Friday, June 26, 2009

the way you made me feel

I never knew i’d feel this pang. A sharp regret. Like my teenage years just passed away.

He was what Elvis was to my dad. It never mattered that he was black and then white, and had strange hair, or wore one glove, or grabbed his crotch. When you are fourteen you don’t notice any of that.

All you notice is this is the man who keeps you company. When your parents no longer live together. When the people you live with are responsible for your parents not being together. When everyone at school thinks you are some kind of tramp. When the world at fourteen seems so messed up, this man sings a song that is your salvation.

I’m sure teenage hormones and sexual awakening were part of the reason why a song about desire would strike a chord at that age. But somewhere, i’m convinced that this song helped me battle a strange loneliness. One I couldn’t recognise but obviously felt.

So when ever my mom called, and cried, I’d tune her out and blast this song. Whenever my father visited and I saw the sadness in his eyes because in some ways he was to blame, I turned to this song. Whenever I sat alone on the macchan balcony, looking out at a jungle of tea bushes, this is the song that played.

And it was like magic. Seconds in to the song, I’d be singing on the top of my voice, I’d be moon walking, I’d be twisting and turning. And I even got a hat to toss into the air, as I grabbed my crotch and stood still, panting, but perfectly happy.

He taught me that music and dance could really save your mortal soul. So goodbye MJ, rest in peace, and thank you for saving my teenage soul.

Here are excerpts from the song, the bits I still yell out and sing:

Hey Pretty Baby With The
High Heels On
You Give Me Fever
Like I've Never, Ever Known

Just Kiss Me Baby
And Tell Me Twice
That You're The One For Me

The Way You Make Me Feel
The Way You Make Me Feel
You Really Turn Me On
You Really Turn Me On
You Knock Me Off Of My Feet
You Knock Me Off Of My Feet
My Lonely Days Are Gone
My Lonely Days Are Gone

Go On Girl!

I Never Felt So In Love Before
Promise Baby, You'll Love Me
I Swear I'm Keepin' You
'Cause You're The One For
Me . . .

The Way You Make Me Feel
The Way You Make Me Feel

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

There’s big easy on the menu

time 'codding to me, that's attacking the food

first course - souped up bikes

Much inspired by the knife@, I carried my camera to the new Cafe Goa. There seems to be a sudden spurt in Goa eateries around Bandra. The other day I tried some Goan sausages and pao from the place near Khar station. And it was pretty decent. Almost as good as A. Almost being the operative word!

Anyway back to Cafe Goa. It’s opened where Trafalgar Chowk used to be. I liked it for the nice-and-easy feeling. It’s chilled out, the furniture is polished old looking wood, the music is from my time (they just stopped short of playing Do-the-locomotion) and the owners have a pleasant vibe.

Actually since we’re talking about the owners. There is the Voice and the Mac Boy. The Voice does professional voice over’s and talks like the red light’s just come on outside the studio door. But he’s pleasant, even on the eye! Yeah, all the girls that night were a bit pop eyed when he was talking to them, and it wasn’t just the beer.

The Mac Boy is a typical Bandra Boy. We were standing outside staring at some super souped up bikes, when he started chatting with us. Apparently, he used to customise bikes as a hobby. Now he runs an event company, and Cafe Goa.

And oh ya, the food.

We ordered chicken wings. The chicken eaters declared they were good. The vegetarians gave the cheese poppers and the Panjim Potatoes (rather obscene name what) a thumbs up. I tried the Panjim Potatoes myself, and boy they were good, cooked in their own jackets, warm and a happy carb high.

But the piece de resistance was the deep sea cod. It was done to perfection, not too masalaed, and crunchy from the top, fleshy from the inside. And yes, you could taste the deep sea in it.

So maybe, the thing to do in Cafe Goa is try the sea food. They did try selling us the crabs, but no one was in the mood. Though I suspect, the food here is incidental. It’s a place to chill, munch some, drink some and laugh a lot.

And yeah, the first time we wound up from Cafe Goa, we ended up ringing people’s doorbells and running for our lives. (yeah Mentalie!) Which I haven’t done since I was five. Maybe that’s why I’ll go back to CG.

I like feeling young again!

