Monday, August 29, 2005

So this is what it looks like from up there where She sits!!!!!

Oh My God! Went on top of the CN Tower today, the world's tallest tower and what a breathtaking sight. Just can't describe it, especially stepping on the glass floor and seeing the world below. My first thoughts: oh God what if it breaks!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2005

in canada now

hey all
in Canada now. Wherever I go, there are storms and thunderstorms... what is this? I shift to Mumbai and it has the worst rain in a hudnred years and the day I was flying in, one of the worst ever tornados hits toronto and i have to land in montral etc and land five hours late as a result of which my 8 hour flight became 13.5 hours long!!!!!!!!!!! grrr.
anyway, visited wal-mart today. just a larger big bazaar really.
off to montreal, quebec and ottawa day after
in love with england. photo blog when I return

Thursday, August 18, 2005

a brush with God

I had a brush with God today. I am so sure of it. We were at this old and beautiful catehdral at Lichfield in England, and we arrived at 6.30 because we lost our way a bit and the doors had shut at 6.So we admired the architecture and sat down on the grass for a bit, and there she was. Just there. Right in my face. A little girl, with peaches and cream skin, short hair, a fringe, brown eyes, and for a second my heart stopped beating. She didn't say a word, she just stared at me, and smiled. Iasked her her name, she said Wila, I didn't quite get it. Her brother then came up and introduced hismelf as her step brother and said he's shocked because she never goes up to anyone had hardly talks, she's three years old. By now Willow, that's her name, is lying down on the grass in exactly the same way as I am, in an effort to imitate me. Her brotehr says it's really uncanny and then talks about how children recognise good people instantly. We give her chocolate, my aunt gives her a rupee for her money box and she won't leave. Her brother Steven tells us he's here from Birmingham and asks if I'm Indian and here on holiday. Meanwhile Willow's got chocolate all over her face so I help her wipe it off. The connection is just unmissable and everyone remarks that she and I must go back somewhere. I tell them she's God. Since we came to the cathedral but the doors were shut and we couldn't meet God, He decided to come out and meet us, or at least send one of his angels. Willow is then taken away and she keeps looking back and waving. I'm still a bit spooked, a bit happy and I'm sure there has to be an explanation for why a quiet and shy child who never talks to people she knows, let alone strangers, would come running up to me and just look me in the eye and stare at tme and not want to leave me in two minutes of knowing me.
it's just really weird.

As I sit down right now, a huge wheat-cutting machine works away, humming to its own pace, in the English countryside. It really is beautiful, 10 to 9 at night, and not a drop of moonlight. The little towns, Solihull, Lichfield, Stratford, Aston, they look right out of a picture book. The hedges are all even, the cars are all droolworthy, the rubbish is out in the cans, the posies smile at you obediently, gosh it's another world. So, so quiet. None of the madness of Bombay, of India. The noise, the dabbawalas, the fisherwomen, the vendors, the animals, the autos, the cabs, the radio from someone's car, it's mind boggling that we manage to find our solace and our quiet in the middle of all that din. Even London, the big bustling London is far, far quieter and some parts, the posh ones like Chelsea, look like no one actually lives in the houses. It is holiday time yes, and it's quiet because of the blasts yet it's just amazingly decibely low (I know that's not a word). I've taken the tube, the coach (just the bus from London to Birmingham), the train (from Birmingham to Stratford), the red bus, the black metro cabs (Kingfisher is doing some fantastic advertising on the cabs; isn't it 'lovely') and nowhere have I seen such quiet. I know it's odd, you don't see quiet. Do you listen to quiet then? No one speaks to each other. They just sit there and read or look out of the window or sip their coffee....
it's really another world.
That said, I am also amazed at how well they keep their monuments, restore their buldings, preserve their history, and manage to turn all of this into tourism revenue. Stratford on Avon, Shakespeare's birthplace is bustling with people, Chinese, Indians, Arabs, all nationalities, happily paying the £6.75 entry fee. And there are shops and cafes and boat rides, the entire place is just thriving on tourism revenue. It's the same for Westminster Abbey (£8 entry plus £3 for an audio guide or £4 for a human guide) or Buckingham Palace, some 20 quid. But it's fascinating. To see Shakespeare's house or the grave of Geoffrey Chaucer or even the epitaphs, though the graves are not there, for DH Lawrence, and Samuel Johnson and TS Eliot and George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans). Why can't we do the same? I am sure enough people would want to see the tombs and graves of our kings and leaders and samadhis etc. or our palaces, and our history and our customs? It's really a pity...
Lastly, I can't live abroad. For all its fashion sense and good looking and well turned out people (London really has a vibe) they have a dog's life. No help at home, everything from cooking to cleaning to clothes to kids to dusting to dishes. I get tired just looking at them work. So all those picture perfect houses and manicured lawns don't necessarily have picture perfect lives.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Ta ta (pronounced tuh-ta)

