Showing posts from October, 2011

A rainy October evening

The sun had disappeared a few hours before its usual time. Almost as if he took half day from work. There had been sunshine until about mid afternoon and then he had simply vanished. It was pitch dark by the time he got out of his house. Although it was only just about time for sunset. There were no retreating birds in the sky and no colours that usually splashed the autumn evening sky. A riot of colours as his English teacher would probably say. He walked along to the station and boarded the first train. It didn't matter if it was a fast or a slow. He was in no hurry. As stations passed by and soon became a blur, his mind raced to it's favorite spot. The nostalgia station which housed all the memories, but he simply summoned it back.

Of late he had spent way too much time reminiscing about the good times that had passed. And then he would launch into a phases of longing and grieving. This not only blocked the present but also destroyed all chances of a good future. He was no…

The world goes by

My house doesn't have a window that I would sit at and watch the world go by. Even if I wanted to, I would have to share the space with my cats and look at a wall. Ergo, whenever I go to anyone's house, the first thing I do is I look out of the window. For most, the view is common. A collage of many small tv-screens that showcase the life and times of a hundred families. You see married ladies going about their household chores and young men and women chatting away on their mobile phones. One might even spot an adventurous couple or at times lock eyes with the pretty woman looking out of the window.

But for some lucky ones, there is a vast garden in sight, maybe even the entire city for a few. A couple of friends in Thane who live on the top floors of high rises literally look down on the whole of the lake city. The ever green Ghodbunder road with small hills rolling by its side or the glimmering Thane Creek. I have been lucky enough to visit a friend's house that overlo…

Fab India Bhurji

Okay before you actually think that Fab India, the popular ethnic wear brand has come out with it's own version of Bhurji Pav containing organic spices, vegetables and eggs laid by hens reared on cornfeed, allow me to dispel all such thoughts. I am referring here to the Bhurji Pav wala outside Fabindia, Kala Ghoda. I visited this small table stall that dishes out Omlettes, Bhurji, Egg Pulao, Vegetable Pulao and Masala Pav today. But at a Bhurji Pav stall, you order Bhurji. Made with two eggs, few slices of tomato, chopped onion and a secret masala this was one of the best Bhurjis I had tasted in ages.

Over mouthfuls of hot morsels, I spoke to Karan a migrant from Delhi, who runs the stall. He tells me that he has been around even before Fab India set shop with a sense of pride in his voice. He starts his business at 7PM and shuts down by midnight, using up about 3 crates of eggs every evening. My friend Kiran, who is an aspiring solicitor told me how he and his colleagues spent a…

Songs on the local

Local train journeys are generally quite a drag. There is no room for standing around and no room for conversations either. You only grumble about the inefficiency of the trains and flinch everytime the fast local slows down. But there are those odd moments that add the extra to the ordinary train journeys. Today when the fast turned to slow and moved past Andheri, I heard a familiar tune playing nearby. Normally I am intolerant to people who play loud music in the train and I don't let them too. However, this gentlemen played his songs on a low volume and seem to be enjoying the music immensely. His eyes were shut but he wasn't asleep.

Once we passed Jogeshwari, the song changed to Woh Jab Yaad Aaye and I heard his voice. He was singing. Not humming, singing along with Mohd Rafi with more or less the same pain in his voice. The longing of a lover lost in the maze of the past is a universal feeling. And no wonder I stopped reading and listened to him as he sung his blues away…

Of scents and smells

He was like a dog. Not only did he have the tenacity and loyalty but also the sense of smell that all canines possess. He would sniff out the weakest of smells from the remotest corner. He would be called in to locate the origin of the stench when a rat decided to commit suicide in their store room. He was not averse to stench but extremely weak to fragrance. Especially when it belonged to a woman. A woman who smelled good stirred something within him. He greatly appreciated the company of such women for he would be intoxicated by their scent. Especially hers. She smelled unique. When they were wrapped up in each others arms, her scent would excite him more than her touch. Although now she was gone and wouldn't come back; her scent would linger in his nostrils making him nostalgic from time to time.

Over the day all he did was pore over his books. The books were meant to decide his future. The books were not particularly uninteresting. He would forever be engrossed in them. It w…

The TC

Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ticket Collector, Western Railway, stood calmly under the indicator. As the lady announced the arrival of the Churchgate local. His shrewd eyes were surveying the platform for offenders. They fell upon a young boy lugging a battered bag looking lost. He was clearly a student, not native to the city. Hari walked upto him. Slightly nervous at facing the TC, he meekly wished him Namaste as he was taught to and started scrambling for his ticket. Hari placed his hand on the boy's shoulder and asked him where he planned to go. He told him he had come to give the Railway Recruitment Board exams and was headed to Thane but couldn't figure out how to get there. Hari smiled and gave him clear instructions. He also wished him good luck.

No doubt Hari identified with that boy. Several years ago after his dreams of becoming the collector of a district never materialized, he had somewhat reluctantly given a similar exam to become a TC. They were burdened with targets …