Cafe Goa is at Agnelo Bldg, Off St John Baptist Road, Bandra West. If that sounds like Greek, go straight past Salt Water Cafe at reclamation. Do not take the right at the Barista, go straight. And then after about ten yards ask someone where is John Baptist Road, and sort of walk about till you find Cafe Goa. Or better still call them at 26404115, 26459151, and they’ll explain it to you. And I don’t remember how much it costs. When you call them for directions, just ask them the prices too. And...they do home delivery.

Friday, June 19, 2009

rumble in the bronx

Let me start by saying this is yet another post about bodily functions. And if you’re going to tell me I am obsessed with this stuff, don’t waste your breathe.

And zillionbig, do not scare me by telling me I have antosiphitis or lamestomachistis or burningdisease or something like that. I’m still doing the two million asanas for every part of my body, all thanks to your last comment.

The thing is my stomach growls. At inopportune moments.

It never ever growls when I’m alone. But if there’s a small closed door meeting, or a large board room presentation, you can bet my stomach will growl. or if I’m in a car with some strangers, and there is no music on, you can be sure my stomach will try and fill the silence.

And no, I do not suffer from constipation, or diarrhea, or other such stomach ailments. Zillionbig, please note. I just have a stomach that goes berserk at times.

And it’s downright embarrassing. Imagine what the guys next to you are thinking,
“Gosh, such a loud noise? Is she farting?” It’s like the times you move in a chair and it makes a farting noise. So you promptly move round a little more, and make the noise a few more times, so people get it. It is the CHAIR and not me.

So now you’re hoping your stomach growls a few more time, so they realize that you can not be repeatedly farting, in company. Hopefully.

Other times, I have to resort to coughing to time with my stomach growling. That’s very inconvenient. One, because if you exert too much pressure, god just might have a little accident in your underpants. Second, because it doesn’t really sound the same. Coughing is a short bark, growling is long and base sounding, so it's like two layered sounds that can produce very scary reactions in people. Like now everyone around is thinking, “Oh my god, she’s farting and coughing. Hope she doesn’t crap in her pants.”

Lord. I hope they’re really not thinking that. The thing is if you’re with folks you know, even a little, you can always laugh and say, “My stomach can’t stop growling. I must be hungry.”

But what if you don’t know them at all? Like the time I went to Singapore to meet these very propah clients. My first meeting with them. I take the red-eye flight and arrive in their posh office in the morning. And all through my first presentation to them, my stomach is louder than me.

I coughed, I banged files around, I kept squeaking in my chair to cover it up, but it was louder than rakhi sawant. And the entire two hour meeting everyone studiously avoided my gaze as my stomach rumbled on and on.

I’m pretty sure when it was over they locked themselves in a room and laughed till they cried.

So me, I’ve decided there is only one way to tackle this. The next time it rumbles loud and long, I’m just going to stand up and announce, “the monsoons are coming!”

To hell with everyone.
Rumble rumble. Grumble grumble.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

oh yeah, the boy can sing

my 101th post. thought it would be nice to have some music. so without a's permission and in sting operation style filming, here it is - LIVE!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Has it ever happened to you?

You’re sitting in a conference room. A meeting is on. You’re wearing a light sleeveless top, and open shoes. It’s just a little cold. Then slowly the cold starts to creep in to your toes and you feel the urge to pee.

You are sitting right at the end of the narrow room. So you stand up, while someone is presenting. Then in the most unobtrusive manner you try and make it to the door. Unfortunately, just about everyone in your path is leaning back in their chair. So when you have to pass the entire room is a symphony of creaking, shuffling, squeaking as people move their chairs. All your chances of a quiet exit are ruined.

But that’s okay, everyone has to pee right?

Anyway you finish your bladder business and you take your seat, setting off the squeaking, shuffling, shifting again.

You are so relieved that the stupid business is over that you drink some water. Then sip your stone cold tea, slowly getting back in to the presentation. As you keep listening to the person talking, you absently minded, and also because you’re just a little bored, keep taking sips of water. And then suddenly you realise your bladder is feeling a little full, AGAIN.

You panic, and steal a look at the cell phone screen. It’s been only fifteen minutes since you went peed.

Damn. You can’t go to the loo again, so soon. Through all the creaking, shuffling, shifting. So you push the glass away. And try and concentrate on what’s being said. But now your toes are feeling cold again. And you know what that means. Your colleagues are going to think you have urinary incontinence.

