Saturday, August 26, 2006


i could go on and apologize for not being as regular as before in my blogging, but then i am not in a very apologetic mood at the moment. :)

so finally i made my move to Baroda and to MSU. how do i like it there?? can't really say much yet, since i have only managed to spend like 2 days there...but in general i suppose that i am pretty excited and happy to be where i am. the good part is that there are a lot of non-Gujarati students in my class (especially a lot of cute Manipuri girls). ;)

anyways, currently i am back in Ahmedabad and that too not by any common-place turn of events. to be more precise, i am currently kidnapped and am being held hostage in Ahmedabad. i am completely powerless in front of my kidnapper, who i cannot even turn over to the cops (though i have threatened to do so on innumerable occasions over the last 2 days) and am counting the days to my release. now, there is a part of me that wants to stretch this episode into a melodramatic story as in Ekta Kapoor serials, but then there is this other part of me (and presumably the stronger one) that is too lazy to undertake any such effort. so here are the facts laid out bare and for all to read.

no short, no Ekta Kapoor.

so i committed the ultimate crime when i failed to call up my buddy Mohit before i came to India. and then, i failed to surprise him by crashing at his home or office over the course of the past week as i had planned to do (actually that was Ronak's idea and i hold him responsible on all accounts). now, that, my dear friends is the silliest mistake that i have committed in my 21 year old life. i was silly enough to think that i could hide something as big as a 65 kilo person from a guy whose father runs a newspaper (so what if he was in Delhi all of last week). in short Mohit found out that i was in India (how?? i don't know), and so he did something very unlike him. he waited for me to call him and tell him i was in India...and i did something so very unlike myself as well, i forgot to call him. but all these pretences went down the drain last Wednesday when i got a call in the afternoon:

cell ringing and disturbing my mid-day siesta

Me: hello!!

Ronak: hi! where are you?

Me: at my uncle's apartment. i just got back from college.

Ronak: ok, somebody wants to talk to you.

Me: huh!!

the Somebody: you bloody c$%T, Madad C#@d, @##@%...(a five minute barrage of gaalis ensued) think that you are smarter than me eh?? well too bad, now you are going to little prick. try and save your ass if you can...

Me: hi Mohit!

Mohit: saala, C@#t...hi bolta hai?? where the fuck are you??

Me: Baroda..

Mohit: ok.

(he disconnects the phone and i am actually rolling on the floor laughing. i know that my arse is in big trouble, but i cannot but help laugh. he just sounded soooooooo mad). three quarters of an hour later...cell rings again.

Mohit: so where does your uncle live in Baroda?

Me: why?

Mohit: just answer my question kutte (dog)...

Me: so and so and so building...

Mohit: down in 10 mins.

Me: what?? what do you mean be down?? you don't possibly mean to say that you are in Baroda? are you?

Mohit: yes i am...aab baachke baata (now try and save yourself).

Me: OMG!!

Mohit: shut up...just be down in 5.

so i wait for 5 minutes and then make my way down the apartment building. and wait as a white Toyota pulls up next to me and a mad Mohit jumps out, chases me around the parking lot, catches me and lands a nice punch behind my ears and bundles me into the car, and the next thing that i know i we are speeding down the Expressway towards Ahmedabad. i am very curtly informed that my indiscretion and failure to contact Mohit is the reason behind my abduction and now i only get to go back to Baroda on Tuesday after spending the weekend at Mohit's.

well folks, so that is the short and sweet story of my kidnapping. i don't have a toothbrush, my wallet holds only 100 bucks, and i am still wearing my house slippers...

well folks, life can't get more spontaneous and 'on-the-spur-of-the-moment' than this, can it?

ps: i managed to find some clothes that i had left back at my Granny's place in Ahmedabad, so thankfully i have a clean pair of underpants and better footwear.

pps: (American half of my parivar) Ba reached Ahmedabad today morning. i was at the airport to receive her. so rest assured that she had a decent flight and made it!!

and now i must go...i am hungry and the food smells delicious!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

overheard... i am taking Sallu out to lunch today and as ususal i had to drag her out of bed and as of now am waiting outside her room for her to get ready...women!! nah...just Sallu!!

anyways, i kindda left the story halfways yesterday since i was running out of time and the Cyber Cafe guy was also quite keen on kicking me out just so that he could close shop. so let me yap on futher...

