April 22, 2008


[i can't believe i'm actually doing this.......but yeah....this post is gonna be very sketchy. though, honestly...i'd love to go in the details...but sorry...m too lazy to do that right now!]

21st april... quite an interesting day. met a very dear friend [at around 11am]...and spend 4 hours...talking...talking...and LOADSA talking! didin't realise how time flew away!!!

in the evening....took mom to IHC for a kathak recital. since the entry was free...we reached 50 min.s before the scheduled time. but...no avail! there was a conference going on ....and the guard said tht it'll get over by 6.30pm.... then they'll clean the hall...and THEN entry will begin.

so both us strolled on to other parts of IHC...and reached the Visual Arts Gallery. i got engrossed with their notice board announcing various arty events across the city... some workshops, art camps, etc.
and then...there was this aunty...an army officer's wife who got talking to me. n after some time...i was like...she's so pakau!!! B-U-T...this lady's juz not ready to part! i had to go for my event...she said 'bye'...and still continued to talk!!! FINALLY...mom got me freed from her!!!!!

the show began by 7:15pm. there were 2 female performers [apart frm the musicians, of course]. one of them was learning from a guru for the past 10 years...and the other was a Sri Lankan...learning for the past 5 yrs...frm the same guru.
the difference on years in learning showed in the quality of both the performers. they did 3-4 pieces. i enjoyed watching them. and the best...was saved for the last! they did a "TARAANAA"...which basically showcases the influence of the Mughals on this Indian dance form. these artists changed their costume for the Taraanaa. the performance itself was also VERY beautiful. undoubtedly, it was the show stopper of the evening!!!

every viewing of a kathak recital makes me more inclined towards this beautiful performing art. and it also strengthens my desire to learn it some day!!!

bhaiya had come to IHC to escort us back home! we boarded a DTC and headed back. while walking back from the bus stop...we decided to go to Bikanerwala for sweet-shopping!!!

so we mom till the building and headed to Bikanerwala. firstly...we didn't get and auto...and whenever someone agreed...we didn't agree with the price asked for!
so...ultimately...we ended up reaching Bikanerwala by foot! i guess it's almost 1.5 kms frm home. once there...bhaiya n i had a sumptous dinner! this was followed by some lovely Indian desserts! then we picked up the sweets and left for home.
this time...thankfully...we had walk for just about 00 mt.s and a rick agreed. we reached home at 10 min.s to 11pm. and when mum opened the door.... i jokingly said... "see...we reached before the deadline!!!"

well...there's no official 'deadline', of course!!!

April 21, 2008


'twas the usual relaxed sunday. after watching ROADIES 5.0 in the afternoon and having a sumptous lunch of rajma-chawal with dahi ...all of us dozed off.

finally, in the evening...bhaiya and i headed to Purana Quila to find out about the passes for a play that's being staged there. after getting the details we went [by DTC] to Haldiram's South Ext. outlet and digged into some delicious snacks. he had raj kachori with 'blue ocean' [which i think...was one of the colas...blue in colour!]. i had a samosa [i don't even remember the last time i had a haldiram's samosa!] along with sweet lassi.

although we wanted to sweet-shopping at their outlet...but there was nothing interesting enough!!!

and then...there was this unexpected call from a delhi friend ...who said that even she's in south ex. along with her bro n a pal. after some confusion about the location, bhaiya n i finally reached where those guys were. after hanging around in the ColorPlus shop and helping her pal decide on his buy we moved out.

next stop was the Sai Baba mandir at Lodhi Road which the other bro wanted to go to. this guy...whose car it was... is a TYPICAL delhi driver!!! GOSH!!!!!!!!! i'm happy nothing untoward happened!
he dropped us at our place....and this evening's masti reached it's desired conclusion!!!


The culture vulture spreads it's wings!!!

On 19th evening Mom, Bhaiya n I went for a play by EKJUTE at the IHC [by DTC again!]. It was titled BEGUM JAAN directed by Nadira Zaheer Babbar.

