Tuesday, 22 May 2012

O Fish

At the end of a grueling day of work, everything hurts, the back, the shoulders, the eyes, the fingers, the brain. And all you can think of is falling flat into bed, shoes still on, bra unhooked, sweet sleep taking that dreadful pain in your back away…
And then your friend proclaims that she’s hungry. You are so tired that for once the thought of food does not excite you, but you know you will take her out to eat anyway. You cannot let a hungry friend remain hungry when there’s something you can do about it. Rule number one of friendship.
There isn’t much thats open at this time of the night. We want something cheap, fast and on the long way home. We settle on Sion Lunch home (in Sion, Mumbai, open till well after midnight, so nothing ‘lunchy’ about it), a place most overdue on our ‘to-do’ list.
It is on the side of the road, open on all sides, basic wooden tables and benches rooted to the floor. There are only men, on every table, only men. Not one of them looks up at us. This gets me excited, the food must be that good!
It is. We don’t have to wait long for our order - Fried Surmai Thaali, comprising of, (you guessed it!) a heartwarmingly large portion of Surmai fried to perfection, an unidentifiable but interesting bhaaji, fish curry, poppadam, pickled onions, sticky rice and yummy to my tummy raw mango soaked in chilli and vinegar. And all for 85 bucks!! Feeling adventurous we also ordered the deep fried sardines, though I now feel that this particular fish tastes best out of a can.
Having stuffed myself beyond belief and dreaming of the two drags I was going to steal from my friends post dinner smoke, I make one last stop at the tiny basin in the corner of the room. Then I step into the muggy Mumbai night, smiling. “What happened?”, my friend asked. “The soap smells like Ruhafza.” And there you have it; the soap, smells like Ruhafza.

My darling friend, who could possibly understand the magic in this pink, sickly sweet smelling soap, but you...

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Lost...and Found

I turned 25 today. I write this as the plane takes off the ground, and the city lights are fading...fading...gone...
I brought in my birthday in my small home town, amidst doting family and lifelong friends, and this evening head to Mumbai, where I now live, and am now loved.

You of course don't know me. I don't know you. I don't even know if you'll ever exist. Will anyone ever read this? Or will the void eat up my teetering words... Oh pish posh!!

A dear friend who lives across many seas, sent me a birthday email, and in a desire to know the me I have become in the eight years since we last met, asked me the following questions:
Have u started working? Do you have short hair or long hair? Have u grown fat (my dream)? hehe? Do you still zip around in ur red maruti? Do you have ur own flat? Do u do your own groceries? Do you cook (your own dhansak)? Are you still constipated? Do you do any exercise at all (i am guessing not?). Do you still sport a mustache? Have you pierced/tattooed? How is Mr. Purple?

Deduce what you will from the above, all you need to know for now is this. Today (yes, amidst half life crisis' n all) I decided that I will write. That what I muse over every night and promptly forget at every day break, I will take the time out to put down. Someone suggested I should write a blog. I know nothing about blogs. I am not net saavy. But I am here. Hello, I am here. Will we become good friends? Or will you be like my imaginary friend Faroukh who lived in my commode? More on that later. And other randomness...

The guy sitting next to me is trying to peep into what I'm writing. Now he is reading this and freaking out! Hehehee (mental snigger and wicked rub of hands). Time to eat now. Time to eat yucky airline food. But food is food. And food always comes first. Always.

ps: So in an endeavor to be honest (I rarely am, but always try) today is not my birthday, nor even the month of my birth. I wrote this on a scrap of paper on the said day and promptly lost it, convincing myself that this 'blogging' was not meant to be. Today I found it, and have obediently typed it out.