Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
So we’ve all written, read, seen or been a part of Mumbai. We know Mumbai for Dhobi Ghaat, for Gateway of India, for Taj and Trident and for Nariman Point. We also identify it with commerce, trade and money. But how many times do we reflect upon the masculinity of Mumbai?
Yes, Mumbai is a man and its fast, strong and sturdy life makes all of its inhabitants masculine. So here I am, technically a female Mumbaikar but emotionally a very boisterous individual.
My encounters with the Man have been ever since childhood. I grew up brushing against men and women in the buses of Mumbai. I got nudged and pushed in the crowd at major markets. I ran on the railway platform to get to my compartment before the train left. But besides all this, there have been a lot of individual experiences which shaped me into my male self.
As a child, I accompanied my dad to a lot of places he went to. He was speed walker. So as much as I hated it, I had to walk super fast to keep pace with him; and soon I got into the habit of automatically brisk walking.
Looking back, this unconscious training has helped me a lot to stay on time. In spite of having an envious public transport system here, there is no escape from delays; and also from walking. Occasionally to often, there are lack of rickshaws and taxis on the street. Sometimes, the drivers say a straight right ‘No’ to ply you to your destination.
In such cases, it is best to forget the daintiness of a woman and march-past like a soldier heading to war!
To be very honest, I have also taken pride in overtaking strangers on the road during my self-proclaimed sessions of racing.
That apart, I have learned to be technology-friendly, taken interest in speeding cars and developed a liking for male scents; in this transitional process of going from a Miss Misfit to Mister Right.
I’ve also learned to ignore roadside Romeos who perform a plethora of stunts ranging from intentionally brushing past you to whistling to singing Godforsaken songs to ogling at you for prolonged periods of time.
This of course was an outcome of personal experience and immunity building, rather than the learning obtained from parents and peers.
In Mumbai you have women working in all male dominated professions. Also, a lot more women are being educated in management and engineering studies, which were previously thought of as being a man’s terrain. As a matter of fact, the class I am studying in has two times the number of female students than male students.
I’m sure other women in Mumbai also share the same raucousness that I do. This city tends to do that to women. It makes them strong and self sufficing people.
It’s not like it throws a lot of hurdles and hardships in your face, all at once. It’s more like it gradually trains you to face the reality; the selfishness, the rat race, the deadlines and the targets.
It keeps you from being the damsel in distress. And if you are one, you can blame only Bollywood, and not Mumbai, for putting you in that spot.
Bollywood, another thing Mumbai takes a lot of pride in, is the only fantasy, the only ‘escape from reality’ that the city provides its people. The rest is just Mumbai, the big male boss of Mumbaikars.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Here’s why you should go there...
Nagothana is situated in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, about 2 hours from Mumbai by road. The railway station closest to this holiday town is Pen.
The feel of Nagothana makes you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. One could also describe it as the countryside of the west. The beauty of this place is enhanced by the mountaintops which tower high and lovingly protect the people of Nagothana.
One of the first few observations you’ll make en route to Nagothana is the sudden change of atmosphere; from the smell of car exhaust to the aroma of moist mud, from high rise buildings to low lying hutments and from sites of concrete road and streetlights to those of dried hay and green grass.
Once there, it is easy to find accommodation in hotels near the marketplace or in a rented farmhouse by the riverside. Besides the food market, there are other local markets which sell saris in bright colours, enriched with traditional Indian designs.
For all you sea food lovers, the market offers a wide variety of fresh river fishes to choose from. So you can pick one of the biggest catches and add spice to your meal!
Though there are few recreation options within Nagothana, Alibag is a preferred get-away locale for international and national tourists alike. Alibag is in close proximity to Nagothana. So you can consider hiring a car to reach there.
If you’re planning to escape the madness of the metros and find comfort in the countryside, a retreat to Nagothana is much recommended.
Friday, September 2, 2011
I always maintained a low profile regarding my blog. I would regularly check my stats to confirm that no one was prying into my life through my blog. The road was all clear!
My diary became more and more popular with me. I would post my every single life detail in it. I would occasionally go back and read my posts and contemplate about who I was!
It was so comforting to know I had a pal who would reflect my thoughts and express them in my own words.
But very soon my blog travelled across borders and people read more about me. They liked my posts and the reasoning which went into writing those. They understood my emotions, my psyche. They heard the cries of a tender heart safely wrapped within a strong body and a tough character.
The more the followers accumulated the less personal my diary became. For few months I even gave up writing. But something within me said, “Aren’t you an inspiration to the many bloggers out there, who will learn the art of writing only if they imitate you?”
Not unlike others, I too started looking at my blog as a piece of art, one that can be appreciated only by those who have fine aesthetic sense and one which will be a classic people will yearn to read.
My pride soon hardened the soft core within me. My writing became much more stylized and my vocabulary more profound. My blog looked less like a blog and more like an online novel.
I hoped to get more audience, more followers and more feedback. Paradoxically, I lost out on my existing audience and followers. I could not comprehend how such a phenomenon could occur. I tried harder each day to make my text more flowery than before, but every time my efforts to restore my lost glory went in vain!
Ultimately, the blog that I earlier nurtured with so much care was left alone to wither away. I stopped writing for it any longer. My enthusiasm for writing had gone. After meeting such a failure who would care to write anyway; and for whom?
Today I’m looking at my redundant blog once again and I’m contemplating about who I was and what became of me!
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Have I? Have I not?”
Delnaz was seated on a garden bench murmuring these words to herself, as she plucked the petals of a withered yellow rose.
Delnaz had no idea what to think of herself. Was she schizophrenic? The doctors could not tell; not yet!
Her life story was pretty complicated. She believed she’d killed someone named Karan Agarwal. She was affirmative! She herself reported her crime to the police, in the wee hours of the day. She was frantically running around the police station pleading to the inspectors to arrest her.
She said she’d been having a rendez-vous with Karan since the past 4 months. She even started developing affection for him. Karan usually dropped by her house to say hello! Theirs was a perfect love story to one’s eye. But there lay many dark secrets underneath.
Karan was a fraud. He developed relations with Delnaz to coax her into assisting him in his crimes. He was a smuggler and he needed Delnaz to hoard all the smuggled goods in her house till they were delivered to their destination.
Delnaz, though reluctant, was pulled into this gamble. The everyday hellos were actually a means to drop bags full of smuggled items in her house.
She’d become weary of being used. She wanted Karan’s love, not these illegal things he would stack up in her room.
One day when Karan visited her with a new load of smuggled goods, Delnaz pulled out an elephant tusk and stabbed Karan in the stomach.
This is what she confessed to the police.
Upon investigation, the police was left clueless. No body, no ivory tusk and not one bag of smuggled goods. The police interrogated the neigbours if they had seen a particular man frequent Delnaz’s apartment. But each one denied!
The police looked up the criminal records but they didn’t find any record of Karan Agarwal.
So the questions that arose were such:
Did a smuggler names Karan Agarwal exist?
If he did, was this his real identity?
If it was, was it given that he was a smuggler?
If the answers to all these questions were negative, was it wise to believe that Delnaz was Schizophrenic? Or was she just taking the police for a ride?
What was the truth behind this story and the woman?
No one could tell, not yet!