Monday, August 18, 2008


I have gazillion posts, all half written and never published. Sometimes, in the midst of writing something comes up and you think you'll come back to the post later. That never happens and the post just rots. Now I have no inclination to go about with this unfinished business hence the two people who read this blog shall, for the first time in its history, read an incomplete post!

I had written this post just as I returned from my India trip, sometime way back in May. If you have not been following what I wrote above, yes, it is incomplete!

* When friends used to come from abroad and say they feel the pollution in the city, I used to laugh at them. The firt time I returned home, I felt the smokey fumes the moment I stepped out of the airport. However this time I did not. I didnt go on a sneezing spree and didnt suffer an upset stomach. Something must be wrong with me.

* Traffic, traffic, traffic. Autowallas rigging their meters, asking return fare for a one way journey, constructing malls in the tighest of spaces, rude turning ruder, not obeying traffic signals, and sky rocketing prices. Not the Bombay I grew up in. But the Mumbai I have started to accept.

* I was surprised by the Rs. 20/- Churchgate return fare. Also, I have no idea which idiot moved the previous ticketing system to a dot matrix printer. Now the ticket clerk goes through a huge amount of time entering data and then waits eons for the ticket to print. The system earlier was much simpler and faster. He used to punch the ticket and bam! You are ready to go. But I digress. I remember the days after my 10th grade. For "apparently" studying diligently, I was allowed to get out of the house and party everyday.... well, party like a 10th grader. I got 100 bucks in the morning and some of my friends and I used to take the train to Churchgate (Rs. 8/- return). Getting there, we either ate at some crappy roadside place or treated ourself to Sundance cafe on an odd day. Split a cab to Regal, or walk it up, watch a movie from the dress circle for Rs. 43/-, hang out around town and take the Andheri Local back home, get off at Parle, have a softy and call it quits. That was the norm. All in a 100 bucks.

* We walked in for an afternoon show at Cinemax. Rs. 250/- a person. What happened to the good old 100 bucks a day time?

* I was walking up Juhu with a friend. We started from Prithvi's and passed by the Centaur to Mahesh Lunch home (where we decided to return for our dinner) and kept walking past the JW till we hit Shiv Sagar. Somewhere nostalgia got the better of me and we ended with Pav Bhaji and a Falooda at Shiv Sagar.

* We took the cool cab into town, which in the smouldering heat was pleasant. We got onto Bus # 324 for our return journey. For some reason I kept smiling all through that return journey holding onto the window and staring out like a child.

* Mc'Donalds with a desi touch might be nice, but nothing beats the Chocolate Ball at Merwans.

* One fine evening I took the train back from town. Getting off at Andheri, I walked into Merwans and saw they have a few loafs of bread. Just for the background, Merwans bread/rolls sell out by 5 PM, such is the demand. I called home, and asked Mom if she wants bread from Merwans. "Apoo, they sell out by 5 PM. Its 8 PM" was the reply. When I told her I was at Merwans and they had bread, "Get two" were the exact words I heard. I walked home with bread, chicken rolls and a huge bunch of assorted pastries. That was dinner. A friend of mine is so fascinated with Merwans she went and chatted up with the owner for some time and clicked his photo.
(update: I was going to put up a photo here, but now have no idea where the photo might be)

* Why does Mumbai remind me of bureaucracy, of politics, of something new, but broken? And why does Bombay remind me of love, romance, something charming and old? I'll be damned if I do not return to my favorite city on planet earth!

...... 57 days to go

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Blogger Solitaire said...

100 bucks a ticket???? I don't even remember 100 bucks!! It was way less than that!

What's wrong with Merwans for dinner? I have done that before too!!

Mcdonald's with a desi touch is hilarious to me!!

Oh god..I can go on and on.

Nice post.

August 19, 2008 1:13 AM  
Anonymous IdeaSmith said...

The city we grew up in is home no more. And that's got nothing to do with inflation or residential address. Three months is the longest I've spent away from this place...but it just doesn't feel right anymore.

Good post, Apoo. I think most of us can relate to what you're saying.

August 19, 2008 2:24 AM  
Blogger Tazeen said...

you are going back again, wow. Someone has hit the jackpot.

August 19, 2008 2:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jai Maharashtra!!

August 19, 2008 4:17 AM  
Blogger Iyer Education said...

you are right... i am missing the city i grew up in... things are same on this side of the island too...

we also have to pay additional toll to cross over vashi bridge and come to navi mumbai

ok bad joke :)

August 19, 2008 6:01 AM  
Anonymous Deepak Jeswal said...

Err..i think i missed sth.. what's the countdown for? Ur marriage?

August 19, 2008 9:17 AM  
Blogger Neeku said...

okay whats up with the days countdown... are you getting married ? by any chance !!!! or you going to India for Diwali ?

Enough of suspense... tell us what's the countdown for? (though, i am pretty sure that you are not going to give and tell us... still thought to try...)

August 19, 2008 12:39 PM  
Blogger APOO said...

#Solitaire: I love the Indian Mac with the green chutney in it... I think its called Mc'Grill and comes for 25 bucks! Yummm!!

#Smithy: Yeah... we all love this city, dont we?

#Tazeen: Haha! No dear, not anytime soon. No jackpot yet!

#Abhi: Jai Hanuman!!

#Iyer: Lol! u r a nut, and u know that! Drive up in your chaddi and banyan, and u'll be allowed to pass thru for free.

#Deepak: You think I would announce my marriage, in the form of a countdown, on my blog??!!

#Neeku: Why dont you wait another 56 days. You'll find out... perhaps its nothing. Perhaps I am jes creating suspense for more comments :P

August 19, 2008 8:50 PM  
Blogger DewdropDream said...

* Why does Mumbai remind me of bureaucracy, of politics, of something new, but broken? And why does Bombay remind me of love, romance, something charming and old?*

Because that's exactly what it is. Bureaucracy and stupid govt changed names and want to Indianise everything... but CST is never going to be as charming and romatic as VT.

And if I'm not wrong... when am in Mysore, we still spend about 35 bucks on movie tickets. Lucky mr=e! Dislike the infiltration of outsiders and the mall-pizza hangout-coffee shop culture creeping in. Sigh

August 20, 2008 5:38 AM  
Blogger Sense said...

*sigh* I miss the cutting chai and Bun Maska. All the earl greys in the world can't hold a candle the the cutting chai at the canteen!

August 21, 2008 3:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 10th - I splurged on a softy, a shiv sagarized pizza and a potato sandwich at crunchy munchy (not necessarily in that order)when I got any money from my parents.

And I still had money to take me through the rest of the week.

Now, I spend 100 bucks to go from home to Shiv Sagar.


August 25, 2008 12:20 AM  
Blogger Khizzy said...

bombey is my 2nd favorite city on the planet.
karachi(regardless of bombings/muggings/and random insanity is my first love)

September 05, 2008 2:00 AM  

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