did i ever tell ya all that i really enjoy travelling in the local trains that connect the different cities in India (basically within the same state). it really gives me immesurable joy to be able to sit back and observe the people in their day to day walk. the incessant banter, the laughter and the fights, the grumpy man and the tiny beggar kid. they all are a source of observatory delight. i really have done my best to try and push myself into the daily grind of what is the Indian Life. the very second day back on homesoil and i was already sitting on my arse on the hard wooden seat of the general compartment of the Ahmedabad-Baroda memu (local train). the landscape outside was one immersed in water and the floods ravaged the various districts of Gujarat. Surat was badly hit and totally cut off from the world for almost 4 days, Baroda had just had its share of the calamity with the Vishwamitri river overflowing. the various dams across the state had to be opened due to increasing fears of the water pressure buliding up to the level where they would burst the entire bloody short...Gujarat is one fucked up place at the moment. anyways, sitting there in the compartment i couldn't but help over hear the following conversation:

(i have translated the entire conversation into English for the benefit of my readers, but there is no doubt that i have failed completely in capturing the essence of the conversation that took palce in 3 different accents of Gujarati)

man 1: (to a couple sitting across him) so where are you from?

man 2 (the couple): we are from Surat...going to Valsad.

lady 1: oh, Surat!! that city really got the burnt of God's fury this time during the floods. so how is the local situation now? i saw in the news last night that there are carcasses stuck in the mud till date.

lady 2 (the couple): oh yes, the situation is quite bad. but not that bad. the carcasses can only be seen near the river bank. the rest of the city is full of mud but they are trying to clean it up.

man 2 (the couple): the mud is almost 2 feet deep in some areas of the city.

man 1: yeah, the rains this year have been like never before. and its still not over. they say that there is more rain to follow in the next few days.

man 2 (the couple): yeah, even i heard that. but i tell you, the amount of damage done by the floods is already unimaginable. wonder what would happen if the rains don't stop soon.

lady 1: (directed to lady 2) but tell me, with all this rain and floods, all the sarees must have got spoilt??

lady 2 (the couple): yes, most of my sarees got spolit. but i did manage to save a few.

man 3 (the guy standing): bah!!! people are dying and all the ladies can talk about is the damage done to sarees!! women!!

by this time everyone who was listening to the converstation that took place amongst totally anonymous strangers, who never even asked each other their names, were laughing and even i couldn't but help sport the ear to ear grin....

anyways, Sallu is ready now and i gotta go. so until later folks!!


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

i got no jet leg....

i have been sitting in front of the PC in the Cybercafe for over 5 minutes, wondering where to start. saying that the last 6 days were eventful is an understatement in the perfect dictionary sense. but yes, i have been having a shit load of here we go, just some random insights into my life 'India' ishtyle!!
Mauritius!! ah well, i left that lovely island behind last Thursday and my i did that in some style. Yash had coem along to drop me off at the airport and we even managed to get ourselves a speedig ticket enroute.
just five miles away from the airport, after cruising at 120 kms for the best part of the drive we get booked at the last roundabout before the airport. hah! :)
anyways, i should have taken that as a sign of things to come. cause in true Air Mauritius style they did their best to make sure that the flight back to India was the damn most uncomfortable experience ever. 6 hours and i couldn't take a single wink! the seat was as hard as an execution chair and the food was something that would put the Bollywood marketed burnt roti and watery dal in the Hindustani Jails to shame!! but i had a pretty good time thanks to a chatty guy in the seat next to me (ok, true fact, he actually went and served me water cause the air hostess was too busy to even notice our buzzer buzzing for over 15 mins) and Phoneix!! hell yeah, i stacked up on my Phoenix quota in order to survive the flight....and cracked jokes about the Italian/ Russian mafia with my flight buddy. and then i saw the lights of Mumbai city and i almost cried with joy. they were beautiful. simply beautiful.

so a breezy "1:00 am" walk at Mumbai International airport after a grouchy man waved me through a gap in the barrier cordoning the Green Channel and Customs & after a lovely lady at Jet Air waviered my excess luggage with a smile and after i immediately got a seat on the bus connecting the International and Domestic Airports, i realised that a breezy walk is not the best thing always. i ended up having to sit on my arse for over 4 hours at the Domestic Terminal waiting for my connecting flight to Ahmedabad. next to me sat a South African couple (albeit of Indian descent), also waiting for their connecting flight to Jaipur. so i took the opportunity to yap a bit more.

anyways, i finally got on to my connecting flight to A'bad and ahhhh!! man it was soooooo good. i just flooped on to my seat (oh yes, the lovely lady had given me the window seat next to the door so that i could strech my legs) and asked the pretty airhostess for an extra pillow and slept. yes, i slept through all the turbulence and everything else...well i did run into my cousin at the arrivals terminal on landing. you see, she works at the airport and had specifically asked to be stationed at arrivals that day just so that she would be the first to meet me. was so funny, she didn't recognize me until i walked right up to her and picked her up!
oh a FYI note: i shaved my long curly tresses a day before i flew out of Mauritius!!
and then she ensured that all my luggage was fast tracked and that i didn't have to go through any formalities and escorted me out to the main gate. anyways, this is turning into a mother of a post!! phew, i just have so much to share and say...but all in due time. today's Janmasthami (the birthday of Lord Krishna) so i gotta go see the 'matka' ceremony on TV. but i shall be back later with more stories...

