Monday, October 30, 2006

Bombay Blog-a-ween Meet

Yet another blog-meet was had, and once again, one is the richer for it (partially because of the free alcohol...oh and of course, the experience).

The venue: Sakshi Juneja’s house at Juhu.

One arrived for the meet some two (ish) hours late, thanks to the hordes (HORDES dammit!) of people absolutely *infesting* the entire Juhu-Chowpatty stretch of road. Of course it helped that one is completely navigation-impaired and was of no help whatsoever to this young man, who never once lost his temper despite being plagued by plaintive cries of, “Are we there yet?” every ten minutes.

Remarkably patient, these young men of today.

So we were saying, we arrived, a little later than fashionably - the young man with a mask and a bottle of wine, and yours truly with killer attack of queasiness and a headache that threatened to spit our eyeballs out of our head (yes Sakshi, that little white pill you probably found by the bar was aspirin…honest!)**.

Anyway, headache thus banished, one was treated to a variety of food, alcohol and scintillating conversation (in no particular order).

Every. Single. Aspect of Salman Khan’s life was discussed; His clothes (or their marked absence, to be precise), his women (oh the number of *hot* women with atrocious taste…it boggles the mind), his little habits of drinking and a) beating up the current girlfriend b) running over people and c) shooting black buck. And how at the end of the day, he’s a really nice guy.

Although one’s memories of the evening are a teensy bit fuzzy, little snippets of conversation which stood out:

“No you need to put on a pair of red panties over your jeans, then you can be Superman!”

“Where’s the drunken dancing on the tables??”

“RSS Feeds! Slash dotted!! Google reader! Plagiarism! Feed reader*!!” (Foreign languages sound so dashed exotic, no?)

“Have I or have I not already issued the disclaimers against drunken marriage-proposals?”

“You look so different every time I see you!”

“Oh no! I broke my horns!”
“Yeah, now she’s not horny anymore.”

“You just say, “She’s a bit of a See-Aich” for ‘bitch’ or ‘What a parachute!” with a stress on the, well, latter-half of the word.” (And apparently, her grandma taught her this. Ours, obviously went to all the wrong schools.)

Also, blog-people, there is talk that India Uncut, might or might not have a set of lingerie to match his Borrowed Bunny Ears.

The imagination, she is getting worryingly out of hand.

(“Imagination, how many times we been through this? You will not, NOT conjure up images of men in risqué lingerie! Oh fine! Go ahead and do what you want…it’s your life. Oh wait…not it’s not! Stop it I say! Stop it right now! NOOOooooooo!”)

More reports of the meet here, here,
here, here, here and here.

**Which brings us to the other point which desperately needs making, namely that, the next time a blog-meet happens, can we please, please, *please* have it somewhere a little closer to where us ‘Southies’ (South Bombay-ites) live? One is down on one’s knees and humbly pleading.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pretty as a...

this, was the view from our breakfast table. Inexpertly stitched together by yours truly.

I really ought to get myself a flickr account, oughtn't I?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mountain High, Valley Low

This time last week, I was in Leh.

I don't remember what exactly I was doing; If this was the day we spent curled up under the thick quilt with purple flowers on it, sliding out our hands only to turn pages on the books we were reading, or if this was one of the many mornings we sat at the breakfast table in the rooftop restaurant and breathed in the mountains.

I don't remember if it was this time last week, that we climbed up a million stone steps to reach the gompas, or if this was the day we walked up to the Leh palace, and from its crumbling facade, saw the little valley town spread out before us, like a postcard come to life.

Was this the day we sat at the banks of the Indus, just watching the prayer flags flutter on the wooden bridge above us?

And that is why I take pictures*.

Because memory is fickle, and pictures are real.

But real as they are, they are not enough. Because they tell you only one side of the story.

That picture of the glass of hot ginger-lemon-honey-tea? You can see the steam rising from the glass in misty curls; you can see the chunk of crushed ginger, sitting pretty on the honey that layers the bottom of the glass; you can even see the amber-goldenness of it, as the sunlight filters through it. But what the picture does not, CANnot tell you, is how it felt to hold that warm glass in your cold hands and feel the life flow back into your fingers. It doesn't tell you about the shock your tongue felt at the first scalding sip; the sweet, the sour, the hot and the spicy, all in one kick-your-brain-awake cocktail of taste and sensation.

Those pictures of the apple-cheeked locals. You can probably count every wrinkle on their weather-worn faces. But those pictures tell you nothing about how, every single day, you will be jolted out of your city-dweller-existence-bubble when you're greeted with a cheerful 'Julay!' and smiled at by complete strangers.

Then there are the pictures of the mountains. Which are pointless really. Because you can neither capture their grandeur, nor your feeling of miniscule insignificance, which is inevitable in the face of these magnificent giants.

Those pictures of the cobbled bylanes. That small wooden door, those flowers in the window. The small Kashmiri bakery, the statley poplars, the purple flowers in the monastery. The leh-berry, the brass temple-bells at Khardung La, the mani walls, the ice.

They cannot tell you what it was like to be there.

The next time, I will just have to take you with me.

*Coming soon.