This is a Delhi photo – of course! I was nearly home when I looked to my left and to my right and found myself eye-to-eye with not one, but two Barbies. Most rickshaws have posters up of Bollywood stars. This was a first for me. In Mumbai though, last Thursday I was in a cab that the driver (also the owner) had furnished with a plush red and black, umm, carpet. It was on the seats, the ceiling, the flooring, and the dashboard. Then I noticed it was even on the inside panels of the doors. On further inspection and inquiry, I found out it really was the same furry fabric, only he’d had it laminated! How ingenious, no?
This is the “NICE beauty hair style” joint for “gents and kids” near Lady Shri Ram College for Women in Delhi. I passed this for a year and on my penultimate day in the city, I finally managed to get a decent shot of the signboard. My line of sight in the past has always gotten obscured by traffic … I can’t tell you how many blurred/blocked shots I’ve deleted. Anyway, this is still not the best photo, so I’ll help you read what the NICE beauty hair style place offers. If you’re a gents or a kids, you can get “FACIAL, BLEACH, MASSAZ & BODY MASSAZ” … lucky you! Nothing for the ladies, sadly. Sigh…. no massaz of any kind 🙁
Timings: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. And you can get a paan when you’re done 🙂
Juicing is hard work. Last month, I went to Janakpuri for a work visit and exiting the I just loved these two little boys who were selling sugarcane juice (replacing the shakharkandhi chaat of the winter) from this rotary machine which took all their strength. There were plenty of takers on that hot day — one of the first sweaty ones in Delhi’s so-called spring…
Their ice blocks are covered with jute sacks and the sugarcane stems
are then passed between the two grinding wheels. The result — a flattened stick of fibre, and sweet, sweet, sticky liquid sugar 😉
Last month, my trusty iBook crashed on me and I was near devastated. I had such a crap day that I really was in no mood to do anything but crawl into bed and cry over lost data. My parents, however, cajoled me into coming out to dinner with them on the promise that their friends would cheer me up with funny stories of their misspent youth. They lived up to their promise and I did feel better. But the highlight of the evening was seeing two sambar forage in the B course in the moonlight. Here’s one with shadow thrown on the gumbad behind. Blurry, but then my camera phone isn’t really made for nighttime shooting.
I’ve been ‘home’ for one year. A whole year!
That happened sometime late last night and I was too frazzled to even think about it. Walking with my mother this evening before dinner, discussing my impending move to Bombay later in March, I stopped in my tracks at the realization that I’ve made it through an entire year — relatively unscathed! I can’t even begin to enumerate all the great things that have happened to me and the awesome people I’ve met, the fabulous stuff I’ve learned, done, and become a part of … not to mention the amount of street food I’ve savored… (I’m going to gloss over the crap radio job, the horrid winter, the awful allergies/ migraines/ bureaucracies/ roads …). And to make it all seem most fitting, today, I was given my first fortune cookie since I left America. And it read “You will have new adventures!” No $%*#, Sherlock! HAH!
Aight, when I was a pimply adolescent in Delhi, infatuated with boys on bikes (damn, not much has changed, eh?) my friends and I would walk over to Defence Colony Market to flaunt our stuff and check out the boys. The market was very ‘happening’ by those days’ standards. A veritable teenage meat market where you looked, made comments on, but didn’t touch. 18 years later, not much has changed! The youth ogling are even younger than we were, but they’re indoors, in Barista and other coffeeshops. Def Col even has two ‘clubs’ (RPM and something else I can’t recall), three bakeries, lots of clothing stores and this:
Woohoo baby! Check out the headless, legless mannequin on the curb. Can you imagine a Def Col babe wearing THAT? Wowsers!
Which brings me to wonder out loud – how is the new lingerie store “Straps” doing? I never even see any women in there, let alone <gasp> men! Hmmm. It’s such a brave new world out here in the markets of saadi Dilli
Outside New Market in Kolkata, we were greeted with this menagerie lined up along 6 cars. The dudes in the car had nothing to do with the animals. They were just parking/waiting. The enterprising vender told me he just moves his stuff around when the cars need to leave. Tusha, in full journalist style, went up to talk to the driver on whose car the gorillas, lions, boxers, teddies, and polar bears were hanging out. He tried to hit on her. I dragged her away.
Indian Chinese food, as the expats know, is in a class of its own. Nowhere in China would you find any of the random things we consume here, confident that they’re “Chinese”. Or close… The noodles/fried rice van outside our high school sold “Chinesh” food…
(Random factoid: The dish we call “Manchurian” – veggies, chicken, and gobi – really was invented in Bombay.)
But here’s someone in Lower Parel making some pretty lofty claims.
The tagline, btw, reads “Where Chinese cuisine took shape” 😉
I’m loving Kolkata. I will admit the best part about it is that it’s not Delhi 😉 But I really do like it for what it is as much as for what it’s not! It’s been a fun working vacation. I’ve covered some great stories and met wonderful people and eaten so much (mishti and tok) that I’m afraid I’ll pop soon. I love the chai stalls everywhere, I love that they’ll accommodate my request for black tea (in a thimble size cup), that there’s squalor (read character) everywhere and the goddess smiles on everyone. Even from behind bars. Even when larger than life, astride a tiger …
“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…” 😉