November 24, 2009
November 12, 2009
Just back from a trip to Mumbai-Pune. Phyan ji chose the same time to visit as us, so that was a dampener, but that's ok. As the idiots say, "All eez well".
Pune is no longer the city I used to live in. There are malls everywhere, and wherever roads are not wider, they are one-ways. All that is very nice, except that the things one would hope to see changing alongside the development are not doing so at all. The public transport, for instance. I remember the difficult time three-wheeler wallahs used to give me whenever I would go to the airport to pick up or drop someone. Not only would they charge exorbitantly even though it was a 2-way ride, they would refuse to help with the bags, even if it was my mother who was travelling.
This time, we were able to brave the rains only because of taxis, and we accepted the fact that they would charge full fare for the day even though we needed them for a couple of hours. But when after that, the driver coolly sat in the cab while we got out in the pouring rain at the airport and were forced to pull our bags out ourselves (while he chanted "ohho! Kitni baarish hai" and sat pretty) I really lost it. This same gentle-my-foot-man demanded to know our plans in advance so that he could break for lunch, even though he knew that in any case he would be relieved by 1pm. I don't believe the vahanchalaks (vahan chaalaak rather) of Pune have heard of customer service or dignity of labour. It is very rarely that I feel like slamming the door of the trunk of a car down on someone's bare neck, and this was one of those days.
Compare this with the smartypants cabbie in Mumbai who refused to accept exact change that I popped under his nose one nanosecond after he stopped, since he gathered from our conversation that we were visitors and our friends were hosting us. Grrrr at him, but a big grin at his tribe!
November 02, 2009
This is about the cutesy little Sony mono radio I made my sister give me on my birthday this year. While the husband's pointy (really!) ears can detect about 10,000 different kinds of sound quality, I (deafly enough) do not find my life enhanced significantly by superior quality sound. Gimme a crackling little thingummy on the detergent ledge of my kitchen as I chop and stir and burn my fingers, and I am supremely happy.
Don't tell me that the only Hindi channel in Bengaluru has only a 100 songs a month, and all those are also on our iTunes, and shuffle is as good as radio, even better because nobody's trying to sell you jewellery and apartments in between songs. On radio, I always have the hope that some song I had completely forgotten about, will play again, and my neighbours, who entertain us with drunken parties on Saturday nights, will witness the spectacle of my kitchen choreography and rue the day they were born.
On another note: Either Mohit Chauhan has become too popular suddenly, or he's really upset that aaj ki padhi likhi kaam kaaji bharatiya naari works in the kitchen morning and night, but he serenades me daily while I cook. Which works wonderfully well for me! :)