What a thrill, right? To see my brother’s film posters on buses and walls 🙂 But the movie was unfortunately timed; it released with 8 other films and was almost totally ignored by the mainstream press (Ok, the Mumbai Mirror did review it and decimated it, but the Times Group seemed to have decided to boycott it. Others said they’d had to choose three or four of the eight and “Toss” just didn’t make the cut).
So, we tried to salvage some of it by creating a buzz in the social media fraternity and while that didn’t really take off either (logistics, quick-changes of movies in theatres, I left for Cambodia), it interestingly garnered a mention as a sort of case study in Campaign India magazine. It didn’t talk about the results, but I’m glad someone noticed the effort! Read the story Do Indian Bloggers affect consumer views? here. What do you think?
I didn’t know until very recently that Mumbai is one of the very few places in the world that hosts flamingos within city limits. (Nairobi and Miami are two others.) So of course I wanted to go see. And with a video journalist friend and an expert ornithologist friend, I went off to do a piece on them (hey, why not share with the world?) The flamingo photos I took are not worth publishing, they were too far away, but, on one of the quays, against the backdrop of an oil refinery and a thermal power plant blurred by grey wisps of smog and a flock of flamingos rocking gently like rose petals on oil, were these rotting, abandoned boats. Sewri was nothing like I expected. But these boats just grabbed me. Quite poetic a metaphor, aren’t they?(If you’d like, you can listen to the story and see Nitin’s photos)
Here we go! I finally feel like a citizen and an adult. All the years I lived abroad and paid state and federal tax, I never got a say in the process. Now, finally, I feel like I actually belong. I had to fight for it ;D But I did vote!
So, you read about how I was sure they’d ripped up my application after I’d left when I went to register. I checked online but my name wasn’t on the list. My parents got their voter ID cards, I didn’t. But, with fingers crossed, I went to check the updated list at the polling station, anyway. And of course, they couldn’t find my name, so I had to go find the ‘building list’. After visiting seven local volunteer tables with their building lists, and a good darshan of the entire area, we located the list and my name wasn’t on it.
Enter my Knight on a Steel Horse – a volunteer went off on a motorcycle after making a few calls to actually get the ‘supplementary list’ of new registrants that all the booths were sharing. Twenty minutes later, he roared up to tell me I’d been registered as purush (male) but … I had a temporary voter ID! I could have hugged him!
I hightailed it to the polling station where the volunteers seemed genuinely happy I’d returned and could vote! Since I could prove with my presence and my state ID that I’m really not male, two hours, much sweat, lots of repetitive questions and only a few lines later, I had cast my first vote ever*. And it was such a high! I was psyched for hours after! If you haven’t voted before, I highly recommend it 😉
*I left India when I was 18. This is the first election since I’ve returned! Of course, the year I finally get to vote, they switch to inking the middle finger. I could have put in an obscene gesture but … eh, I’m more mature than that. 😉
Once in a while, I come across a sign that just baffles me. I think we should run a little contest here for an alternate caption and/or a subtitle to farther edify the folks who wonder she has what??
Did they really mean “she and his“? But that still doesn’t make any sense. This one’s in Goregaon. The other one in Lower Parel I like is a mobile watch repair shop & hair saloon (sorry, sailoon) in one. I suppose whether your phone is broken or you need a trim, you can use your time efficiently getting a twofer instead of loitering.
Outside the Lower Parel office of Mudra, this Ganesh blesses the cars and junta jostling by. I believe he’s been around for a few months, but I only caught sight of him looming largely this past week. When I think of mudras, the dancer’s poses, it’s not the agency that comes to mind but the shadow warrior in Rushdie’s Haroun – easily the best book he’s ever written. Next to this Ganesh is a multi-armed goddess. I’ll get her next time there’s no car blocking her length. Meanwhile please to note that there is a fresh hibuscus tucked between Ganesh’s toes, then, and every day since. 🙂
Mumbai’s local trains are awesome. Not just because of their celerity, but also because they’re a microcosm unto themselves. The people, the smells, the sounds, and definitely the literature – I love it all.
Anyway, I quite liked this offering. Unfortunately, the phone number was missing, but 600 Rupees (~$15) for 40 types of chocolate, including “Ferrero Racher” (sic) – now, that’s a steal!
“What a nice smile you have. Wow! And you’ve definitely lost weight. You are looking so fabulous! My god, these jeans make you look HOT! And curvy in all the right places. You look perfectly marvelous in this color, too. You simply must wear it all the time. It brings out your eyes so well. We really don’t see you often enough, you know. It’s lovely to have you here, you make the place light up. Really…” 😉
Tiny kiosks selling “American Corns” have become both cottage industry and franchise opp nearly everywhere in metropolitan India. I see them in every market and every mall and movie theatre.
The other day, near a stall that sell the steamed “corns” (in masala – yum, Chinese – too salty, Italian – too much oregano, and American – absolutely bland flavors) I found the discarded packaging of the frozen kernels.
It gives me the absolute heebie-jeebies every time I see it written down as corns (plural).
I always, always get a mental visual that grosses me out. In fact, a simple google search will show you exactly what I mean.
Ick, ick, ick, ick.
This was taken in Goa — right near the NON-path through god knows who’s backyards to Curly’s at South Anjuna. So much for beating around the bush, this is precisely where our cab driver chucked us out, threw his car into reverse and left us standing in the dark.
The sign I wish I had been able to take a picture of, however, was better. It said, in big red letters on white, “PLEASE. YOU THINK POSITIVE” (yes, really!)
I was on my way to the airport, pretty sure I’d miss my flight, so we didn’t stop. 🙁
This gem from a hosiery/underwear store in Lajpat Nagar Central Market 🙂 Don’t miss the fact that “Romance” is juxtaposed with the rather prosaic “Groversons, etc.”…
When I lived in Poland, I would frequently be frustrated at the attempts at English signage by local businesses. Maybe I’ve just gotten old, or jaded, or lazy — but I have started finding such bizarro spellings and bastardizations of English charming these days 😉 Andar ki baat hai.