Sunday, May 1, 2011

Such is Bombay

On friday morning I was going to office on that usual fast local train. Things were not great at office and in the morning at about 4am I was constantly being woken up by strange sounds, my neigbours were making across my wall. It was as usual all sweaty and crowded in the train. The type which makes you feel why-am-i-doing-all-this. Suddenly a guy (P.G.Wodehouse would have called him a dude) was listening to a song on his radio slash ipod slash music player slash some gadget. The dude started to sing aloud unaware of the crowd around. Such feelings you get when u listen to a good song and you just want to sing along. The dude was a good singer. Then three four guys started singing along and I did not realise I was also singing along. Song was a Kishore Kumar oldie prolly mere sapno ki rani. I dont remember typically which song as all the later songs were also Kishore's. The whole compartment tagged along and all those who could spread their hands also clapped. Some old people refrained but merely gave a toothless giggle. But the atmosphere had changed from sweaty and gloomy to still-sweaty but lively. I wished my destination station never arrived and we kept singing in the train loud and merry.

There are so many good eating joints in Bombay but one place I really enjoy eating is the khao-gali (food lane) near Opera House (near my office). One place where you can go alone and eat because there is so much crowd that it takes over and never lets you feel lonely. I generally dont have lunch with office colleague because all of them are married and have dabbas(tiffins) delivered. So I walk alone and join the crowd at Khao gali. Its one of the most crowded lanes in Mumbai. The food is cooked on coal and the delivery is amazing fast. If you love people, you will love eating at Khao-gali for sure.
On the day of Ayodhya Verdict (when the land was very diplomatically divided in to three), there was a huge alert for riots in Bombay. Fortunately such a thing did not happen. So when after office I was going home, Andheri streets were having a deserted look. I usually prefer to walk from the station to my home. But that day I preferred an auto. Suddenly the autowaala asked me about my views on the verdict (on having the land divided into three). I refrained from giving any views. Then the guy said "sahab galat hua, hindu ki zameen thi hindu ko dena tha" (sir, it was wrong, the land of hindus should have been given to hindus). I just said to him "wahaan mandir bane yaa masjid yaa kuch bhi bane, usse teri auto zyada tej to nahi chalne lagegi, woh ayodhya mein hai tu bombay mein hai, tujhe kya fark padega" (either a temple or a mosque is built there, it would not result in your auto running fast. It is in Ayodhya, you are in Bombay, how does that matter?" Suddenly that auto person stops the auto where 4-5 people were standing and started telling watever i said in a very hostile fashion. I got scared. I screamed "auto chalao"(start the auto). Suddenly one guy came near and slapped the auto person and told him "saab ko ghar lejaa jaldi se" (take him home at the earliest).

Its been an year now at this grotesque and fascinating Bombay and what a ride it has been. It has come with a realization that two things namely love and job are not meant for me. They seem to take freedom out of the freebird I am. I am not a love hating person or a career hating too, its just that love is not my cup of tea and about career I am still to figure out what I wanna do. I guess its normal because more than half of the people I know are facing the same crisis.
I felt


Just another girl... said...

from he wrote nonchalantly to hes started makeing sense (finally).... :)
good one.

shalini said...

i never knew u had such cool writing skills !!! nice post..

Vikas Chandra said...

@sapna: and look who is speaking..the one who always makes sense!!!

@shalini: oh so that was some discovery to u!!

Anonymous said...

aah down the memory lane.. :( Miss it :(

I remember once on the train I tried to get down before it actually stopped.. like all those expert guys do :P But i was too little then.. and fell/failed miserably :D

Watch all the Amol Palekar movies, they all have those office going-khau-gali eating stories..

About riots, I remember those jaagte raho slogans during the 1992 riots.. not very good days though..

Mumbai now, and Mumbai then are way too different but as they say, some things never change :|

//It has come with a realization that two things namely love and job are not meant for me. They seem to take freedom out of the freebird I am.//
Aww ! I so empathize with you. :(

surabhi said...

Nice one.. u have captured it well:)

bondgal_rulz said...

Did I ever tell you that I love the way you write?

Ananya said...

Another awesome post, Vicus!