PS: i saw my little niece, and my my she is the most beautiful little wonder i have ever laid my eyes upon. they call her Rushika, but for me she is my tiny little DODO. and i love her sooooooooo much. she's an absolute darling.

PPS: got my admission in MSU-Baroda, am moving on Monday. ;)

Monday, August 07, 2006

stuck in traffic...

its messed up all right and there are so many times that i wish that it wasn't the way it is...but then i stop and ask myself, "are we having fun?" and most often than not, the answer is "Yeah!" cause after all the debates and discussions on life, philosophy, spirituality and what not, i have kindda figured out that life's a crazy thing & you gotta have fun. you owe that to yourself...

anyways, as everyone knows, lately my life has been a total bore. now, i enjoyed it while it lasted but the fact remains that sitting at home with nothing to do, adding to the pool of the literate unemployed, setting the daily time-table in accordance to the cat’s feeding time and watching the distressful situation of our world on TV is something that i have gotten accustomed to. its like...

sometimes in life you get stuck in traffic. you are surrounded by people and yet you are alone in your car. at first you take it calmly. you just sit back and tune in to the radio. pretty soon your mind starts to wander. the incessant blabbering of the RJ are of no interest to you. so you start to look around you. you check out the car behind you in the rear-view. you read the bumper sticker on the socially in adept punk in front of you. you smile at a humorous incident that crops up in your mind as if from nowhere. but then you slowly start to loose patience. your planner starts to beep and remind you that you have an important meeting at work that afternoon for which you still have to prepare. you have a million other things to do and none of them can wait. you start to tap your fingers on the steering wheel...slowly the laid back behaviour that you had earlier is turning into a mild annoyance. you try and figure out what the hell is it that has you stuck here in this spot? must be one of those bloody overloaded trucks/tempos that must have overturned. or maybe it is just some road digging expedition by the municipality/road development authority that has ended in the road being converted into a bottle-neck instead. damn it! now you are getting annoyed. you have been stuck in the same spot for almost an eternity. the guy behind you has resorted to honking. the bloody F#@$er thinks that honking like mad will get you moving. despite the heartfelt annoyance at him you feel like doing the same. you want to honk. you want to let others know that you are angry...and before you know it you are just one among millions of frustrated individuals stuck in traffic on the third rock from the sun. now you wish that all those whacko sci-fi writers were right and that they in reality had those interstellar hyper you just sit there and honk. time flies while you remain stuck and by now you are tired of honking. you are late for half of all the stuff that you had planned for the day. now you are going to have to work during lunch hour for that meeting. the frustration is at its peak and the non-stop ringing of the cell phone doesn't help either. you are tired. the amount of energy that purposeless sitting requires is astounding. and then suddenly, just like that, you give up. that's it. Alles Klar. Fin. you make up your mind that you are going nowhere today. you are destined to be stuck in traffic all day and maybe you will even grow old sitting here in you car. you give the steering wheel a last big thwack and you curse out loud. and then you recline that seat as far as it goes and close your eyes. soon everything begins to fade away and you start to imagine yourself in your happy place. you are no longer annoyed. you begin to relax and let the feeling sink in...and then suddenly you are abruptly shaken out of your siesta by a sharp honk from the guy behind you. you sit up and rub your eyes only to see the guy who was in front of you fading away into the distance. still groggy, you rev up the car and step on the gas. you find yourself on the Freeway and zooming at 100 km an hour as you try to catch up with the others. you also become one of those people who are trying to catch up on lost time while at the same time trying to come to terms with the sudden change of going from standstill to driving at 100 km/hr.

...and then you notice the time on the dash board and realize...all that...the eternity that you just spent stuck in traffic had all but lasted 20 min...

well folks, 4 days ago i got a call from dad. my admission at MSU in Baroda has been confirmed and i have to report in person before the 15th of this month. so, a new city to live in, new friends to make, new stuff to study. and all this within 10 days. it seems i got my 0 to 100 km/hr jolt. have spent the last couple of days running around the sland trying to say my goodbyes, buying stuff to give to folks back in India, making sure i have all the papers i need from the University here and trying to book a ticket. almost all is taken care of and i today morning i got my tickets as well. i shall be flying out of this island on the 10th evening.

i'm not sure how i feel about all this. i am excited no doubt. but also kindda nervous. don’t' know how this is all going to just wish me luck.

if everything happens right as of this moment, my next post shall be from India...