August 31, 2008

Bohred

I am dead bored. What's new?

I know this is one of THOSE days. I slept through the afternoon and stuff, so I'm quite soporific-lethargic.

Dinner in the mess was priced at Rs. 50 for guests, so I just decided to skip it and ended up at the horrid 24*7 instead.

Kulfi was also bad.

This is one of those pregnant moments.

August 30, 2008

Water woes

I thought the worst form of physical exercise that ever existed was walking (running) to SAA from Lohit Hostel, knowing that you are very very late, and feeling very very guilty about that. What is "worst" about it is the sun. Though it is only 9 am, the sun is in midday mode, beating down on your head. I've come to the conclusion that I can take a bath on my way to SAA and manage to wash off all the soap by the time I'm there. But just for your information, I do it in the bathroom.

For the past few days, the water crisis has been acute. So we get water for a couple of hours in the morning and evening only. Today, it was particularly bad. In the morning, I went to Sarojini Market and found exactly the kind of bucket I had envisioned. Thereafter, I went to Sagar's place and picked up one bag. Of course, on the way there, I got lost and ended up on the way to Kotla before he came and rescued me.

I was dog tired by the time I returned and I used up almost all my water to take a bath since I was sure the water would come back in the evening. At 7, for the lack of something to do, I fell asleep for "20 minutes" and woke up at 8.15 pm. As I was going down to dinner, I saw people dragging buckets to the second wing. Then I got to know that the moment Swasti has been talking about had arrived. The tankers were here.

My new pink bucket finally had its moment of glory. I took it down and wondered where the tanker was. A boy hanging around near the entrance had to show me how to use the valve. Of course, I couldn't carry it up. I promptly called upon the loiterer to help me up the stairs with it. He looked at his friends in an embarassed way and obliged. A short distance later, a friend saw me struggling and we carried the water up together. I went down for a second but filled only half of it this time, since I didn't want another back breaking round...

Even the water cooler was running out of water. I used the mess cooler to wash my utensils and gather around eight litres of water...

All this left me totally bewildered. If I continue doing this for two years, I could give any Parisienne model a run for her money. Meanwhile, I am trying to figure whether living in the Amazon rainforest is easier. At least, in those jungles, you don't have to worry about the water going away.

August 26, 2008

Dilli Billi

I've been exposed to a range of temperatures since I moved to Delhi.

I will never figure how to reach the 9 am class on time. Every morning, I exclaim how I will be early this one day and then promptly do something to ensure that I can't leave the hostel before 9. This morning, while I was huffing and puffing it to SAA from Lohit Hostel, I suddenly realised HOW hot it was. In a matter of minutes, my white shirt was stained with mud, I was dripping like the water crisis of Lohit was caused by my exertions and I reached class looking like a refugee, which I am.

To add to the mess, the prof just realised I'm not an earnest student who comes from Ghaziabad or someplace. Which means I have to be on time tomorrow.

Meanwhile, our cinema classes can be Eskimo glacial. And sometimes soporific. I did my first sleeping session at JNU today. I dozed off for 15 minutes and missed the 3 min 11 sec Touch of Evil tracking shot I've been waiting for these past two classes. Anyway, not that I regret my refreshing nap...!

I have been going Golgappa hunting. I quite liked the stuff they have at Aggarwal Sweets in Munirka. Meanwhile, someone has asked me to try out the golgappa at a place called Evergreen. They also sell pav bhaji at Aggarwal. It looks quite revolting, with that chole brown colour and all the tomato and coriander garnishing. If I muster the courage to taste it, you will definitely hear about it.

JNU, being such a big campus, has a sad variety as far as food goes. Aloo paranthas can be good, some North Indian dishes are decent. The rest includes badly cooked South Indian food and extremely oily Chinese food.

Unfortunately, there is no chaat scene. I can't even find a simple golgappa/bhelpuri guy on campus. How sad :(.

August 21, 2008

JNU

I've been here five days...

I've learned a lot. These five days have been a crash course in life.

On Sunday, I stood in the courtyard of Ganga hostel like a refugee, trying to figure how I would live without having any place for my luggage. Now I've learnt to take up minimum space. And share beds.

The aloo paranthas are great. South Indian food sucks...not that I want any of it...

I finally got down to buying some essentials today...a bucket, some rope for a clothesline and so on. So I feel more settled. I figured that even if I have to live like a refugee, I might do so decently.

The walk from Lohit hostel to SAA is too long when I have to choose between breakfast or punctuality. Also, since for some unknown but surely valid reason, we have only one cyber cafe and one proper phone booth. The campus spans over 1000 acres. What fun.

August 12, 2008

Nostalgia...


It is 1:32 am. I have broken my promise to myself by not going to bed in time. Today, I was walking towards Smitalay on SV Road. I narrowly sidestepped a pool of water splattered with paan. At the same time, a No. 222 bus passed by. I felt a little sad, having to leave this city and go away.


This was a planned move that I’ve contemplated over two years. And I am generally not the type who’s averse to leaving home. I think nothing of taking off to Bhubaneswar for a month or two. Even here, I know it only takes a day to come back, but there is this underlying apprehension.


