Monday, November 8, 2010

Prive, Mumbai, 22nd October, 2010







" Later in the evenin' as you lie awake in bed...
the echoes of the amplifiers, ringin' in your head...

You smoke the day's last cigarette...remember what she said... "

- Turn the Page ( Metallica )

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bombay Durga Bari Samity...

( Sorry for not coming out with a post for a long time. Work pressure, but today seemed good. My other Blog, is however kindof updated... )



Was sceptical, as usual. My experience of Pujas outside Bengal was never good in Pune. Also I was more frivolous during my College days, with different interests. So when I took a half day from my office last night for today, I was not sure myself...


Got a brochure of Bombay Durga Bari Samity. It was apparently established 1930, by some Maitra (yea...true! I carry the same surname, the legacy and probably the curse of being one of the oldest family clan of Bengal, with Rabindranath Tagore writing his famous "Debotar Grash" poem about our family. The fact that I am a blacksheep is however debatable and different! :))


Known as the oldest Durga Puja of Bombay, it is presently in its 81rst year. Mahashtami Morning, and an irreligious thin 27 year old Bong entered the gates of the Puja Pandal.



Tons of humanity, women folks in typical red border white or cream silk, en masse, with the typical Bengali "Devdas" type "Atpoure" style of wearing Saree...and hilariously accented Bengali. Bong males, children of all age, positively uncomfortable with their "Dhutis", constantly asking their wife or geefee to hold their phone while they adjust their "Kuchis".


Pushpanjali started.


"Sarva mangala Mangalley...phool ta please jhuri te felben...shive sarvartha saadhike...ektu dandike chepe please...ei modon...sharnye trambake gauri...narayani namastute...arrey dur baba, bolchi na phool ta..."


My spirituality was having a roller coaster ride...I was in high need of spirits to ease and control...


Sat down after completion...old Bong grampa..."tumi ki koro baba?" (What do you do, son?) Now no where in the World probably any senior citizen addresses their young kindreds as Baba, which literally means father, but technically son...gives a different warmth to the relation. Here though...20 minutes was gone in a blink only to make him understand that I am from Calcutta, and work in Bombay as a young Digital PR executive. It can be termed as the eclipse period of my otherwise sunny day...



Somehow moved on with life...was not feeling like leaving though...but office call-eth! So left that Rs. 30 plates of two piece Rosogollas, and Singaras...and headed to work.


The office was considerate however...they saw my face and allowed me to leave early...I was considering myself lucky to be getting a part of Calcutta, 2500 KMs west...the faces I know, the features common, the dress, the accent, the food, and most importantly the smell...the special smell of a Bong Puja...unbelievable...life was never better...


I was entering the Pandal to see the Sandhya Arati, and take some photos of the extra-glowing Bong babes around...when I saw a traumatised and fidgeting young guy sitting just next to the door...a menacing voice at the background..."Tumi ki koro baba?"


I fled straight to the Singara shop outside...



Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hello Bombay...

I was thinking of coming out with this, but couldn't find a suitable place to write...I am finally in Mumbai, or Bombay, as I still call it...


Flight was good, IndiGo service is kindof okay, and decently cheap. You normally pay more in Jet Airways, and they pay you back with additional unwanted excitement, like jumping out of the wing exit, without parachute when there is a fire in the engine. Nothing of that sort here...nice food, departure, arrival on time, (a rarity when you are coming to Bombay, cause of the bloody Air traffic!) The Trolley Dollys were babes, though I somehow found their head gears hilarious like Lady Gaga...


Got shifted to my new apartment. It's a difficult thing...for a bachelor like me...My office is near Mahalaxmi station, and I am staying near Haji Ali...so its a walking distance...can't dream of anything better for a start, can you?

For the journalist in me, entering into this corporate world of Public Relations is a bit jarring...like for a start, no Jeans...only formal wear...sarcasm is a strict no no (that was tough!), Meetings, and Brand Building, and Promotions...but frankly, when you get pretty good bunch of "Green Gandhi papers" in your pocket at the end of the month...all seems fine and feel good...plus I'll be allowed to continue with my Blogging, and freelancing Humour columns for Mags and Websites...so hopefully the journalist in me won't die...


I noticed that the footpaths were considerably clean and less shabby, which struck me, cause coming from Calcutta (or Kolkata) its a shocker, as anyone with a piece of plastic and rope can claim any footpath to be the property of their forefathers...but roads, lets not talk about 'em...I guess it's the same everywhere in India, except Nagpur and Chandigarh, though I've not been in either of the cities for a loooong time now, and you can't really expect to see any difference with the population that we are blessed with...


The cab drivers, expect you to sit beside them, if you are a single passenger...though they won't say anything if you don't...other than asking sardonically, "Naye ho kya?" (Are you new to this city?) Apparently we don't see that equality in Communist Calcutta...


This city is probably the only city which can actually boast of having a skyline...literally never sleeping...you can take a walk down with a girl by your side at 2 in the night, no one even bothers...you can't do that in Calcutta, no sensitive Bong is allowed to be out after 12. Can't do that in Madras (or Chennai), the guardians of society will take it upon themselves to safeguard your morality. Do that in New Delhi or any other Northern city, and the girl might get raped.

There's a Parsi apartment right next to my place...unbelievably pretty women, and Belgian glass works...

Day starts with rains. Raining Kutta-Billi here. Haji Ali and the Arabian sea looks a beauty...


Will come back with more on my Bombay life later, and the photos too...didn't tag anyone...if anyone identifies with this piece , they are welcome to tag themselves...


It's Bombay, baby...the city of dreams... :)