Wednesday, July 25, 2007

one of those days

So, you have one of those days, in a strange city, when you've just had about enough of hotel food and hotel beds,

when the car you hired, comes in late, then has to go fill diesel, then it's a/c conks off, then the driver decides to change it for an ambassador, which is very romantic, but very slow, and creaks a lot, and it's raining outside, and the driver's shoes are not smelling that good,

and you have to run out in the rain to be on time for a meeting with a corporate honcho, and you walk into his office with your pants wet, and he is immaculate with a tie, and has a pretty girl sitting with him taking notes, and he offers you tomato soup, and talks of everything else but business, and you are meant to smile politely and be impressed,

and then, you go to a meeting at a government office, which is situated in three different blocks of the same building, and in the absence of any signboards, and the presence of receptionists, who are busy gossiping and giggling on the phone, you end up walking up all three office blocks, before you reach the right one,

which should have been new, but looks like government offices have done for the last sixty years, and already the computers are swamped by piles and piles of paper, and the peon offers you some water, which you take thoughtlessly then worry about it, and after an hour or so, the clerk says it's better to come another day, because saheb's conference will go on for some more time, and another clerk suggests that you go to another office, and meet someone else, who is at the other end of the town.

Finally, you decide to go to the airport an hour before you are scheduled to be there, and you still get caught in traffic, but you doze off, exhausted, and the driver wakes you up to ask you if you are going to give him more money than you had agreed on, and you get caught in an argument,

and then you go into the airport, and it's freezing, and as usual your clothes are not right, and hungry, you eat something which is cold and doesn't agree with you, and you just want to sleep, but can't

and the plane too which you get into after two hours is cold, and you can't sleep and your stomach doesn't feel that good, and it's a turbulent flight, and it needs to circle for 45 minutes before it can land,

and then you sit down in a rickshaw, and the guy drops the meter, and does not haggle for money, and drops you safely home, even though it's the middle of the night, and you are alone, and the air is warm, and smelly as Mumbai always is, and you remember for a few minutes that you do love the city, and you are home, even when you will be back to cursing it tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kinkies

Yesterday, S said that the fact he drinks 8 to 10 litres of water everyday, much to his doctor's horror, is his kink. Whenever he is at a loss for something to do or say, he drinks water.

P began to relate the kinkiness of a friend who had a fixed routine every time she left the house. First she switched the gas cylinder off, then lovingly traced the gas pipe's path to make doubly sure, then switched ON the fan for 'Bhagwanji', and then after locking up the house, banged the door and pulled the lock several times.

S wondered if 'Bhagwanji' would not be happier with the AC on. All of us began to conjecture, couldn't 'Bhagwanji' switch on the fan Himself if He wanted to do it, wouldn't He like to regulate the AC temperature Himself, wouldn't there be times when He felt cold, and wanted the damn AC or fan off?

Anyway, set me thinking about what my kinkiness was. Could be my endless making of lists - task lists, accounts lists, reminders lists, movies lists, books lists, lists about what happened, lists about the people I met, lists about the people I did not meet, lists about lists.

Of course I don't remember a word of what I've written in them, and that makes me all the more eager to come up with categories of lists I should make, so that I don't forget anything. Or find it transformed in my imagination into something else. Which is fine by me, but sometimes not fine at all by Dhanno and Teja whose version of things is more rooted in reality.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

monsoon fare

One of the important tasks I have each morning is to check out the Mumbai Times for the films we could possibly see that day. If at all we have to inveigle Teja into taking us to the mall which is not the nearest to us, but the one that Dhanno and I will deign to go to, because of its rating in terms of smell, sound, light, crowd, shops, food places, then we have to make sure there is a Hollywood offering.

Yesterday, when the Rain Goddess stopped dancing the tandav, and was only humming to herself for a bit, I found not one but two films we could see one after the other. If Teja sees the possibility of saving a car trip, he can be tempted to make one.

'Ocean's 13' is the perfect monsoon film. Crisp, hot, and with the tasty zing that food with no nutrition and lots of empty calories has. And if you have George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon to look at, it's hot green chutney thrown in for good measure. The plot is laid out right from the beginning, you are told at each step what the con is, and how it is going to be executed, so you can concentrate on just having fun, and not wasting energy trying to figure out the details. What I also liked are the inane conversations between George Clooney and Brad Pitt, which have nothing at all to do with the plot. I believe strongly in inane conversations in a film, though they are actually very difficult to put into the narrative.

Then, Dhanno and I had a frenzied bout of shopping for "costemics" (Teja's word), in the break, before we went off for a round of hardcore action in 'Die Hard 4.0'. Couldn't help but think of Sunny Deol, as Bruce Willis refused to be stopped by fighter planes, collapsing bridges, gas explosions in a power plant, and all kinds of other mayhem, in his mission to save America.