I have managed to understand my rush of feelings for certain places. When I first stayed in Bangalore and Bhubaneswar, I came back smitten. Looking back, I bored everyone within a mile with tales of the place. I left nothing to the imagination. Now, I don’t go overboard. I liked what I saw of Delhi, I’m not as scared as I was, and am looking forward to it.


I am listening to Sitaaron se aage. I associate it with the ethnography project…which is obvious enough. But now that I’m going away, it is a sound I will associate with Bombay. Though this city is quite the opposite…chaotic and crowded, while this song speaks of silence.


There may be another explanation for this sudden urge to listen to that song.
Sitaaron se aage jahaan aur bhi hain, abhi ishq ke imtihaan aur bhi hain.
It probably means I’m going to fall in love with many other places, things and…

Ripped off at Rajdhani


Yesterday, I finally lunched at Rajdhani in Malad. For the past two years, I’ve been hearing an assortment of people praise its food. A few months ago, Ipsita and I went there, intent on having dinner, but there were so many people waiting for a table and we had to eat at the Food Court instead.


I met Poornima at 12 pm, determined to beat the rush. We were among the first few customers of the day. I was happy at not having to queue up with “whole families and their boisterious kids”, a dark prediction by someone else. It was amusing watching Poornima and the thali…we could easily seat her among all those tiny steel cups.


Strangely, dal-bati choorma has eluded me, even at Chokhi Dhani, the heritage village near Jaipur. The same goes for Rajdhani. There was a choice of dals – sweet and spicy and a heavenly sweet kadhi. The vegetable dishes included palak paneer, papdi, chana in besan/curd-based gravy and potato gravy. They had a “Bengali sweet” – chamcham in this case, the only incongruous addition to the meal. Apart from that, there was jalebi with rabdi and halwa. The rotis were soft and warm, while the thepla was tantalisingly salty. I tried the khichdi and a pulao, the name of which sounded like “ramarama”.


Poornima was fascinated by the pots of warm water with receptacles to wash one’s hands in. Alas, we remained enthralled only till we came to the bill. The last time I was at Inorbit, I remember the cost of a meal there was around Rs. 170. But our lunch set us back by Rs. 260 each. We were both left with just enough money to go back home. Not amused by the indiscriminately high rate of inflation, we didn’t leave a tip. Rather, we couldn’t afford to.

August 10, 2008

The party

I have six days in Bombay.

Not everyone could make it to my farewell party, but it turned out to be great fun. My friends surprised me with a delicious eggless cake and a touching card. As in all Ranjana parties, we watched some Odissi and sincerely discussed a performance of Bandha Nritya. But I ensured a good quantity of Dard-e-Disco and Mauja hi Mauja in the end. Ipsita and I made lame attempts to lap-dance, much to the consternation of Reuben. I finally ended up injuring her finger and applying the peach balm held by white monkey to it...




Ipsi copied my move from her 18th birthday and got me a garland..only a more flamboyant one in this case. Although they've left me with a variety of options fit for my obit page, this should give you an idea. Note the shapely contours...the amount of chocolate cake I've eaten, they won't last long.




The perpetrator of the crime...held under Section something or the other for cracking inciting jokes about the insart.

Krupali wants to give all the pouty sultry sirens a run for their money. My rude angel says she looks like her nose hit the wall. This is what we will post on HER matrimonial profile!



An extremely interesting composition, with Krupali playing a cat...she is proud of her ability to make feline faces. Rajat is an active supporter. Meanwhile, Reuben contemplates the madness around him, while Ipsita's desperately trying to dial 100, asking those dudes to come and rescue her from us.



August 09, 2008

August 08, 2008

Nightscapes

1:30 AM
I read that Haji Ali is going to be demolished soon. It's such a shame...I pass it all the time, but I've never been there. I must try to make a trip before I leave

1:45 AM
Today has been another 'let's gorge on Bombay delicacies' day. On a whim, I went to Dadar for batata vadas. I wish I had a reason to be out on Tuesday...it's ekadashi and I want to be in Dadar, sampling sabudana khichdi. I remember how we used to declare that we would go to Doctor's mess on ekadashi, especially after Monish and Animesh raved about the khichdi. We got the vadas, but always missed the khichdi!

1.50 AM
I continued with some shrikhand from Samant Bros. It was sour, and I couldn't feel the kesar. Warana is the best, while Chitale comes a close second. Amul shrikhand tends to feel dry and grainy. Parsi Diary has amazing stuff but it's also ridiculously expensive.

1.58 AM
I wanted to go to bed by 11 pm, hahhahahaha! But I'm not sleepy...

If SAA doesn't work out, I could always go work for Google. Or Indian Railways!

I should write more often. Really write.

2.10 AM
David? Hmm...

2.14 AM
Poornima and I are planning to have lunch at Rajdhani on Sunday. While one person thinks I ought to queue up by 11 if I want to eat by 3, I'm being slightly more optimistic. But eating at Rajdhani days are jinxed for me. Every single time I go with the intention of eating there, I end up eating some other horrid thing.

2.17 AM
So much cake today. How many calories?

August 02, 2008

Shera

Shera my nemesis glares hither...why do you hate me Shera? I thought all dogs loved me.