Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Delhi vs. Mumbai

This entire Delhi vs. Mumbai… rather Mumbai vs. Delhi (have I already given it away ;) debate started playing in my mind when a dear friend visited me from Delhi. She got exasperated by the Mumbai traffic. Com’on… at least the traffic is moving, unlike your darling Delhi traffic. Plus it is difficult to explain to the uninitiated that we are crossing from west to east!!! Not that she would either understand or appreciate. She is a Delhiite you see! This, plus her comment about the slush outside my plush housing complex got my goat! As always, let me now start with the basic clarification – I am married to a dilliwala and have stayed for almost 7 years in Delhi. And hence will try and not make this an us vs. them piece. Will also steer clear of the usual suspects – the season, the sea, safety, Bollywood vs. politicos Things that hit me the first time I stepped into Mumbai: The varied smell every 100 mts which are so distinct yet are a melange of fishy-garlicky-garbagy-stale dampness; The heavy air and mund-hee-mund everywhere. Delhi: The “stares” rather the “ogling”! The first timers may get taken aback by so much of “appreciation”! HA! My food world exponentially expanded in Mumbai. No other city in India can match the exhilarating choices that Mumbai has to offer to a foodie. The best part being that the choices come for every pocket size and without any pretentions. The Calcutta roll might have been the only missing piece from the food maps of Mumbai but now with multiple outlets of Hangla’s that too has been taken care off. Should write about the varied choices of Mumbai food life sometime else. Let me just share an ironic nugget – the best mumbaiah street food are made by the ‘bhaiyyas’! And is many notches below the Kolkata street food… how can something called pani-puri match upto the character of a phhuchkaa! Delhi: Hmmm… let me see how I can do justice to the Delhi food (dare you call it a cuisine!) Rajma-chawal, Kadhi-Chawal, Chole-chawal/kulcha/Paneer… oh wait… clubbing paneer here might be considered a pure blasphemy by the other side of my family!!! Should hand over to Delhi for the sheer variety of parathas (the stuffing changes, masala doesn’t ;), paneer preps (name changes, ingredients don’t) and masalas. I have a take on the ‘masala’ culture of Delhi. The ‘masala’ overpowers the rawness / freshness of the food and leaves an aftertaste difficult to forget! Mumbai lets you be. Our car has not had a single scratch in the last 12 years we have been here. I don’t have to bother about someone shoving past me and getting to the ticket counter. It does have that ‘pada’ culture of Kolkata but with a clock-work precision. I don’t have to think / over-think ways and means to add spice / tadka / masala (please put two and two together… ) to my life, ‘cause a mumbaiite does not bother. On the other hand, they are always there at hours of need. My personal experience has been that they don’t hang around after the good deed and feel ho-hum about it. Delhi doesn’t let you be. You need to be always on your toes, right from the choice of fabric, which market / boutique bought from (of course it matters big time… you silly), shade of the lipstick, inches in your heels to which school your child goes to! They feel sorry for you all the time and are careful to point that out in many different and direct (!) ways to you. This is something which gets so beautifully espoused at a movie theatre. The Mumbai cinema goers will react openly with big guffaws, oohs, profess their love for Hermione but let Ritiesh Deshmukh and Genelia enjoy a cosy evening out! Has been ages since I have been to a Delhi theatre… but nah… this can’t really be the case in Delhi! The evening gown takes an altogether different proportion, an epic one, in Mumbai. And nope am not referring to those designer / glittering ones. These are those one-size-too-large and two-inches-too-long and should be hitched up by flick of three fingers and are donned by everyone in the evening while buying “bhaaji” or while taking an evening stroll with the next door mulgi and they add to the desiness quotient of Mumbai. My mom used to call them housecoats! Talking of desiness – here also Mumbai scores over Delhi. Parks called nana-nani park, restaurant which clarifies its “ani” bar, the choc-o-block festival line up which starts with the humungous Ganpati festival and ends with Holi. I wonder, if it would not have been exam time, Mumbai would have continued... One area where Delhi will always have the upper hand is after-school education, and by that I mean education after class 10, you perverts! In my world Dr Singhs, Arun Mairas and Educationists win hands down compared to John Abrahams, Boman Iranis and 2nd-cousins-from-the-left of the filmy / ad-world crowd. I wish this Mumbai vs. Delhi debate would have been more on the lines of who is better or rather worse - a Thulla or a Pandu… But afterall, you would hardly find a Mumbaiite who after staying in Delhi would say that Delhi grows on you. And believe me Mumbai does!