There are so many things I've been wanting to write, a review of Dus, a review of Kaal, a review of Bunty aur Babli, a review of Paheli, a review of Sarkar, a review of Yahaan... Gosh I've seen a lot of films lately, haven't I?
I've been wanting to write about the books I've read, about a lot of stuff, but of all that later.
I am once again dropping off the map for a bit, on a trip, hoping to travel and see and indulge and learn and hopefully blog. So wait for my blog and I promise I'll try to write while I'm away. Carrying a notepad nevertheless. Actually my wrist needs the break; suffering from a pain in my right wrist and hand for a few weeks. Probably the over use of computers and of course the sms. Wonder how it will be to have no cell for three weeks. Haven't had that feeling in years...
Anyway all you people -- how can I not say this -- keep rocking! Ta ta

Friday, August 05, 2005

Another birthday...

I just had another birthday a few days ago. Not a particularly good one with with all the flooding and us having to be stuck at home again... I've had all sorts of birthdays, as I'm sure have you. Some good ones with parties and hype and excitement. Last year, I was in Bombay, visiting, and it was a fantastic birthday, a really good one. So I guess things balance out. And somehow when I'm living in a new city, the first one is always a little uh-oh. Of course all my zillion friends and family called and messaged and all that but back in Delhi I would actually meet so many of them. The other problem I have is that birthdays tend to depress me a little. There's the burden of expectations and no, I don't particularly care about turning a year older and inching towards 30 -- though no one who knows me well will believe this since I've been going on and on about it -- it's just that on birthdays I feel like it's New Year's Eve. Anything new brings on reflection on the old. Doesn't it? But tell me, why is it that every birthday introspection accosts you like a nosey neighbour? Wanting to make polite conversation, expecting you to reply and generally making you uncomfortable because you'd rather not be there, rather not be having that conversation. Similarly, I feel confronted, with feelings and issues that I'd rather not deal with the rest of the year or rather not talk about. It just makes me look back, tally the scorecard and I can't treat it like any other day. My mind, though, grew out of that magical feeling, the 'it's my birthday yipee' feeling I think when I turned 21. I swear every birthday before that I would wake up early, with a gleeful smile, be hugged and kissed by mom and dad, surrounded by presents and feel like a fairy, but somehow somewhere, I think it was 21, it vanished, and it became any other day. From then on the more normal I try to keep the day, the more I try to go with the flow, the better it is. Because by virtue of it being your birthday and all the calls etc, it does end up becoming a little special anyway... but the depression bouts continue. Wonder when they'll go away...

More rock

Want to let you all know that the Chiragh Din Rocks (read blog below called rock on) has reached TV. It's imprinted on some Chiragh Din commercial now, exactly the way it appears on the hoarding. It says CD and then rocks is written in a charcoal-like hand scribble....

And apart from the hazaar use of it's rocking, he's rocking, I'm rocking, everyone's rocking in innumerable newspaper and magazine articles, I saw a very innovative use of rock this morning. A pack of Wills Classic Milds had a small little insert (never seen this in my life before), which had an eletronic guitar talking about rock and roll and the association of the electronic guitar. So did they finally figure out that smokers and rock and roll are sort of connected (did they read Gladwell?) and did they also think that a smoker needs rock and roll trivia? I don't know.

I have also realised (by stumbling upon a rerun of Koffee With Karan on StarOne) that the word rocking was rampantly used throughout the show so KJ does have some hand in popularising it...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


A blog that's been on my mind for ages (as most of my blogs are). It's about the recent ads I've seen on screen. One of them is the Fastrack ad. Where, during the roll call in what looks like a college classroom, when Siddharth's name is announced, all the girls start moaning and saying 'yes sir' and it leads up to a mock orgasm, a la the famous restaurant scene in When Harry Met Sally when Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are having an argument about how women can fake it. Ultimately, it's obvious Sid is quite a stud because he's like covering his face in embarrassment (so studs also get embarrassed? wow). Anyway, the ad ends with the line 'How many you have'? trying to pretend that it's about 'multiple' uhmmm watches! I'm quite impressed because either the ad has been subtle enough to go above the heads of many, which is why no moral police groups have talked about how it encourages promiscuity in college etc. Also pre marital sex is so obviously at the centre of this ad, I'm again surprised no one has asked for a disclaimer being put in 'sex before marriage is injurious to health'.
But hey, good ad, well executed.

> Since we're on the topic, there's this condom ad that I quite like because it takes the suggestion story forward. A condom usually means safe sex. KS tried to take that forward to pleasure. Now, it's friendship. Basically this ad has a couple on their wedding night on the decked poster bed and the guy chances upon a condom strategically placed under his pillow. But, since this is obviously an arranged match and he has a nervous bride before him, he decides to put it away and almost seems to say to it 'not tonight darling, I have a conversation to make'. Cut to the couple chatting and the ad suggests that use a condom yes, but sex is about getting to know the person (in an arranged marriage) and about a level of comfort. It's the 'Yehi Hai Sahi' ad. Again a good ad.