Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Galli ke nukkad pe choti si thi pehle Mere phoolon ki dukaan Aaj uparwaale ke karam se florist ban gaye hai College jo ban gaya hai kone pe Roz roz rose day to nahi hota Par jawaani mein phool zaroori hote hai Sab pata hai mujhe Lal se pyar ka izhaar Peele se shuruaat Par mujhe fikr hai unki Jo peechewali 15 manzila building mein rehte hai Permanent customer hain na College ke bachchon ki tarha badalne waale nahi 8 saal ho gaaye hai yaar lal maruti wala jo daily ek rose lekar jaata tha ab gaadi badi ho gayi hai aur mehbooba biwi to humare paas aana bandh ho gaya chalo khush rahe birthday, anniversary pe to hume hi yaad karte hai aur vo 5 maalevali madam roz hero ke ghar pe bouquet behjti thi ek saal tak chalta raha hai mamla finally humne hi bol diya madam rehne do na ab sirf birthday pe jaata hai hazaar waala bouquet yeh film bhi na… aur vo 11 maale ka chikoo vo hi to bataya father day, mother day mummy ko orchid pasand hai rafiq bhai kahin se bhi lao mother’s day pe orchids hi dene hai lekar aaye bhai mummmyji khud dukaan pe aayi thank you bolne, English mein isliye humko bhi sad laga jab chikoo ki mummy ka maloom chala sab funeral ke phool arrangements yahin se to huye ek orchids ka bouquet lekar aaya aur main hi dekar aaya itne saal mein na customer bhi insaan hi lagne lagte hai….
Thursday, July 23, 2015
I love the rain when i am indoors. Preferably at home with a pot of coffee and a good book. It is good to keep a notebook and pen close by because the pitter patter outside clears up the thoughts inside. Music is great with the rains. The telephone and tv distract. The only distractions i will allow myself today are rain soaked memories. Of walking home from school because we got half the day off. Taking two hours walking the 20 minute distance. A group of giggling girls and boys chasing earthworms. It was so much fun, watching the rains lashing the shore at bandstand. The bonds formed as we held hands and walked at 10 year olds are precious. The silly nick names and code words At home rainy days meant chai and pakodas. My adorable dadi made sure there were no restrictions for kids too on those days. Begum akhtar in the evenings...”aie barsaat to barsaat ne dil tod diya... I am so grateful for the childhood I had. Megh malhar playing in the rain and my father trying to explain raags. We never heard hindi film music as children...and am so grateful for that today. As we grew up in the Bombay of the 80s rains meant bhutta on bandstand and carter road. T shirts from Fus (i think that is what the brand was called) or imported stuff that one aunty used to sell at her home in linking road. Monsoons were the only time you could let your cottons breathe. College meant bunking classes and driving down to mudh island in the rains. The monsoons look much better at madh and manori! Endless cups of chai at the tapri and one lingering cup of coffee at The Resort. The romance seemed eternal and the friendships life long...well am glad we outgrew some of them Rains make me happy, sad, nostalgic....am i the only one? Of course when you move out of the family home you have to deal with not so romantic parts of the monsoons. Clothes that will not dry, that damp smell, leaking roofs and whether the love of your life will go down and get milk/cigarettes/bread After years of living away from Bombay and seeing just an apology of a shower, it feels good to come back to the real thing And to realise that the tv going off the blink does not bother me...i still just want a day off and a good book...the one i saved up for a rainy day --
Friday, March 27, 2015
“So where do we catch up?”…Ritu was here for a holiday and we were four college friends catching up after ten years. Samovar was the obvious choice. It was where we went when the lectures were boring, where the ambience made us feel all grown up, where the food was always good, where we could eat without worrying about how we would pay the bill, where we could walk to Churchgate and take a train home! My affair with samovar began when I was in school and it was a place my parents took us too whenever we went to town. Tea Centre, wayside inn or samovar…there e was no fourth option! As soon as I got done from school and started doing market research to make money in the summer vacations…I could head to Samovar on my own! Paying my first bill there is still a memory I cherish In college, there was Ritu, Rukshana, binita and me…and this was our space. We came with problems and many hours later left with solutions…always. How to get a guy to notice you, how to now get him to not notice you, how to get your parents to realize they need to get a life, how to make a lot of money without doing something dull…the problems were endless. Yet we managed to find a way out by the time it was closing time at Samovar and we were gently nudged out! So this time, it was ten years