Monthly Archives: August 2009

The MUMBAIkar saga Episode 5: Of Operas and fat women

DISCLAIMER : This is not a misogynistic post. But it rather indicates a silver lining 😛

Western Music Concert – Patricia Rozario
NCPA Tata TheatreMumbai

The previous Wednesday, the author goes to this Opera at the Tata theatre in NCPA. It made him wonder  why she was crying in the first place for so many hours. But well! The amused-mockery-urge got replaced by appreciation for her lung power that enabled all that high pitch singing she could pull off.

And so I came to a conclusion. Fat ladies who are all obese (well almost!) and filled with pure jelly-like cellulite have one benefit for their over-size. Probably their lungs have also grown to a big size owing to which their voice can reach such a high crescendo

Thus all the middle aged aunties need not worry about being over weight ,,,they can continue to stay like that and still earn respect. Just learn to perform opera


Of Malaysia, cow-piss and mustard oil …

DISCLAIMER: The following mail sent by a French friend  , to the author, is strictly a set of individual view points meant for humourous reading. No offence to the Indians or the Malays or the Chinese or the cows … 🙂

And so this is what the French dude who was on holiday in Malaysia , wrote :

1) “I’m quite sad to leave Penang, this very cosmopolitan city where Indians and Chinese never stopped to compete during these 3 days to get the award of craziness

I have to admit that the 2 cultures are doing very good. Indians are good and well known for their Ganesha stickers, disgusting Gods’ statues and movie posters that makes you want to puke. But we went a step forward !

So we have bought cow piss (“housing department” if you look for it at Spencer’s). We asked the guy what it was supposed to be used for and he just answered “it’s good for the house”

But after further researches on the Internet, we found out on a very serious website that cow piss also cures ALL the diseases, from migraine to AIDS!

But don’t worry, this is not the only weird thing that you find in Indian supermarkets. You can also buy mustard oil for babies (… hum … when a baby has its butt that becomes irritated, what’s better than mustard oil?(plus some chili powder also)), beard dyes for crazy old Indians and, most important, product packaging so beautiful that you couldn’t find anywhere else, not even in Afghanistan.

But the chineses are also very good competitors. Not talking about drunken grandmas who pee in the street in the evening and who offer us drinks and spoilt meat, we also bought a lot of very kitsch and disgusting decoration items for the Chinese new year. So We found these musical plastic candles that sing traditional Chinese music… great success !

Finally, I would say that the Indians win when it comes to creativity but the Chineses remain the masters of kitsch garbage decoration items… My next flat is gonna be amazing !


2) « Another advantage of Malaysia that I haven’t mentioned yet is that it’s a very cosmopolitan country. Hence, you have the opportunity to discover the kitsch and bad taste of each community, and particularly the TV soaps. And I have to acknowledge that the Indians are the ABSOLUTE MASTERS of them (and God knows how mediocre the Chinese or Malaysien TV soaps are). Nobody can act that badly, even the French humorist in their mockeries are better actors.

Talking about bollywood songs-

“If only the Malaysian could listen to music of such a good quality ! Here, the local radio seems more like the meowing of a cat whose tale is stuck in a bread toaster. I try to develop an expertise to be able to say when a song ends and the new one starts but it’s really tough, they are so similar!”

… And that folks is a mail from someone from the developed part of the world!

The MUMBAIkar saga Episode 4: Elephanta and the apian

Well Neither am I like, one of those boring old uncles, going to push myself to an avid description of the history of Elephanta island.

Nor am I going to bombard you with photos of ancient artistic sculptures, as if clicking those photos was equivalent in greatness to the chaps who actually created those sculptures.

I would simply present an incident which is almost stereotypical yet amusing at this place. (Elephanta islands , off the coast of Mumbai)

So there, I went to this place by a boat which was super slow and which shoke a lot. (During this queer little course I obviously, like all migraine-sufferers, worked myself into an almost  sea-imduced pukable-state )

When I finally arrived at the island, I found myself saved from the migraine and exhaustion by this nice lil’ ordinary bottle of maaza soft drink.

(Probably this kind of exaggerated messiah-status granting to a soft drink is a direct off-shoot of the uber hot Katrina Kaif endorsing this drink! WAIT !!! I think it was SLICE  and not Maaza which she was endorsing. But who cares ? Its all the same stuff anyway back to the narration)

So yes! There I was, happily having those nice little sips, taking a glance at the bottle after every sip to see and feel blissful that some of it is still left. And then it happened.

As I listend to the guide about the story of the Elepahanta caves, of the way the sadistic Portugese soldiers usied the sculptures as targets for shooting practice , of the effort going into the magnificent monolithic stone-work, …..

