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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Night life: Mumbai!

When you start your day, most people do not expect anything different from what they have been doing for years, months or at least days, such is routine. Why change things up, when everything is working fine and you are happy to live the way you do? Unless, the change is definitely going to be for the better, like a pay rise, a promotion etc, one may never hug a situation that brings about change. Be it professional life, moving to a new city, changing jobs, or getting married, history can easily prove me right. 

And now I am part of such change, for last few months, got married, changed jobs, moved to new city and now I am looking for a new place that I can call home. Home is where Heart is, and there should be at least 1 loved one be it a friend then, to meet after days work and cool your head, get rid off that stress, may be by a can of beer, a stroll on near by street, or a good movie. Each one, his/her own thing.

Living with one of my best friend, and watching Mumbai's night life on weekends has become high light of my stay here. Juhu PVR is my chill out place now and Novotel, even later in night. Till I came here, I had seen celebrities perform on screen or on stage, but never as normal people walking, having fun time with friends and watching a movie.

So till now the list of people I have seen are:


Bani

Tushar Kapoor (I did not identify him, for he looked too fare, compared to his screen image.)

Arunoday Singh

Sameer (1 from Big Boss)

Various TV stars and few models too.

This apart, I overheard a conversation between 2 models, and....

Model1: (Unable to balance on pencil hills, while getting on escalator flicks her hair on gaining balance.) 

Model2: "Oh! WoW! Where did u get those hair extensions from? They are looking good!"

Model1: "X place" 
Yes! She shared her secret. But point is, she took that as a compliment and the other model was actually complementing her, and my 1st thought was, "This might get bitchy!" but it did not. 

I guess, different circles in society do react differently to certain questions.

P.S.: No, I did not click any pics, or get autographs, but few smiles and my friend got stunned by flawless skin of Anushka.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mumbai!

Mumbai Fables

Life can take you anywhere, and most times it tends to change course, when it is least expected. And past one month have had similar kind of experience, changing base to Mumbai. However, once something changes in your life, you should be ready to see some beliefs turn into myths, and get dispelled. 

Bombay is the financial capital of India, everyone here talks about money, get into a local and you will find people discussing monetary transactions. And thats a fact, people here would know everything about money. However; on first day, I missed 2 locals trains, for the shear number of people getting in and out of them in mere seconds overwhelmed me, at peak hours. So I chose to take taxi.

I get into a Sardarji's taxi, after all they are said to be most honest, he takes me to my destination ( Dadar to Worli ) and charges INR 130, I complete my work, take another taxi to get back to Dadar and this time it is not a Sardarji, and he charges me INR 90, same route. Next day I drop the idea of using local train and end up on taxi again. This time it is another Sardarji, much older one though, we use same route and he charges INR 60. I cant make this stuff up! I was totally taken, for a ride, that is.

From next day I was able to catch those locals trains, without fail.

Next day I went sight seeing, BSE, Fort, RBI buildings, Fountain and all. After all I am a Finance guy, and then I visit a friend in Andheri, take an auto to his place, on way to airport, fare is normal, INR 10, so I take out a 10 Rupee coin and give it to him, and this is what I get a reply as:

"Sahab, ye rang berangi sikke yahan nahi chalte, ye India hai Amrica ya Europe nahi!" 

"Sir, this is India, such colorful coins are not legal tender here, this is not Europe or USA!" 

I have no other option, but to get my hundred rupee note changed! So Mumbai has not warmed up to new 10  Rupee coin as yet. And I had just admired RBI building!

I was looking for a place to live and I get many offers, some as low as 2,500 Rupees a month but what puts them under not affordable category, was the deposit they asked, anywhere between INR 1 Lakh to 3 Lakh! 

And then it was time to start working and hence a schedule began for me, I started taking same local, same times, and started seeing same people, most times. And soon realized how we Indians start trusting people, only because we see them again and again, and are so intrusive! One week and fellow commuters started asking me name, where I work, who is there in my family, and before that telling me things about themselves.

And some how, having me in there, with them made them nostalgic, like for how many years they have been commuting between these stations and how long they have known each other and how was there 1st job, 1st day. Man! I never felt so young, since being a baby! And this one is not even my 1st job! 

And then it struck me, seating at CST looking at a police Labrador retriever, keeping a silent watch, as if he is not surrounded by hordes of people; these must have been the guys who had witnessed Kasab, who must have lost someone or must have experienced, or must have seen a bomb go off on one off these local train. And still none of them, seemed to be afraid, remembering all the happy times, talking about 20-25 years since they have been catching the same local, not a mention of any sad history, just happy moments. So there really is a Spirit of Mumbai!

I had no idea Mumbai was so hot, literally, no I am not speaking of glamor, well I would say, I got to see more mini-skirts in Pune than in Mumbai, but amount of money I spend on buying liquids to drink-lassi, chass, cold drinks, sugar cane juice! And what not; easily amounted to 3 or 4 times the amount I spent in travelling! Humid, it was always, but hot! 

Then it happened to be the week of world cup, company allowing commentary on AIR, on floor, and we were upto minute of what was happening in the match, dint miss a ball, till we were working. also walking from station to work, I started seeing aliens, more an more of them, most Australians, speaking of being optimistic, bad case, is it not! Well, they atleast got to suck in Indian culture, local trains were a huge attraction, and so was old British buildings, and  Taxi rides! Well they were taking pictures with Taxi.