later. Those of us in Bombay too had got busy with making a living or making a marriage or trying to juggle both. Getting into town was not something that happened too often, there were multiplexes in the suburbs and the action had shifted there… but that day it had to be samovar. Ritu and I reached first and then the others trooped in. we all complimented each other, the guava juice was perfect and all was well with the world. Mrs. Khanna walked up to us and asked where we had vanished. We told her about our reunion post college and why it had to be Samovar. She smiled indulgently and asked us to continue catching up from where we had left. That felt so lovely… We spoke and spoke. Lied and get caught. Shared secrets, advised each other, held hands when the conversation was difficult and promised to be there for each other always…it was now evening and we had to leave. We asked for the bill and were told it was on the house. We were shocked. We went up to aunty who said she was honoured that Samovar was still a part of our lives. We knew the look that said “do not argue with me” We let the young mommy leave and then rushed to Chetna and picked up a saree that was so Mrs. Khanna. When we got back to Samovar she was busy so we left it on her table and she gave us a warm hug and asked us to hurry along. We proudly told her how we did not take the train but had cars now; she shook her head and smiled. Now there will be no Samovar the next time Ritu is in town…but there will be memories that always take us back to delightful times in our space.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Mera naam zara hai. Kuch log mujhe zara sheikh bulate hai, kuch zara shrivastav ke naam se jaante hai. Ab mujhe bistar par karvat badalte huye 15 minut ho chuke hai. Uthkar bahar jaane ka bilkul mann nahi. Saath soye mere pati sunil ko kuch nahi pata. Usse batana chaahti hoon par kya kahoon aur kaise? Dus mahine pehle jab humne shaadi karne ki sochi thi tab hum dono jaante the ke hamare mazhab alag hai, hum mazhabi ho ya na ho, alag to hai Mere ammi abbu hai aur sunil ke ma babuji. Par issse kya farak padhta hai? Hai progressive insaan hai, dono iss zameen par 30 saal se zyaada tey kar chuke hai, main ad agency mein hoon, sunil MNC mein. Humme in sab cheezon se kuch vaasta nahi Laga tha court marriage aur reception ke dauran kuch dikkat ho gi, par aisa kuch nahi huya. Shayaad ishq ka jazbaa itna chhaya huya tha ke aur kuch dikhna hi nahi tha. Ab bhi kuch badla nahi hai, mujhe kabhi kabhi sindoor lagana achcha lagta hai aur sunil ko eid ke eid kurta pyjama pehnna gavara hai Ab pichle ek hafte se ma babuji hamare paas aaye huye hai. Do hafte ki chuttiyan hai isliye. Hamari shaadi ke baad pehli baar. Mujh se zyaada tension sunil ko thi. Paar main to khush thi…hoon. Saath rehne se to hi jaan sakte hain ek doosre ko. Aur maine decide kar liya tha ke agar ma ne kuch keh diya to bhi koi baat nahi, iss umr mein vo kahan badlengi aur phir do hafton ki ho to baat hai Lekin ab bura lag raha hai, chhoti chhoti baton pe. Aur gussa apne aap pe aa raha tha. Kya samajh ke maine ammi ko kaha tha ke unhe dinner pe bula lo. Kaise vo mussalman ke ghar kha sakte? Chahe khana shudh shakahari kyun na ho. End mein vegetarian restaurant gaaye aur bahut hi painful shaam thi. Jab babuji ne poocha beta sunil ghar mein bhagwanji nahi hai, to ma ne mujhe kyun ghur ke dekha? Jab raat coffee peete huye unhone ne poocha bachche kiss mazhab ke honge to sunil ne bina meri taraf dekhe bhi keh diya: yeh kaisa sawaal hai, hindu honge obviously. Jab sab ke minnat karne pe babuji ne chhaunk wale aloo bannane ke liye hami bhari, sabziyon ke saath vo bazaar se nayi kadai bhi lekar kyun aaye. Kya vo nahi jaante ke humare barton mein, mujh se zyaada, unka beta hi non veg banata hai? Agar mujhe kisine bataya nahi to main har subah suryanamaskar kaise karti? Par in sab baton se zyaada mujhe koft iss baat se hai ke main kissi aur ke kehne par apna self confidence kyun kho rahi hoon…
Much as he denied it, Jatin loved it when 3 people rushed to his car as soon as he screeched in outside his glass and chrome office. Someone to open the door and then park the car, someone to carry his stuff, one guy who would get his well ironed suit that was on the hanger in the back seat. From here on it was a “regular” day at work for Jatin. The amount of people he acknowledged walking the short distance to his cabin was crazy. His steaming hot black coffee and a fresh pack of cigarettes on his table made him glad again for stella, his ever efficient pa. stella who wore only shades of cream and white since boss did not approve of her wearing colours. She was on the team of the CEO, she could not dress like the loud kind who traveled by local train. Meetings began as soon as he stepped in. people outside who could see him flaying his arms and gesticulating wildly would try and put words to the act, depending on who was at