This venture plays out on the theme of social commentary, comparing the golden ages with today’s materialistic pursuits. The elements of humour AND sarcasm have been subtly infused in the dialogues. If one goes on a mental holiday during the performance, too sad for them!

The stage design was very tastefully done. Not too cluttered…with enough space for actors to move around and well set to demarcate various areas of a house.

The background score is apt, except for in some scenes where the music was incongruent. Those, of course, were few and far in between.

Though there were many dialogues that tugged at my heartstrings… there are only a few I’d like to mention here. [b’coz I was too lazy to note down all my favourites…m relying on my memory for a reproduction of some of them]

  • At a point…Begum Jaan poignantly speaks out about her inability to move out of her time warp. She says… “makdi jaalaa saath lekar nahin chalti. Par jaale ke bina reh bhi toh nahin sakti!”
  • When the journo says that he’s needs some time to decide whether he’ll marry Begum’s young granddaughter, she tersely, but thoughtfully says, “apne faisle khud liya karo. Jo faisle waqt leta hai… who kabhi sahi nahin hote!”
  • And THIS is my favourite. Though I’m a champion of independence… I was in splits [as was everyone else in the audience] when she said it. The scene was between granddaughter n Begum Jaan. The former, when being asked by the latter about the scribe-cum-tenant’s background, told that he’s a DIG’s son. But he doesn’t like taking favours from anyone…wants to stand on his own two feet. To this, Begum contemptuously shoots… “aaj-kal ke bachche…maan-baap ka ehsaan nahin lena chahte! Toh unse kaho…paida bhi khud hi se ho jaayein!!!”
The Delhi crowd at such venues is a very refined one. one gets to see a lot of plump couples, salt and pepper hair, immaculately dressed ladies [oh! those classy chiffon sarees!], all the regalia is played out quite well!

PS: i feel REALLY happy when i take mom out for such events. incidentally, i'm the one who's taken her for all the 3 plays that she's seen to date. and co-incidentally...all of them have been EKJUTE's productions!


Ever since I landed in New Delhi, it’s been an absolute joyride. From having a brainstorming session about the duration of my stay [the very night that I arrived!] to being out for all the evenings… I’m having a blast! Though I wanted to go out the very next day… I was advised to take rest, gauge the Delhi heat and then plan my moves. In the evening, we went out for shopping followed by dinner at one of my favourite outlets in the city. The last time I went there for a meal, I couldn’t finish it myself because of the large portion. Hence I was waiting to get an opportunity to go there with my bro so tht we can share a meal! What I did on 17th april is mentioned 1 post below!

NOW…m first ‘day out’ was 18th. We [my bro n i] headed to PVR at Connaught Place to watch a 2-week old flick. But, as it turned out to be …the weekend ticket rates at multiplexes are higher and this movie was not worth Rs.200/- !!! next we decided to go to INDIA HABITAT CENTRE [IHC] to make certain enquiries. We dropped into the BATA outlet which was nearby [ i wear ONLY Bata. talk abt 'brand loyalty'!!!], basically for window shopping. But ended up walking out with a new pair for each of us! As we headed towards the bus stop [yeah! My bro finally convinced me to travel in a DTC bus.] I spotted a poster of TANTRA t-shirts! I wanted to gift my cousin bro[in delhi] a Tantra tee, but didn’t have the time to shop for it in Mumbai. My joy knew no bound after seeing that poster and both of us rushed into the shop! After spending some 15 min.s checking out various tees, I zeroed in on the one that’s best suited on that guy for the current occasion. We walked out and headed to locate the bus stop. But again, somewhere in between, we spotted the NIRULA’S outlet and thought of having lunch there. So…we were on the other side of the road…25 metres away from the signal…had to cross… and the light went GREEN. We sprinted for our lives across the street!!! After a wholesome lunch, we finally headed to board a bus to IHC.

At IHC, after exploring our way through the extensive and labyrinthine pavements with well-manicured grass, I reached the right place! We bought tickets for a play being staged the next day and headed to EATOPIA .