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Hidden Agenda!

I laughed so much because I was afraid you would realize I do not have much to say. 

I do not say much, as I am super conscious that you would start judging me. 
I do not share my thoughts as they do not match yours.
I share my thoughts as I think they are superior to yours.
I share my thoughts, as it helps me clarify my own thoughts.
I do not share my thoughts as tomorrow the context and the sub-text will change.
I share my thoughts because 'deewaron-ke-bhee-kaan-hote-hain'.

I let you take the lead as at this point in time as I can not afford to loose you.
I let you take the lead, so that the pressure of performance is off my head.
I want to take the lead, as I also need to be in the limelight.

I love when the Sun plays peek-a-boo with the Cloud on a rainy day. Cloud, you are so very powerful during these 3 and a quarter months! Do you feel the need to be all-powerful, all the time? Ah, I know! You are magnanimous enough to not get perturbed by just these 15-minutes-of-fame thingy :) Plus, I am sure you must be finding this quite tiring. But the question is - what about the Sun?

I wake up late on weekends 'cause want all decisions to be taken by Savita, Jaishree and Saroj... My 3 musketeers 

I love idealism. It lets me hide my stubbornness. ...as I try and find... my path. 

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Joy of Being an Underdog

Do not get me wrong. This is neither for nor against an ‘underdog’. It is just that the underdogs truly overwhelm me. I can keep pace with the other dogs but this species gets me all twisted up. I mean, have you ever noticed
how many movies are made every year about the underdog and his /her winning ‘formula’ or should I call it ‘fate’. I may be completely wrong (read biased) here, but somehow I do not remember watching a single film where the
film starts with the protagonist being at the losing end but thereafter continues the winning streak for the rest of the film.

Take your pick from these come-from-behind, rags-to-riches stories – Billy Elliot, Homer Hickman of October Sky, The greatest game ever played (hope I got the name right), and yes our own Ms Roberts as the Pretty Woman. Wish someone would take the story forward and tell us what happens after they move away from the side-lines to the limelight, does the dream run continues forever? What happens when another underdog starts lurking in the shadows? Do they understand the angst better and let the newbie take over without much fight?

That’s the joy of being an underdog. No questions, no undue pressure. Even if you win only once in your lifetime, everyone celebrates and makes all-time super grossers. Kya maze hain bhai  :) Com’on … accept it. Everyone
loves the small fry. They are the ones who make one feel important and powerful.

And the poor winner! Remember the look on Rancho’s friends faces when he topped his exam in ICE (3 Idiots). Raju Hirani, please take a bow! Only a winner like you will have such insights into the inner being!

Every time I look around there's so much pathos for the loosers (okie dokie… I am getting a bit personal here…). The boss gets all teary eyed and starts making such valid (read atrocious) excuses as macro-economic conditions
(whhhhat!!!), new to the role and the best of the lot…. LOYAL! Oh yeah… this is why it must be so much fun to be an… you know what!!!

This is the purest of examples of having your cake and eating it too… all the time! Remember how one reserves the biggest of sympathies for the poorer cousin. And this has been the real game changer. ‘cause all those
poor cousins are mandated to be super- successful in the future and will proudly relate  their  100-rupees-in-the-bank-account stories, 100 times, to the same set of people. Yes… we all love a sob story… who has time for
the winning ones.. you see, we do not like obnoxiousness! How immodest, how un cool!!! Beating you’re your own b******t. Ain’t it great then to be just THAT?

Plus it takes so much effort to sound nice to successful people. On the other hand, empathies find a natural flow towards the cry-baby. One cries and hence gets all the attention… other one nurtures the crying and continues to feel powerful. Such a win-win situation!