the receiving end. Jatin could have the marketing head in front of him and tell him that dattaram, the office boy, did not like the colour scheme so there was no room for discussion. A very valid point but the way jatin put it made anyone seem like a worm. Jatin was good for the business, in fact he was great. Profits had gone up 43% in the last year. Investors were ecstatic. The buzz in the market was great, he had made it to the cover of the top notch business magazine and life was good. Post a grueling session with foreign investors came the tv interview and then stella walked in to discuss his travel schedule for the next 3 days. Tonight he had the business awards to attend. Tomorrow post the board meeting he had to be in Bangalore for the fashion show. Friday evening was dubai for a film premiere and the next afternoon was the polo match in delhi. Stella informed him that he could not attend that since sat was anushka’s birthday. She had booked them a table at zodiac grill. Now jatin was irritated, why did his wife have to schedule her birthday on the day of the all important polo match. The MD wanted him to hob nob with the delhi politicos and this was the perfect opportunity. On the way back to the suburbs where he was going to attend the business awards, jatin thought about the farce of a marriage they had. Anushka refused to be the trophy wife and so he refused to believe she exsisted. He never asked about the work she did, he vaguely knew she helped at some NGO and she scorned at his work and lifestyle. Well that did not stop her from using the car and driver he had kept at her disposal or from maxing out the add on credit card each month. They had separate bedrooms for ages now. Jatin, anyway didn’t like women who spoke when he was horny. Wild sex as opposed to making love was what he wanted…and got. He never ever paid for it though, for some women, unlike his wife, it was a high to be screwed by such a powerful man. The only times, the two of them were forced to eat together was when his mom or his sister and his kids were over from delhi. He took lesser calls during dinner those evenings and with the kids he really had fun. Those are perhaps the only times that he wished he had a more understanding wife so they could have babies. During interviews when people asked him about his hobbies he rattled them off with ease. Golf, drag racing, power boxing, reading, movies and cooking. The reality was that he did none of this. Other than working out at his personal gym every morning and reading at night, reading mails and files on what the spies had dug out on competition. He enjoyed this madness and would not trade it for anything, 4 hours of sleep and 50 cigarettes a day worked just fine for him. He did not have friends since he did not trust people and friends from his delhi days were people he was now ashamed of. Slow down beta was the only thing his simple docile mother would say during the perfunctory weekly call he made. That is what his doc had also said the last time he saw him, which was about 2 years ago. A sudden shooting pain as he was climbing down the stairs and his legs giving way was scary. He was rushed to the ICU. When he got conscious he saw his office gang looking very serious and somber, he also saw his mom and anushka. Having been with her for the last twenty years he just saw the look on her face and knew it was all over….
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Chadta suraj dekhkar seekha Dhalta suraj kyun hota hai. Bikhre tukdon ko chukar seekha bebaasi ka dard kya hota hai baar baar kuch khone se seekha Paane ka yeh mazaa kya hota hai maazi ki taraf jab palat ke dekha to jaana gir kar uthna ka hunar kya hota hai…
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
1. wollies: work sillies. People who are so silly at work, not like funny silly but irritating silly. All of us know the kind and NEVER keep in touch with them, once either of us quits the place. What I do not get is the desperate need to make everyone laugh all the time…and not get that they are laughing at you not with you! The most irritating kind include people who scream, not talk, the one’s cracking sexist jokes and of course the kind who wolf down your lunch and think they are being “cute”. Maybe they should be forced to watch cctv footage of themselves with the volume pumped up! 2. Frelibrity- a celebrity who seems like a friend. Not because you know them or have met them…but because you like them and follow them on social media. Movie stars, musicians, designers, politicians and sports persons everyone is now sharing and how! So while some may prefer the mystique and up there feel that celebs had, the truth is those times are gone. So how can everyone not have an opinion on a celebrity when they share more than your real life friends probably do! I am defensive about my frelibrities and would love to pull yours down. Welcome 2015