When in Nirula’s, at the spur of a moment I told Bhaiya that I wanna have mango lassi! poor guy…got a li’l perplexed…but simply said, “I dunno any good place where you get it!” at EATOPIA…one of the counters had mango lassi…though it was a tad over-priced…at least the whim got fulfilled!

Next we headed to our old residence, which is quite close from IHC. En route, we took a short cut which we used to take while returning from school in ’01-’02. ah!!! Those good-old days!!!!! We went to our ex-neighbor’s home and spent blissful 45 min.s there. In fact, I even dozed off for half an hour!

FINALLY…. We were on our way back home. And yes, again, it was a DTC bus that he made me travel back on!!!

April 19, 2008


This Indian city is as famous for its diamonds n garments industry as it is infamous for the plague epidemic that struck it not too many years ago!

I’d to make my maiden trip to this city all alone, because my bro had some exam to give! B-U-T…it was worth going alone…right from the word ‘go’!!!

Since the ticket wasn’t confirmed, I went to check the reservation chart when it was being put up. And…I didn’t know how to check that chart! So I asked the officer putting up the chart “how does one check the status?” and he very politely looked it up for me told me my confirmed seat and bogie no.!

When the train arrived I went and took my seat. The next two people to take seat were ladies. And by the time the train reached its second station in Mumbai, the other seats in that side of 6 seats were all occupied by ladies. So, I jovially commented to the co-passenger next to me… “hey! All the 6 seats are of ladies!!!” She smiled and replied that these were the ladies quota seats! All of us positioned ourselves very conveniently. I caught up on much needed forty winks. After some time, one of them pulled up the middle seat to sleep on it. So this beautiful lady next to me says…now u can lie down straight…and we shared a good laugh on it!!!

Later, we all got talking. One of them was a Psychology graduate from KC College-1994. the other one was from Sophia’s~ Socio-history and currently working with SOTC. She was going to Surat to her fiancé’s home for Holi. Basically, all of us were making a ‘HOLI’ visit to the city and no one was a native!

I felt so happy being in the midst of these ladies. It makes you realize that all this talk of ‘women empowerment’ is not a bluff, or restricted to the upper crust. There are ordinary women, going out there in the [ahem!] big bad world, using their education, skills and talent…and living it up!

SURAT has all the trappings of a tier-I city. THAT is a simple corollary of having high disposable incomes. As the service providers get a whiff of moolah, they come rushing to tap into this lucrative region. So, we get to see everything from a Pizza Hut to Gold’s Gym, from McDonald’s to Kaya Skin Clinic!!!!!

But, the Gujju’s inherent sedentary nature means that life still goes on at a very relaxed pace! I got to see a glimpse of many parts of this country in that city. From the Nagpur feel to Calcutta roads to Jamnagar by-lanes…it has a heady mix of all! Now, here’s what, makes Surat
a typical tier-II city…one that is in no hurry to don the metropolis feel!...

  • - roads are broad and well-paved.
  • - traffic signals that don’t work [no..they really don’t! the only saving grace is that during peak hours… some of the busier junctions~ where the chances of accidents are higher~ have a traffic cop stationed there.]
  • -rest of the traffic moves on mutual understanding!
  • -lot of two-wheelers… mainly the non-gear ones.
  • -loads of female drivers…with their typical covering of the face and neck area with a duppatta…leaving only the eyes bare, that too covered by glares!
  • -the city sleeps too early for any business hotspot. But then, considering the gujjus’ fetish for sleep…the shops shut quite early!
  • - shopping centers are another characteristic feature of tier-II cities that are ubiquitous in Surat too. These, of course, are a more like desi malls, with all kinds of outlets and affordable prices!

Here’s the brief on what ‘I’ did out there. I reached in the afternoon of 21st march n left for Mumbai on 24th early morning. Now, I’m somebody who doesn’t do pillion-riding as a principle. But there, I’d no option. And I had both my cousins [a bro n a sis] taking me around on their TVS Pleasure for most part of my stay! In fact, on 23rd when we got out in the noon, I tied my bandana to cover my face eyes downwards and sported shades, because of the terrible heat!

