May 31, 2008

The Internet Returns!

The folks in the building next to ours decided to snap our Internet wire, as it was coming from the dabba in their building. After a two-day blackout, the friendly neighborhood Spiderman has woven a new web for us from the building behind ours. It’s like someone finally stepped off my ventilator tube…
News of the day: Defence Minister passes out during Passing Out Parade (Headline by The Husband)
In other news, I saw the first live cricket match of my life! The IPL clash between Bangalore and Mumbai! Some observations:
1. The cricket field is really small.
2. The wicketkeeper stands really far away from the batsman. And still the ball comes flying to him!
3. Those fielders? They actually run! When u can’t see any on the TV screen as the ball hurries towards the boundary, that’s coz the camera is too focused, not because the fielders are knitting baby booties and chatting in some other corner of the field.
4. There is really no time between one ball and the next, or between overs in fact….the ads create an illusion of time, and have warped our senses forever.
5. After a great shot, they show a replay on the screen in the stadium, and no matter where you sit, part of the screen is blocked by a pillar. Anyway, when they show the replay, you instinctively turn your head back to the ground to try and see the replay better! But guess what? Tendulkar does not swing the bat again for you. You feel extremely foolish at having missed the replay on the screen behind the pillar.
6. The neighborhood kabootars are driven insane by stadium lights. Is a pity.
7. In Chinnaswamy Stadium, the wafers seller does no business for the first three hours of the match. The banana seller then walks in with 50 bananas and sells them all in three minutes.
8. All the players obviously look like specks on the grass in the distance, and it only gets worse when your sister has coffee at Barista with Tendulkar, Jayasuriya and the rest of the Bombay Boys at the BIAL airport the next morning.

May 23, 2008

Madam Baanwari

I am caught in a self-destructive extra-marital relationship with this dude called Vicky. It started out nicely, when there was something about which my husband had nothing to say, he was always there to listen and give advice… soon I turned to him for everything, and stopped listening to the person I had married. However, things started to sour last year when Vicky started tormenting me and playing games with my mind. Don’t think I don’t know he two-times me with half the world…that’s kind of in his DNA and I am totally fine with that…to tell you the truth, part of his charm is that he keeps such interesting and fascinating ..err.. company
But now my obsession with him, and his brain-messing with me have got to a point where I need to call it off forever. Don’t have the guts to do it in person, so I’m doing it on the blog. So the next time, my dear Wikipedia, you tell me I have any kind of cancer if I confront you with a silly symptom, I’m gonna wipe you off the Internet! Somehow!

May 11, 2008

Bhutan Diary: Page One Of Dunno How Many...

I’d promised my butter half that I’d take him to see the Himalayas, and when he had introduced me to the pristine beauty of the Nilgiris, I’d been quite embarrassed at the thought of taking him to see something like Mussoorie or Simla. Then the opportunity to visit Bhutan came up, and we jumped at it!
After a BLR-CCU-IXB (Bagdogra) flight-hopping session, we were driven to the border hamlet of Jaigaon by a maniac in a Maruti Van. Theme song: “Bangali mein kehte hain, aami tomake kamikaze” The waiter at our hotel asked: “What will you see in Bhutan? It’s only mountains and roads….nothing to see…” His idea of a vacation was probably getting tripped and pickpocketed on the escalator of Forum Mall by a group of ladies with babies and baggage, which goes to show that the grass is always greener on the other side, except that there will soon be no grass or anything green except bank notes in …
Crossing over to Phuentsholing, Bhutan was really a journey into another country! If the British Airways crew sprays pesticides, insecticides and homicides in the cabin before taking off from India, the Bhutanese folks spray water on the car tyres, leaving you wondering if they’re getting the Indian muck off or symbolically washing your feet most respectfully… I remain mesmerized and ignorant…
Across the border, everything was neat, clean, traditional, and also very modern! All those fancy Toyota SUVs and buses get into Bhutan by road through Jaigaon! Wow! We’re a conveyor belt for goodies we never get to sample!
Our first stop was Thimpu, and since Phuentsholing-Thimpu is a main trade road, we ended up in a major traffic jam caused by a landslide. Which was great, because my dearest co-passenger, who had been awestruck by the sublime grandeur of the Himalayas for half an hour, was now in a red and molten condition with wet palms and dilated pupils… Alti-Dude sickness! Having come from a family of mountain goats, I did not know what to do to help, so we just sat and counted trucks till he regained his wits. The break helped immensely!
Having road-tripped across Sikkim-Darjeeling-Kalimpong some seven years ago, I was expecting a similar experience here, but I was pleasantly surprised when the landscape was much better preserved. Architecture was strictly regulated and every little building conformed to traditional design. The road meandered though the mountains and valleys, and we spent whole days drinking in the beauty of a land that takes great care to preserve itself. Back home, my days there all seem to blend one into the other. We used to wake up early, travel almost all day, stop for lunch and a little stroll, arrive at our destination, explore a little bit, and retire early. We ran into several tourists, and with the exception of a couple and a family, none of them were Indians.
Curiously, the consistent neatness and cleanliness we saw everywhere was missing in the monasteries or dzongs, where litter and foul smells seemed to have taken shelter. Ever since I came across Buddhism in my school textbook, I had thought of it as a possible religious faith that I could embrace. Sadly for me, the dzongs, the many gods, the tussles for power, and the prevalence of myth quite destroyed that hope. Perhaps I just will continue to believe in Divine Justice and hope for the best.
Did Bhutan take my breath away? Yes! Was every possible shade of green on display? Yes! Were there rhododendrons painting the mountain faces pink? Yes! Is the art and architecture by far the most fascinating I’ve ever seen? Yes! Is it pointless to go on about all this for another six hundred and twenty-five words? Yes!
I’ll post pictures as soon as the photographer has chosen the ones he wants over at his place. You know you’re a “ghareloo babe” when you remember to put naphthalene balls in the drain before you go on a trip, and pack a sterlisied syringe for travel emergencies, but leave your camera on the table at the last moment. Still kicking myself!
Happy Mother's Day all!

Back from a great trip, and now doing my eighth round of laundry, cleaning the house, stocking up the fridge, shivering at the number of work mails, and watching movies daily (Iron Man & Speed Racer: Definitely not my idea of a film festival)!
P.S. The detailed travelogue has begun here. I'll post my short and lazy one sometime soon!