Once upon a time, when Mumbai was a leading exporter of cotton to the Western world, there were many textile mills in the small port city. Then there was a plague, and then there was a strike. A long, long strike. Today, most of the defunct mills either stand derelict or, after a 2006 Government ruling on the disputed land, poised to become the next big mall. The Blue Frog is in a mill compound in an in-between-stage. Several shed-like structures now house advertising agencies, production houses, plus this state of the art venue. Imagine my surprise when I peered into a smallish building next to the club, one night after a show, and saw looms! And this same building is rumoured to be new location of Zenzi! hmmmm….
I live right by one of the largest temples in Mumbai. But I can imagine that it’s not exactly convenient on a work day to get in a queue and await your turn for a tryst with the deity. So why not get your blessing and your karma equation balanced on the go? Well, now you can! The concept is simple: you pay for some hay to the man who owns both the cow and the feed -> you accrue good karma in your spiritual kitty! The enterprising owner of this particular mobile salavation army has parked his sacred cow outside a busy bank next to a major bus stop! (Extra bonus: since the cow is not a stray, you don’t have to worry about the Rs. 500 fine that the municipality has decided to slap on anyone feeding animals *rolls eyes*). The cow is doing great, btw, even in the rain. And I think I’m going to have to interview the cow-man soon…
Go on, look at that image carefully. Remind you of anything? No, this isn’t an old photo. It was taken at the Plaza cinema near Opera House in Mumbai just a few weeks ago. I was waiting in line with a friend for tickets to see “Singh is Kinng” when I noticed the sign and I was overcome with nostalgia for an age before computers, spell check (“Good lock!”) and printers, when all our signs for school and on our bedroom doors were painstakingly stencilled so they looked uniform, clean, and official. I still can’t believe someone at the cinema still does this! It’s so, so cool! I guess there are at least some arenas in life where a little effort is ok – and less expensive than an upgrade.
(Speaking of upgrades, my trusty Nokia 6233 died last week. I’m upgrading to a phone that has a slightly better camera. An expensive upgrade, but then I’ve never pretended to be anything less than lazy :D)
At least someone else other than me seemed more preoccupied with the rain than the firecrackers that took a short rest in the Ganpati immersion processions dancing by. It makes me sad – with the passing of Ganpati, the rains will also stop. The monsoon is really one of my favorite things about being back. After living through 13 years of cold, shivery rain – it’s a joy to be where the rain is warm. The rest of the murder was hunched up on the big banyan tree behind my new friend, waiting to dry off …
I came out of lunch at the Phoenix mills mall area a little while ago, and this dude was outside the gate accosting people with his wares. And his smile was blinding enough that people might have been depleting his reserves to protect themselves from it 😉
Two takes later, his smile had sort of faded on me, but the bravado hadn’t. I just adored his attitude. He was totally cool with my taking tourist-style photos of his, erm, 13, pairs of sunglasses.
The monsoon is nearly over and at least one soul in Mumbai is very sad about it. (hint: me!) Today we had a brief burst of rain and it made me happy. The last few days have been disgustingly bright. Here’s a photo from the terrace after the rain, of our wrought-iron garden furniture against the ixora. I love how the drops of water look blue as they swell to unsustainable girth, then plop and shatter, regaining their transparency. I could watch these for hours. Preferably while it’s still raining 🙂 (And I’m singing “Brishti Pore tapur tupur” in my head) (nope, can’t find an mp3 or a video from the movie I’m thinking of.)