By 21st noon the HOLI mood had set in. and there were youngsters throwing water balloons at passer-bys from their homes. In daytime when we went out, no water balloon was aimed at us. But in the evening, I was actually in the mood to get hit. And twice, the balloons almost hit us…since we were riding on the scooty…hence it missed the aim. But, when we were about to reach home…someone’s balloon got it right and hit me on the thighs…so MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

On the main day…ie HOLI- 22nd…I had LOADSA fun!!! In fact, for the first time I actually danced on Holi, coz I’d never really got a chance to do that before. Then, my cousin sis drove me to their old residence to play with her friends. But, they were already done with it and the building compound had just 3-4 men and a lady in the holi colours. I’m someone who never resists while being applied colour…so I let one of the men put as much colour as he wanted to. But, I guess, he put some weird dark colour, because when we were driving out…one of the kids around looked at us…got surprised…and I THINK he said ‘bhoot’!!!! we also drew a lot of stares on our ride back home. A little before we were about to reach our compound…two guys on a scooty, on the other side of the road threw what I thought was a water balloon at us. But it missed the shot and hit the ground…n then I looked back n saw….it was a coloured egg!!!!!!! So I shouted to them… “BAD LUCK GUYS!!!!!!!!!!”

After all this dhamaal…when I finally took a bath…the colour didn’t go entirely. And I was very surprised, ‘coz I’d taken appropriate precautions before going out to play. I don’t mind colours…but that time…I actually looked like a terrorist! There were a few purple spots on the left cheek, right side of the face was a shade of red and a part of the neck was shaded in green!!! Thanks to mom’s solution on the phone, when I left Surat on Monday…there weren’t any holi colours left!

On holi evening, when we went out to my uncle’s family friend’s place…I wore a saree that was peach-coloured with silver appliqué work and in a flowing fabric. The best part of it…was the blouse…which had a deep cut on the back-side. This was the first time I wore a blouse with that deep a neckline and it felt so sexy with the hair brushing on the back!!!!!

23rd evening, my cousins took me out for a movie. I’d fixed up a meeting with an e-pal after the movie. But then…my cell phone balance was really low. There was no recharge available around…coz all those shops had closed! Adding to our woes was the fact that my cousin couldn’t start the scooty…and later…she said there was no petrol! Also…my e-pal had not yet arrived. Balance was miserable and no recharge in sight. One of the medical store guys tried to be helpful by calling up some phone retailer for recharge. He took my no. but didn’t get the recharge done. Instead…I’ve had him calling me up [quite often] after I reached Mumbai. Though, I’ve been sensible enough to not take those calls!

Well, I finally did meet my e-pal…fun guy…as I already knew. next …I wanted to go to this one specific sweet-shop and none other. The problem was that none of us knew where the shop was! And I didn’t have enough balance to call up my uncle and ask for directions. Here, this e-pal was REALLY helpful. In the meanwhile that my cousin got her scooty filled…this guy called up one of his friends’ and got some hint on the shop’s location. He offered to come along to locate the shop, but I politely refused. He still persisted [gujju hospitality!] and ultimately had us guiding to the place his friend had told him of. In between he stopped to ask for further directions at a mall and then started ahead. But, as they say, when misery comes…it comes by dozens! after my cousin stopped behind my friend at the mall…she couldn’t start the vehicle!!!! There were people around who tried starting and even they couldn’t. I frantically tried my friend’s no. but, obviously, he wouldn’t pick up because he was riding his bike! Ultimately he did pick up and worriedly asked about our whereabouts. I managed to tell him the scene and asked him to come back. THAT WAS IT…my balance was over…can’t make any calls or send msgs!!!!! He came back and with a lot of difficulty got my cousin’s vehicle started. Not far ahead was the sweet shop. We reached and he said…this is it. I said…but this shop is closed. He was shocked…coz it was open 2 min.s back!!!!!!!! I stood perplexed for a min. and then ran towards the back door of the shop!!! I requested those guys to let me in … “I’m from Bombay and m leaving tomo!!!” so…there I was…making a back door entry!!!! I picked up my favourite sweets, profusely thanked the guys and made a hasty exit! Outside, my e-pal rode along till a point and then said that he’d be taking the other turn. I expressed my gratitude, pulled his leg for one of our inimitable jokes and parted ways.

