Showing posts from February, 2016

The Story Of Santacruz

A little while ago, I found myself on the SV Road stretch near Santacruz. It was rush hour and I didn't want to negotiate my way through the vendors, shoppers and commuters thronging on all the approach roads to the station. So on a whim, I turned right into a quiet lane that seemed going towards the station. One of the address boards of a shop read - Chapel Lane. Fifty meters later, I knew why it was called so.

A small cross encased in glass stood high in one corner. Below, I noticed a marble plaque. This site was significant. After all this is what lent the entire neighbourhood its name.

Here's what the plaque read

This site is sacred & historic to the suburb of Santa Cruz. 

The words Santa Cruz translate as Holy Cross in Portuguese. Legend has it that the East Indian natives of the village Khulbowree erected a crudely made cross on a hillock which became a landmark because it could be sighted for miles amidst vast paddy fields. The original inhabitants, who were cultivat…

A Chapter from a Dog's Life

Stray dogs are amazing beings. They are happy to live off the leftovers found in the garbage dumps or on scraps thrown at them. They find shelter under a parked truck in the day or curl up like a ball in a corner at night. Rain, sunshine, disease and hunger don't deter them. They aren't owned or cared for by anyone but they fiercely defend the territory that they live in. It is not hard to imagine how the idiom - it is a dog's life came into existence. Pet dogs lead a far comfortable life, irrespective of the breed.

As much as I'd like, I have not had a pet dog except for this one short time when I was 13 (Suzie died within 6 months). To make up for it, I have always forged friendship with all the stray dogs I come across on a daily basis. Feeding them occasionally, playing with them and picking their ticks off their hide means time well spent. Sometimes we have even helped secure a corner for their new born puppies and cared for the minor injuries. But when Whitey, t…

The Portrait of a Photographer

Early January of 2015.

It had been a good day. A meeting with a friend had helped clear out a lot of things in my head. The way forward from there on, seemed a bit clearer to me. The Starbucks where we had met was a new one, located not very far the chowk. I wandered back to the bus stop to catch the 266 back to the station. But the sun had not set and it had been a while since I had visited the lake.

The lake, for most, simply cannot exist. For Lokhandwala can't have a lake. A lake in Lokhandwala? Lol. Just too many cross roads and shopping streets they say. But walk down on the Backroad as it is known, towards the jogger's park but don't enter it. Keep walking straight and within a few meters, look to your right. A small clearing opens up into what looks like a small pond but a healthy one. The Lokhandwala lake has over 70 species of birds, 50 % of which are winter migrants. It was a late January evening and I was very happy to see many ducks, a few raptors and also what s…

कॉल्ड्प्ले in Bombay

कॉल्ड्प्ले केम टू बॉम्बे टू शुट थेइर लेटेस्ट विडीयो.

थे टूक अ कॅब अंड वेंट टो प्ले होळी इन वरळी अन्द सेंट सोनम कपूर टू वसई फोर्ट.

बेयोन्से बेकेम अ हिंदी मूवी आयटम गर्ल कॉलअड राणी.

व्हाट ईस व्रोंग विथ इत?

I saw the video only to see if I could spot the locations. Yes, there is Bassein Fort (How did they get the white peacock there! CGI like Beyonce climbing the stairs of the fort?) shot in the monsoon months with the foliage glorious and overtaking the ruins of the past, there are bylanes of Worli, the fort and the small harbour, Banganga, random streets and yes of course, the Gateway.

But there are some great visuals and some really made up ones. Sadhus doing yoga, kaleidoscope man, outdated tv sets but hey, this is a music video not a documentary on India on Discovery Channel. All I am thinking is how much fun those b-boying boys must have had and how proud their parents must be. I hope someone tracks down the group and does a story on them.

Then of course, there are the fishermen f…

Sun, Sand and Safety

The death of 13 college students off the coast of Murud beach comes as a shock. The relatively cleaner stretch of sand, with a narrow road running parallel to it is a great place for an evening stroll. I remember spending a leisurely afternoon there. I know how tempting it must have been to enter the waters and maybe splash around for sometime. I am sure the professors accompanying the students would have thought it to be a harmless activity.

Had it been any other beach with a slight gradient and low undertow; it would have been a perfect beach holiday with an excursion to the nearby Murud Janjira fort. Was there lack of oversight among the teachers? Perhaps. Were students so naive; maybe. But were they warned? Was there anyway of them knowing that the beach is known to be dangerous for swimming?

During the afternoon when the incident took place, the locals and tourists don't frequent the beach. It is quite isolated. Naturally, with nobody to turn them around the big group must h…