So you squeeze your thighs together, and practise highway-highway. Which is trying to pretend you are on a highway where there is no loo. But then the thighs are beginning to quiver. And even if there is no loo on the highway, you can always use the bushes right?

So now you’ve lost all track of what’s happening in the meeting. Five minutes have passed. You cannot hold on any longer. Your toes are ice. And you are just beginning to wiggle in your seat, with your thighs jammed together. The guy in the neighbouring chair is beginning to wonder what’s up with you because all this is getting magnified by the soft repeated squeak-squeak of your chair.

So you get up and start to make your way to the door. The same noises but this time some folks are looking just a little surprised. It’s like “wait a minute, weren’t you the one who just went.”

Anyway, when you have to go, you have to go.

And you come back. And you settle into your seat. And you push the water away, and you try and keep your feet warm by constantly rubbing them against each other, studiously avoiding the stares the person on the right is giving you.

But your mind and your bladder, they went drinking last night, and decided to ruin you. And the staff at the hotel, and the guys who set the agenda for the meeting, they are all part of the plan.

Because just as you’re thinking I’ve got it all covered, my bladder is empty, someone announces, “ Okay, we’re taking a five minute nature break. We start again at 12.35 for the next three hour session.”

And as everyone files out of the room, you’re frantically gulping glasses of water.

But with my luck, yesterday, the water only kicked in at 1.30. And then 1.45.

an overdue review - for the knife

i've been raving about salt water grill cafe at reclamation. and promising pictures. so here goes.

appetiser: chicken liver pate, with apples and melba chutney. Cold, refresing and suprising because who would have guessed apples taste so good with pate. they take the edge of the saltiness and add a zing to it.

straight to the main course: pan seared kingfish in lemon butter. excellent. the kingfish is just a little toasty on top. i think it's got a sprinkling of dry pesto on top, not sure. but it makes it just a little crunchy while the bottom is soft, tender and yet moist. the sauce is delicate.

mains again: This is pasta with chicken and organce rind. not too creamy, which i totally hate. and it's just a touch sweet, which mixes pretty well with the cheese. however, like most pastas in a sauce, this is heavy, specially after you've dug in to the appetisers.

and there was tiramisu for dessert. which was excellent too. almost as good as sante. they use mascapone cheese which is the true blue thing for a tiramisu lover like me. sorry, gobbled it up so fast, there was no time for a picture.

Just in case: Salt water grill cafe is opposite the barista at reclamation, bandra. the numbers are 26434441, 37210520. a meal for two that included all this and two kingfisher pints was about one thousand, three hundred bucks. and no, they are not paying me for this!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

in concert - the moody blues


That’s what i feel like. The heat, the taxis that feel like gas chambers, the commute, the race in the mornings, the rat race, the weekends that fly by, the clouds that just gather, but don’t empty themselves, the tears that well up in my eyes over the smallest things, the impending house move, the knowing that i’ll have to leave this house, the packing, the MIA carpenter, the not knowing what the kitchen tiles will look like, the car that needs to go to the garage, the garage that refuses to answer calls, the silly fights with A, the stomach that feels bloated, the jeans that feel tight.

The PMS that refuses to end. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

what's in a name eh?

Last night we had dinner at salt water grill café.

The food was excellent. The kind that makes you want to make kissing sounds.

They had this thing on their menu called pan fried John Dory. For those not in the know John Dory is a fish.

Exactly my point. How are you supposed to know that? Who names their food after human beings?

Would you like freshly caught Pappu Taneja, in lemon butter sauce. Or we also have some steamed Nimmi Saxena with olives and fresh parsley.

Right. I’m waiting for that day.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

naomi campbell - you are so over

Friday, June 5, 2009

off on a jet plane - you kidding me?!

i'm off to delhi. for four days. or maybe five. or maybe six.

damn. so frustrating. because i hate flying. no, correction will not fly beause i'm scared. so i'm taking the train. and i'm waitlisted like all over.

anyway so no laptop. no internet. and no confirmed seat.

and that population theory i gave, i'd like to eat my words. millions of people and this is what you get. waitlisted.

anyway see you guys when i'm back.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How many times must the cannonballs fly, before they are forever banned

Oh my god. The floodgates have opened.

I’m going to start with blog gore @ Who has the most interesting take on racial attacks on Indians with Brown but not out.