THIS was one eventful trip. At the end of it, I decided I’m gonna go to a different place every year for holi!

Though, the sad part is that on my way back my health started getting bad. And by the time I reach hostel…I was really sick. Ultimately, I had very high fever…and was in bed for ONE entire week! Huh! as mom pointed out, i'd had to fall sick! i plunged into frenetic activity after my exams ..without much care for health. the surat heat and all that water juz compounded the scene and i got bed-ridden. it was the FIRST time i was properly 'sick'...and that's a bad thing to happen!!!

Delhi Diary

HERE I AM...back in the capital of the world's largest democracy! a city m not exactly fond of coming to. n i keep telling mom [on various occasions] tht u r in the wrong city! so...after many debates and i-don't-hv-the-time-to-come-homes... i ultimately did make a trip to NEW DELHI.
tht happened coz my VOICE ACTING course got postponed. and i'd had a mini emotional breakdown very recently....so an option to repair myself was to make a trip home. and though i still had other commitments in mumbai...AND...i was also indulging in other options of rejuvenation...i juz decided to come down.

finally...amidst a lot of frenzy i boarded a flight to new delhi...n was at home on 15th April at 9.15pm.

it's been a joyride since then!!!!!!! i consciously decided against taking up any sort of engagement...b'coz i wanna enjoy me last 'proper' holiday of the student life! the moment i entered the house...it changed the whole mood! we had a lengthy discussion about my stay...and i was bristling with ideas of what all i wanna do out here. ultimately...it was decided tht the next day m juz gonna take rest...n then we'll start the sojourn! so...on 16th...it was a no-show...except for going out shopping in the evening followed by an amazing dinner at one of my fav. outlets in the capital. i was 'happy and full' after almost 1 month!!!!

17th ...i finally w'ANDAZ APNA APNA'...the 1992 Raj Kumar Santoshi flick! and then...late afternoon dad left for his native place. SO...we called up at another family friend's place...whose head of the family wasn't there too!!!!

the way to their place [AIIMS] is actually quite simple from home. there r 2 fly-overs to cross n a bit more. but...we couldn't get a rick! and after loadsa walking ...[we'd crossed 1 flyover already!] one empty rick-wala finally agreed. AND...he dropped us on the other side of AIIMS!!!!!!!! i ws a unsure abt the way..hence didn't direct him....and... HUH!!!
so...again began the walk to go to AIIMS' main gate. we went frm inside the campus of the hospital [my first visit to a non-Forces hospital!]. after reaching the other side...n a li'l bit of calling n asking...we were FINALLY at our destination.

moral of the story...we almost walked all the way to tht place...in 1.25 hrs! actually...it'd have been much faster...if we had pre-decided to juz walk to tht place!

and yeah...we left their place at arnd 11:10pm...and reached home in 10 min.s flat!

on 18th...i had my FIRST proper 'going out' session. i'm very lazy at this point of time. hence...i will write abt 18th...and the further days'... next post onwards!!!

[ideally speaking...i'd have like to name this series "DILLI DHAMAAL"...coz tht's more suited to kinda plans tht i have for my stay at home. but...juz decided to stick to the more cliched 'delhi diary'!
now...i'd originally wanted to do posts chronologically...which meant i had 2 other posts of prior events'topics...to type n put up...but i've been too lazy to do tht. hence...i've motivated myself to go ahead with DELHI DIARY at least...otherwise even this will get added to the back log...n tht's not really a great idea!
also...apologies for not using 'propah' language. as much as i'd have loved to do tht...i wasn't really in the mood for it. also...i wasn't typing in MSWord ...so the typos and internet lingo may kindly be excused!]