,,,this happened ….

Something slipped out of my hand. I looked in that direction and I saw this monkey running away so fast yet so stealthily, with my maaza bottle. Not the slightest of violent behavior, not the slightest of invasion of private property. Yet simple and subtle hand work, like those ninjas in kids’ cartoons.

Couldn’t help but get amused at my little loss 🙂

drinking monkey

drinking monkey

ps : One of my friends brought along a juice+vodka mixture in his bottle. I am sure it would have been funny had the monkey stolen that one 😉

The MUMBAIkar saga – Episode 3: The Great Wadala Stride

They walked like men, bracing the fury of the wind, the sharp sting of the rain, the heaviness of their dripping formals, the uncertainty of their last fag’s lifetime in the face of the wet rain and the gothic excitement of facing the walk across rain-hit Wadala …..

This little incident happened on the 14th of June, the day (among many other such days) when  it rained rather heavily in Mumbai.

The water was knee high , troublesome enough for the cabbie to abandon good ol’  Mr.P and good ol’ Mr.B, colleagues and pals, near the slums  of Wadala.They were on their way back home.

Wadala is  an area towards the west of central Mumbai. This place, mind you all, is among the depressed areas in the city. So obviously there was water, filled with stench, accumulated from the overflowing drainage, the faeces of the slum dwellers et al. There P and B had, in front of their lost eyes, a river of shit

Their only outside chance to cross it was a narrow road divider that was almost submerged in the river of shit ! In the name of Odin (name taken for no obvious reason) , they had to pull off the tight rope-walking routine to cross the river of shit ….

P looked at B and said , “No shit macha !! We ain’t Harry Houdini are we ? “

B gave his usual twisted smile where  only the left side of his lips extends into a smiling posture while the right side doesn’t move a nanometer. It was a half-sided closed grimace which indicated he was about to say something sarcastic.

“Houdini is a m*****-f***** sissy!” He said and they laughed at it, like two thugs who were about to pull off a heist that would make Sean Connery’s Entrapment character , look like an amateur.

Just before they were about to get onto the divider, P again in his usual flashy way, raised his right hand to stroke his hair, “Oops!” he went, “I just realized I dont have my long hair anymore, macha !” This reminded his pal, B ,  of the days 3 years ago, in a distant past , when P grew long hair because he wanted to look like Jimi Hendrix. And B felt that P was a guy to stay away from, since he might potentially be gay. Ridiculous those thougths seemed to B now.

Now they were here, in Mumbai, working for the same company, living under the same roof,  going to the same gym and bored at an equal level with life itself.

Anyway, P pulled out his last fag from his sock, something that he was saving for contingencies such as these. In the usual Rajnikanth-inspired style, he started smoking his last drag. And then, they were set for the act …

They walked carefully shaking their hands now and then, to balance themselves. The proverbial last fag of P fell in the river of shit, but that didn’t deter the good ol’ rocker from his objective that moment. They continued to walk, puushing aside many a fat guy who dared to walk in the opposite direction.

By the time they crossed the end of the shit-river, their umbrellas were done for, thanks to the strong wind! But that didn’t discourage the duo. They grabbed a can of beer each, started sipping it (a totally illegal thing to do by the way , drinking and walking on a pedestrian path) and fought the wind that was strong enough to blow away any lesser mortal. The rain pierced their chests like broken glass. The Mumbai manholes were open everywhere, waiting for the passsers-by to get swalloed into their deep dark mouths. The thugs of the slums waited under their ragged-raincoats and hidden knives to attack tired pedestrians and rob them of their cash and courage. The storm clouds grew darker and heavier in the sky that was a homogenous dark blue. B and P walked on ….


Three quarters of a century later, Uncle BKS , an old close friend  of theirs, was narrating this tiny little incident to his great grand kids.

“Did they survive ? ” asked the little son of his 12 th grandchild.

To this, Uncle BKS smiled.

The kids looked at the way he smiled a most peculiar smile. That which was a half-smile that spoke of sarcasm. They further remembered how he hides a last fag in his sock, just in case a cigarette shop is not available nearby.

Before they said anything, BKS smiled and said ..I see you have noticed!Yes! How would I get these habits if they didn’t survive that evening … 🙂

And so he remembered P & B, and how that day, ….

They walked like men, bracing the fury of the wind, the sharp sting of the rain, the heaviness of their dripping formals, the uncertainty of their last fag’s lifetime in the face of the wet rain and the gothic excitement of facing the walk across rain-hit Wadala …..