of a good time is to hang out at bar-estaurants a lot fancier than ones I gave my custom to in my 20s. It so happened to be one of these friends' birthdays on Friday and the celebration was at one of these numerous wateri…

Only a Hobo

Part 2

Even as there was no let-up from the smartphone poltergeist, the food & drink sellers began making their rounds. The first one to come by was a chap who clearly could have learned a few tricks about volume and verve from the screech & preach enthusiast on the phone. For all intents and purposes, the Railways had given the job to a caffeine whisperer who would nurse traumatised cups of coffee and tea to health and strength. Or was modelling himself after the Ghost who Walks. Nothing else explained the reluctance to call out his wares, leaving most passengers to engage in an impromptu game of dumb charades. The mime was followed by a man hawking piping hot samosas and mirchi bajjis. They smelled delightfully salty and spicy but were coated in a veneer of oil so generous, my heart was ready to leap out of my throat and take an extended vacation. This penchant for healthy living is a bitch but then again, so are angioplasties and open-heart, triple bypass surgeries. Though …

Country Comforts

Part 1

With timing that was far more impeccable than their usual service, the MSRTC went on strike 2 days before Diwali over a pay dispute. I've traveled on their buses for close to 9 years and know full well just how popular they can be just before a major holiday. The chaotic crowd at Dadar is so dense, one would only need to introduce a few Naga sadhus into the mix and hey presto! we've got ourselves a brand new Kumbh Mela. Albeit one where getting out of Bombay ASAP is the only kind of salvation devotees seek. 

News and newspapers being what they are at present, I was unaware of the jolly bus crisis until Wednesday morning when a well-wisher asked how I proposed to go home for the holidays, flourishing the paper in my face with the reluctant panache of a small-town magician. Realising the gravity of the situation, I looked up train schedules and was stunned to find General category seats available on an outstation train departing later that afternoon. As far as I could see, …

The richest man in Babylon

Fixion - a Diwali story

Bad luck did not follow H. It was his shadow.
And, it was the shadow that was moved enough to tell me his story.

A promise was made in 2014, of good days. People were tired, so they voted. Everyone had had just about enough of open corruption, selective secularism and a Life that just would not get better, or maybe it was getting better too slowly. So they went and made their choice. Not for, but against.

Voting had made no sense to H. He did not want to choose one goon over another. So, he settled for hoping that things would actually get better, if not for the country, then just for him. And who, having lived in that country, would begrudge him that hope? Luckily for H, an uncle had recently croaked and left him a chunk of money. Not wanting to follow his friends and buy things he couldn't really afford, H considered investing it. And, the first thing to catch his eye was the 'Clean the Nation' campaign whose fervor was sweeping through the country…

Blue Condition

What happens when an 8 year old moves from a small house with tile floors to an enormous one with wall-to-wall carpeting? He develops acute dust allergies. So much so that he cannot remember NOT having a cold for more than 4 years.

God! those horrible days. A cavalcade of wheezing, a nose that arbitrarily leaked or blocked itself, agonizing steaming sessions and of course, the greasy fucking shit that is Vicks Vaporub. All these torments combined to wreck my nose completely. A deviated septum thanks to the incessant, beseeching blowing into the basin. An absolutely confused hormonal reaction to the steaming and vaporub periodically leaving my skin so oily, the U.S still considers invading. Not to mention a lifelong loathing for Vicks. And, an addiction to handkerchiefs.

Consider the handkerchief. I'd never used one before we moved to the UAE. After we did though, I could not go anywhere without one. A simple, 10x10 square cloth made of cotton that I folded and tucked into the poc…