I agree with him. On some stuff. One, the post below was not meant to be taken seriously. I don’t think that is the solution. That we procreate at the speed of light (though currently I think we’re managing to beat even that). And infiltrate the world with our kind of values, ideals, food, speech etc.

I don’t subscribe to it. Primarily because world domination reminds me of Hitler and we know where that went.

Second, because in a way we’d turn out to be just like the guys who beat up those Indian students. No place for anyone but ourselves.

In fact I agree with most of what he says, except probably the part about ahimsa. I know it’s a difficult choice. Here’s an example. My friend who blogs @ This is her story really.

Her son takes the bus to school. Everyday there are kids and their parents waiting at the bus-stop. Every day all the kids want to be the first to get on to the bus (yeah, kids are like us only).

Everyday there’s chaos there, because everyone is trying to push their kids in. So my friend decides to talk to the parents about sending the kids in, by turns. So everyday a different kid will be the first in.

The parents agree. Next day the bus comes, all the parents push their kids in. And my friend and her son are left waiting.

What should she do? Teach her son to fight, and push him in like all the other parents. Or explain to a 5 year old why being the first in is not a big deal. That in the long run, they’ll all just pass out with stress related illness and he’ll have the bus to himself.

I don’t know how it ended. It is a difficult choice. Ahimsa looks good on paper, and not in practice. Still, there must be something to it, if it helped us get rid of the British.

Problem is we’re not patient enough today. And that includes me. My first instinct would be stamp everyone’s feet, and get my kid in first.

Hit the guy who hit the Indian student.

Hang Kasab.

But violence begets violence. And even after this long post I have no definitive answer.

Just another question: Why aren’t we boycotting Australian universities from coming here to recruit students till their government doesn’t take serious steps to addressing this problem?

and finally, because it's always been so apt...
How many roads must a man walk down
Before they call him a man
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand
How many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they are forever banned
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind
How many years must a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea
How many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free
How many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind
How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky
How many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry
How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

~ bob dylan

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

how rabbits will save a civilization

I saw this post on kadambari’s* blog @ And I left a comment. But there was so much more I wanted to say.

Here goes

What do you do? You get slapped, beaten, persecuted, because of the colour of your skin. You are told they hate you because you block corridors, and hang out together. At other times they say you stink, your food smells funny, and the curry you make should be smashed on your face. They accuse you of studying too much, working too much, not saying no to crazy timings, extra work, or less pay.

All the things you uphold as good - study, work, honesty are thrown at your face as they twist your arm, and yell, “ Blacky, Paki, Curry or whatever the dirty word going around for brown skin is.

The flip side. We are not easy people to host. We’re greedy, we circumvent the system, our genes are programmed to make us cunning. We start by arriving in small numbers, then we get the whole village. Everyone lives on dole, and we are well settled. Yes, we are not very civic minded, and we do tend to stick together. And if you’re a white woman, our cousins who’ve just come from the pind will probably stare at you a little longer than they should. And if they’re in a group of three, chances are they’ll even pass a leery comment or two.

But, does that justify the hate? I don’t think so. But then I’m Indian. Maybe if the firangs came to my country and started to do the same, I’d be just as mad. As it is we grumble when the rents go up in Bandra…bloody firangs, pushing the rents up.

But do we beat them, hammer them, hack them, abuse them? No, because we can’t get over them. We love their white skin.

And because, hopefully, we're not like that. I saw Gandhi the other night. And it made my hair stand on end. I had goose bumps. And I felt so proud; I could have jumped up and sung the national anthem right there and then.

This is the country of ahimsa. This is where you treat a guest like god. This is where you uphold good middle class values like want not, waste not. This is where you study like maniacs to do better than everyone else. This is where you live crazy chaotic lives and still top the happiness index !

So then what?

Then…there is only one solution – biological warfare. Reproduce like mice or rabbits or emus or whatever. And spread…take over the world. Grab their country, their jobs, their schools, their colleges, their hospitals. Make brown the new white. Just proliferate, and prosper.

They hit one of us; ten more will land on their shores. They take one job from us, we’ll take twenty back. We’ll eat them out of their homes and their countries. We will not just block the corridor. We will take over the corridor!

Whew. Scary thought though.

* thanks kadambari for setting me off!