Plus, there is Forrest Gump! I rest my case.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Working Mother

Let us first get this out of the way… all mothers work! Period! And that there are multiple kinds of ‘Working Mothers’. 1st Kind: Those who work-work. They work outside their home and therefore have to work inside too. You get the drift? No one understands the middle path better than this kind. I am sure you also get the drift why they are 1st on this list! And if I may add another angle to this – INDIAN, for a good measure(please also note the uppercase)… oh boy! This kind wants to be a superwoman (tee hee hee…). And cannot blame her, what with such formidable opponents as… Ah let me not name them! You know them anyways! See… it happened again… the Middle Path! Now that I have made my point, aquamarine clear (can’t afford crystals), should I even bother with other kinds. Lately though one variant to this kind which is uppermost in my list is the one who wants the entire world to feel bad about their status. Come on… it's you who decided to have a career and also be a super mom. You want to work late hours to prove that you are totally committed to the workplace and are ambitious to the T. Then why do you want me to feel guilty that you are not able to give time to your coochie-poochie. That is why I loved Michelle Pfeiffer’s Melanie Parker in ‘One Fine Day’. Her break-down in total despair at the police station must have been so cathartic. I think this is what gave her the courage to walk out of that presentation. Can you ever imagine doing something like that! Personally, if you ask me, I think that was unprofessional! Apart from this minor aberation she was just perfect to the last bit of that awkward kiss with Clooney… drool!!! 2nd Kind: These are also work-work! Works at home to be the perfect home-maker – rajma-chawal one day, Mexican spaghetti the other, grilled vegetables with mashed potatoes and some more. They work out of home also - attending PTAs, rather she’s the PTA secretary; arranging the 15th August kiddie celebrations… and many such innumerable do’s which the ‘1st Kind' can only fantasize about… nope.. no kidding! This is what dreams are made up of. But the best of the lot is also a ‘work-work’ mother (go ahead… call me unimaginative!). They work all the time... Work on your kids so that they are not deprived of Motherly love (read pampering); work on your husband so that the poor baby gets manpasand khana. These are the kinds which makes the ‘1st Kind’ wanting to be a superwoman. They are around all the time to make the ‘1st Kind’ wanting to go for the kill (Ooops!)

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Rule Book!

Loves me… loves me not… before I build on this interesting (HA!) phenomenon… I thought it would be prudent (is this the right word to use here???) to lay out some ground rules for my brand new blog! Oh, not to worry… these are reminders for just for ME!

Rule no. 1 - no gyan. This will be hell of a difficult rule to follow ‘cause it’s the easiest for me to get into a gyan mode and start a pravachan. All the gyan that I possess (why that look of surprise…) has already been shared during my NMIMS classes (must remember to write on those days… hilarious); with my itsy-bitsy team (poor things, they poured their heart out during the 360 degree feedback… refer the 1st post) and of course the teenager at home (least impacted… my kinda girl :-)

Rule no. 2 – linked to rule number one – the posts have to be about me. Period.  (bitching has to be in person.. hee hee hee ;-)

Rule no. 3 – I will not try toooo hard to be funny. It has been a big put off for me. Have stopped reading certain blogs just because… well… they try too hard!

There! Simple and easy to follow. No middle path here. Amen!

PS: the first line was just to grab your attention ;)

Sunday, 1 April 2012


The thing bothering me for some time now is why am I not in the blogosphere? I who is opinionated as opinionated one could be. The thoughts keep propping in my not-so-well-oiled head these days with an alarming regularity. The most shrillest of these alarms is Ruchira-you-are-letting-go-of-your-opinions-TOO-EASILY!!!”

Well… it had not been the case for as long as I can remember. And I remember the days when Ramayana was no longer just a sacred / holy book from which my thakuma (grandmother) used to narrate these intriguing tales but was about Arun (I believe it’s now Aroon) Govil’s horrendous acting and Sita’s fake glycirised (is there a word like that… I doubt! But you got the drift, right?)  tears! Blah!
So much so that I was banned to watch the epochal tele-series because of opinions (read mumblings) that 

I used to randomly throw to the beautiful Nepali cook, Mangli, who used to sit next to me. Thankfully in the years that followed my so called STRONG opinions were not wasted such J

Though lately I have come to believe that opinionated and obnoxiousness are closely linked… at least in the circles (literally… nope, not kidding!) I am currently associated with. The amazement is turning to hushed tones of “Ms-know-all”! Ahhh… the beauty of going through these 360 degree feedback! How the mighty fall. And choose the middle path!

Coming out of the middle path is like trying to come out of the EAC, the East Australian Current. “Rip it, Roll it, Punch it!” or Blog it!