Tag Archives: Bombay

Hat Tip To My Parsiness

20 Aug

Maybe it’s because Navroze just went by.

Maybe it’s because I love food and laughing at myself, like a true blue Parsi.

Maybe it’s because it’s Monday, I have a bad back, am doing a Downton Abbey marathon and curling my toes over the Britishness of it all.

Or maybe I just want to share these awesome videos with you.  Between guffawing and salivating, I’m a right mess and loving it.  Join in, do.

Shit Parsi Women Say

The Parsi Feast

Link: http://cooks.ndtv.com/videos/player/will-travel-for-food/the-parsi-feast/236283?home

Tell me what you think! 🙂

Bloodletting, Memory

30 Aug

I bleed the City.

With shards of rejection in my veins

The fury, the heartbreak, the

Slamming of gates.

A human wall, of

Purified hands, closing in, shutting out,

Spewing fumes of vile smugness.


I bleed the City.

The cradle, the earth,

Glass bowls that

Rock babies, among gravel and green.

Passed around communal arms, eyes taped

With certainty, stunted by fawning,

Inspecting sodden roots,

While new leaves are snipped off

For daring to be fresh.


I bleed the City.

The fabric I carry, the honks in my

Head; the corners of childhood, neon signs that scream

No, the stripping of self, divesting of entity.

Hurled into a morass of the unknown and

Unknowing, the joy and the light frame my

Dark core, the bounty that decorates

Crumbled pieces of



I bleed the City.

I bleed the City.

Through lumps in the throat and knots in the spirit

May my ministrations redeem me.


Life in California…

14 Jun

….revolves around an ivory leather couch. And a dutifully vacuumed beige carpet. Around a sweet-smelling fruit basket and an oven bubbling with cheese. Around a shared silver car and welcome home kisses. Sherlock Holmes episodes at night and the polite chirping of robins by day.

Life in California revolves around rattan chairs and a white table. Scented candles and sunflowers in a blue vase. Around the warmth of family, a clutch of friends and a cat that eyes me with minimal interest.

Life in California is the goodness of home cooking, lavender in a yellow planter, mildly scented laundry and red Netflix envelopes. French coconut pie, lemons in iced water, shimmering peach gloss and aroma oils. A merging of rhythms, the strains of Sinatra, wide open spaces and Mexican dancing.

Life in California is the technology buzz, swirls of innovation, the thick of things. The beautiful Valley and Mt. Diablo and sting of the cold Pacific on browning skin. Sareed aunties and baby booms and fresh bhel, bhature, bhungra around the nook. Sunshine and summer and chilly evenings; poolside and wifi and stacks of free books.

Life in California is an exhaled breath, a winding down, that feeling of calm. Cherishing people, valuing life, savoring a hard-fought way of being. Counting one’s blessings, praying daily and dangling an evil eye talisman in every reader’s face.

Then comes one downpour in the city of my heart and the fickle spirit turns traitor again.


4 Jun

Soli the Kamakli lives right below us. Now before all you politically correct people pounce on me for calling someone less abled (kam = less, akl=brains), I must hasten to inform you that I am merely faithfully reproducing matters as they stand. And since you are unlikely to storm the almost 100-year-old Parsi bastion of high ceilings and cool corridors that is our common abode, demanding a change in title for him, you must be content with Soli the Kamakli.

Truth be told, I don’t know his last name. Nor can I hazard a guess about his age. He’s always been around, you see. Loping rapidly and uncoordinatedly to the door as we climbed up the stairs, peering out of the peep hole in silence, and then yodeling our names as we ran past, his long, comical face stretching even further into an eternal oblong.

Soli the Kamakli is a lonely man. He lives with Viru, his man Friday, who makes three additional salaries a month by renting out the extra rooms of the house to newly-arrived job-seekers in Bombay. He is also a rich man, the heir to millions and the owner of a South Bombay Parsi housing colony. It is widely murmured among the old families of the neighborhood that there lies a curse on the Kamakli family: no heir shall be able to enjoy his/her wealth. His mother inherited a fortune, but died crazed and clueless. Madness lurks in their genes, you can see it in the crackling dilation of their irises, but for us, Soli the Kamakli is a much-loved fixture who sing-songs daily as we go past, telling us we’ve forgotten him, of how the world has no time, asking after each member of our home, making us stop a while and smile and shush the twinges of guilt we feel about being such busybodies.

Soli the Kamakli is a young old man, an ageless creature of antiquity, a sane man in an insane world and a clock that cuckoos the slipping of time. It’s been years since school and college, so many of us have moved out, swapped continents, returned and traversed mind-zones, but our time-trained ears are still treated to the sound of shuffling feet, a peep-hole shutter being lifted and the precise hush before our name is warbled.

I don’t know why I told you about Soli the Kamakli. He is not a famous man, or even a clever one. He didn’t discover relativity or father babies that resemble gamboling puppies. He lives his long days in sky blue bush shirts and starched white pyjamas and worn leather slippers that scrape soothingly. It is strange to be aware of one’s mortality at 30, but I realize that life is seeping us by. And I want to cling on, just a little while longer, to a time when my name is yodeled twice daily and a flute-like voice declares I have forgotten its owner. The stairs won’t be the same without Soli the Kamakli. Until then, I’m making sure I get plenty of exercise.