Monday, January 28, 2008

So long, Mumbai....

For the anon, at least. Because the Long Black Veil is back in Bangalore having travelled hither on New Year's Eve and having had a fascinating New Year's while asleep on board the Chalukya Express.
Good to be back home and all that but one would have hoped in better circs. What the heck, this is Life. (Something Heath Ledger can't say anymore..... Haaahhahhahaaaa...! I mean, oops , sorry.) One question though: Why must it always be a naked-and-face-down-death for these types? Why? Why not fully dressed and lying prone or even in a cute foetal curl?
As an aside, I was no closer to Heath Ledger than I was to Benazir, and no doubt the late former has done far less wrongs to people in general than the late latter. But yet, my heart chafes for her dhamaakedaar exit and feels unmoved by his stereotypical-sudden-celebrity-type death.

Onto more relevant things, then. Some snapshots of Mumbai where I was jobbing-living-commuting for all of Dec 2007.

Here is the wonderful place I called home, basking in yellow light. At least it is the top right corner of said home.

It was a homely home and I was living with two-and-a-half insane nuts; lovely ladies called Shobhanaaahaahaaahaa and Sushmaaahaahahaaahaaa and a little bit of Aveheeheheheeeeee, who left Mumbai for the colder pastures of Delhi (hence accounting for only one-half). Other uninvited tenants were Jerry (a visiting mouse whom Sushi insisted on calling a RAT, in caps only because she was terrified of him), and an occasional pigeon couple who were trying to nest on the neatly folded rugs by the window in our inner sanctum, the Big Room. Pigeon-housing estate plans were repeatedly thwarted by us, the human elements in the house, with frequent episodes of "Aha! Scat! Scram!" followed by threatening hand gestures and a hurried fluttering of wings fading into the distance. Jerry's visits probably continue unabated since he proved to be a versatile and cunning athlete who confidently dodged various missiles we directed at him. When I say 'we' I of course mean 'I' because Sushi never yet did direct anything at him except mortified looks.

There are a few adorable kantri naais living in the housing complex I called my homely home. The most famous of the lot is a brat we called Fu#@#$! (Rhymes perfectly with 'sucker'.) Because that's what he was and continues to be. F has a need to act like a dumbass at any given moment in time. He is the silliest, most adorable lout one can find in the canine world. He is also a massive pig and lamely bullies the other dogs in his 'gang' into not eating if he can help it. Especially one little boy called, ironically, Piggy. Ironical because Piggy hardly ever gets to eat anything once F is done mowing through the fooderies. Lookit F@#$^!! having a go at Shobs here.

Shobhie and I used to go out to high-end eating joints like the nukkad-vaala-chaat guy or the patli galli ka joooss vaala, in between bouts of street shopping for chappals and spaghetti straps. Here is a very weight-lossed Shobs enjoying her carrot juice.
Shobhie was also very useful at the end of a hard day at work for regaling one with tales of adventure, excitement and human-animal drama from her work place, a pet grooming salon in Bandra. I won't be too specific about it because folks will the say I'm advertising my buddies' business unscrupulously. All I'll say is it's a wonderful, service-oriented professional setup behind Hawaiian Shack on 16th Road, Bandra (W), and that it's called Tailwaggers Pet Salon. Hah. Write me for detailed map, to scale.

Here is a pic of me and two other good friends near Linking Road. My, but we had a fine time that night.

Next. This here is my good buddy-cat Miz Elf N Stun, whom I discovered skinny, scrawny, on-the-verge-of-death outside Elphinstone Station in Mumbai one fine morning, as I was shielding my fragile self from the harsh Mumbai winter [hahahaaaa] sun in the romantic setting of a shared-cab-queue... Elf N Stun was lying weak and mewling pathetically in between a naariyal-paani-waalah bhai-saahib and a phool-vaali-ladies-log. A history chequered with King Bonzo, Fab Fuko and Jackass Joey has melted my heart unconditionally towards felines. I was sure disheartened to see this Felix-the-Cat lookalike in such Dire Straits. So, hoping that Elf N Stun would make it through one more day, I packed a whopping lunch for her the following morning. There she was, even more skeletal than Kate Moss on Atkin's, almost gone but not quite. I whooped (silently, because there were other humans present and they would not understand, nay, not them). Elf gorged on the fudd-items I gave her with a gusto that made me admire her. Pic on top right is Elf on Day 1. Pic on top left is Elf at the end of week. It was the same every day since then, when she would tuck into super-sized meals that far outmeasured a normal fully-grown-cat portion. In a very little bit, young Elf had some meat on her bones and I thought all would be well. Except I am here now, and who knows what's up with her?

Then. Boo visited while I was in Mumbai. She stayed over a couple of nights, she praised the homely home (yay!), we travelled by the locals, we had meals at Mondy's, we saw John and Bips at Hard Rock Cafe at a metre's distance from our noses. And of course Rocky S. Bips followed us surreptitiously to the ladies' room and somehow made it appear like she was there before us. Haw haw. Lookit Boo and her pedestrian ways outside Hard Rock. This ('PEDESTRIAN') is actually what the sign says. There has been no Photoshopping to delete the expected 'S' at the end of the sign. It is in all senses, a 'singular' signboard. Haw haw. So very witty.

Boo's Bips joke: "Bips hasn't changed at all after all these years. She never spoke to us then and she still doesn't now...."
[Followed by barking mad, juvenile giggles from the two of us for an embarrassingly long time BECAUSE IT WAS SO BLEDDY FENNY!] Anyway...

These were glimpses of my time in Mumbai city. Applause is appreciated. I am tired and will end post abruptly. Like, now.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.

~Emory Austin