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?
And that’s the moon over Bombay’s skyline. But, the moon, however, wasn’t orange – it was pink. Seriously. Twitterstanis who attended @adese’s birthday will vouch for it. Taken with my mobile phone, it’s actually amazing any colors came through at night, though!
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. 😉
So, tonight, after 3 days of being mostly home (except for a couple of man-on-the-street interviews for Radio Netherlands’ “Newsline” program), we ventured into town to go look at the Taj and light a candle. And the vigil had been moved to Marine Drive for security reasons, but people had obviously been there and continued to come there with candles and hand written cards, as well as flowers, ironically propped up against the ghastly police barricades. We couldn’t get much closer to the Taj Palace, but the strange thing is how peaceful it all seemed. Serene, even.
I was challenged by arun to do my bit as a blogger so I hunted through my phone photos and found this one – taken on Saturday as the light turned a particularly gorgeous autumnal gold – in Central
Mumai Mumbai, somewhere near Lamington Road and Grant Road. Unfortunately I don’t recall the name of this building and my search won’t yield a result. I’ve passed it numerous time and looked at the various stores, hotels, libraries, and denizens it houses in wonder – marveling at how they, like so many Mumbaikars, live cheek-to-jowl with each other, sharing a bathroom with dozens, able to hear every nuance of their neighbors’ lives through the thin walls of their single room … And yet, this is the only existence they can afford. Do they see beauty in their lives? Or is that a luxury afforded only to people like me, zooming by in AC cars with an expensive camera-phone?
Khair, if you do know the name of this building, please share. Otherwise, I’ll update this post after the next time I go by it.
Sometimes, honestly, that’s all you need, yeah? (That and a red pen to circle the errors. Sorry, once an editor, always an editor. Old habits die hard!)
This was taken outside a friend’s house in Andheri one night last month right after returning to Mumbai from a work trip to Pune. (which means this was the old camera phone).
In the last three days, it’s become so sultry in Mumbai, rather than drinking some chilled beer, which I normally do not like the taste of, I think it wouldn’t be enough to *bathe* in it…
I haven’t been to Crawford Market in forever. Actually, I’ll have to check with my mother to find out if I’ve ever been at all (I’m acutely wary of implanted memories based on my mother’s stories of a time gone by). Today at lunch, Tan and I whizzed by two storefronts that were completely bedecked with flower wreaths (“All the better to drown you with, Sheranwali“) for Navratri, we presume. Ramzaan and Eid just finished, now it’s Navratri and Durga Puja and next up is Diwali. I LOVE being back. All this exuberant color is instant seratonin!
Oh and a sehra is the headpiece of flowers worn by the bridegroom when he’s up on his white mare, fetching his new bride with the baraat, unable to see a damn thing, at least in Punjabi 😉
I was in Pune recently, hanging out on a friend’s balcony when I spotted this motley family coming up the road with a bunch of random things in hands, on shoulders, in arms. Slowly they unpacked their stuff and the long stick thing turned into a tightrope. But though they called out and beat a drum, there were no takers for the show. I was too far up and definitely not a worthwhile audience, so they re-packed and started to move off – except this time I was finally able to see what the dad was carrying Shravan Kumar style in his baskets – his youngest two kids!
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)