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8 Jun

It’s steaming and the sky looks ready to explode. A cool wind has whipped itself up from nowhere.The anticipation is almost sexual. Anytime now. My favorite moment in the whole year is almost upon us. Lord, how hungrily I wait.

~A text to the Boy as I rode to work today.

Il Ritorno

4 Jun

The City is like that man you love.

You know he snores in bed, jiggles a finger in his ear and chews much too loudly for your Nana-raised ways.

He won’t clip his toenails until you gift-wrap the cutter in raw silk and slip on a mini bow-tie from Harrods.

He takes immense pleasure in playing a specially designed spot-the-socks-in-every-corner game, put together for the benefit of your aching back and myopic eyes.

And when plans change, the readers of this blog will know before you do.


And then you turn around to spot a certain pair of melt-me-now eyes perched above a goatee perched on a six-foot frame that supports the Cutest. Ass. Ever.

And you have to suck your breath in and wonder how you got so obscenely lucky.

London was a dream.

My happiest one yet.

London was a rabbit hole.

One I’m loth to emerge from.

But this City, like that man, is




Kasa Kai Mumbai

21 Jan

Credits: OJ and her Canon PowerShot SX120 IS.

At the Mumbai Marathon 2010.Yet another reason why I’m a devotee of this city is the relative lack of class barriers in place here. Emphasis on relative, of course. And I’m using other major Indian metros as a reference point.

Still Home, Still Heart, Still Horror

26 Nov

Time has done nothing to heal this wound.  I still come perilously close to tears each time I pick at the scab that has barely formed. What did help, though, was putting myself to use.  And it was only as I spoke about it at a couple of media interviews this past week that I realized how blessed I am to have found this route to sanity. With me in this journey have been 39 wonderful people in 5 countries around the world. For our stories, head to the India Helps blog where some of us will write about the year that was, beginning today all the way up to the India Helps anniversary on December 3. Wish us luck in the times ahead. Join us, because we need you. Tell your friends to spread word of our movement. And before you go, answer this: Whom Have You Helped Today?

In the South They Have a Mouth

21 Sep

a.k.a. This Townie Gets No Brownie

OJ: Hey, you went to Khandala?

BFF: Yeah, office off-site. Ghattu went too.

OJ: Oh fun! His first trip out of Bombay!

BFF: Not really, he’s been to [the Boy’s former suburban home], no?

Reserve your judgement, people. As a teenager, I used to have a pen-pal in Andheri. We even met once.

Where The Heart Is

28 Aug

We’re waiting at a light that will take a while to turn green. To my left is Chowpatty junction and the silver-grey sea surging forth this early afternoon. The road turns upward and narrow, winding determinedly to meet old limestone havelis, banyan tree compounds and the scent of theplas at Teen Batti. In the foreground are battered boats, scraps of torn clothing and greedy pigeons feasting on somebody’s idea of religion. The beach needs a clean-up. Eighteen dustbins should do it. It wouldn’t hold a candle to Venice and I know it.

In the distance, phoenix-like, rises Cuffe Parade. The monolith of the World Trade Centre, the soaring steeple of Afghan Church, the identical pygmies of Navy Nagar that house brilliant, impoverished scientists. A lighthouse clings to the island of Colaba, just before the world’s steepest real estate crumbles away into the Arabian Sea. Marine Drive shimmers like a mirage, framing the good bay* in a tolerant Sunday mood. Honks are notably absent, siesta has spread its picnic mat.

I turn to him, my heart filled with pride.  “You’d like Hong Kong,” he says casually. I look back at the view and slowly shake my head. It wouldn’t hold a candle to my home and I know it.

*[Bombay gets its name from the Portuguese Bom Bahia, meaning good bay.]

You Know They’re Bambaiyya Babies When…

7 Aug

……you say “Chowpatty jayenge…” and they scream “BHELPURI KHAYENGE!!!” in unison. With a response time of 8 nanoseconds.

Yup, acutely Bambaiyya. And their teacher’s lovin’ it.