Friday, April 15, 2011

I Don't.

So I’m in my mid-thirties, unmarried and living on my own. And while I’m fine with my single status, it’s funny how everyone else around me seems to have a problem with it. My parents were first in line, but over the years have given up all hope of getting through to me, and at this point in time, would even be happy if I committed myself to living in with a dog

Then I have a bunch of friends who think I should stop my decadent ways, cut down on travelling at the drop of a hat and settle down to a life of marital bliss. Interestingly, they’re the married ones who just can’t bear to see me having so much fun without being answerable to anyone. I can get home whenever I like. I can eat without being nagged. I can watch whatever I like to watch on TV. I can eat leftovers straight out of the refrigerator. And most importantly, I can make calls to anyone without being interrogated like someone who just committed adultery.

Relatives, on the other hand, are always trying to pair me with someone’s daughter. They range from the bold and the balding to the rich and the breastless. I don’t see why they take it upon themselves to ensure I find a bride. I’m well capable of making my own decisions. Just like I’ve decided to steer clear from any of these strange proposal offers. The last thing I want is to sit at the Sea Lounge discussing my educational background and bank balance with a strange family over tepid coffee and overpriced bhel puri.

As of now, I’m very happy with my independence. I have no regrets about how I have lived my life so far. And if I do decide to get hitched in the future, I’ll be happier if it was because of love, and not the archaic pressures of modern-day society.







Monday, January 3, 2011

Ferry Worried


So I spent New Year’s Day in Alibag with a few close friends. Ready to return, post the delicious alcohol and endless food (or is it the other way around?), we were told that the catamaran seats were all sold out and we had to take the local ferry. Now unlike Shashi Tharoor, I have no qualms about travelling with my fellow locals. But I do have a problem with the sorry state of the jetties at both Alibag and the Gateway of India.

You see, over the last 20 years, the number of private pools in Alibag has jumped from ten to about two hundred and fifty. There’s more Balinese landscaping in Alibag than in all of Indonesia. And the traffic problems from Pedder Road have spilled out onto the Arabian Sea as powerboats are the new accessory for the well-heeled. After all, what’s the point of owning an Omega Seamaster if you don’t have a yacht to wear it with?  

Now sadly, over the last 20 years, as more Balinese homes were being built, the jetty has continued to fall apart like Djakarta. There are no safety measures at the jetty. To get on or off a boat, you need to leap across with your bags tightly wrapped around your arms and your shit firmly clenched between your butt cheeks. Then you have to repeat it as you may need to jump across two or more boats to reach the moss-covered pier with those same barnacles that gave Captain Haddock blisters.

The state of the pier is really despicable. And I wonder why the upscale residents of Alibag, with all their influence and wealth, can’t come up with a plan to build a safe jetty. If not for the local people, at least for the sake of their suede Gucci loafers.



Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy 2011. And 2012, 2013....

So 2010 has come to a quick end. But the usual madness that surrounds it hasn't. Towards the end of every year we are subjected to the same old things that we were subjected to the previous year. And the year before that and so on and on and on. 

It starts with the year end TV specials, which are just reruns of everything you saw all through the year, repackaged into a back-to-back spectacular, along with all the movies that failed to make it at the box office. There's the mandatory day of laughter with Friends - a Star World tradition since the last five years at least. I wonder who still watches that sitcom. I also wonder who can really be friends with Monica.

Then we have the 'Best of' series - everything from videos and item numbers to celebrity wardrobe malfunctions and Salman's Being Inhuman moments are bundled into Top 10 lists by what looks like editing experts from Balaji Studios. 

And just when you think you have seen enough, start the advertisements in newspapers promising you Dubai in Dadar Parsi Colony, Las Vegas at a bar in Lohar Chawl and Mardi Gras at Matunga. Making things worse are all those live performances that are repeatedly lip-synced every year by the usual item girls - Malaika Arora, Mallika Sherawat, Yana Gupta and Tushar Kapoor. 

After the newspapers, you start getting the barrage of year end party smses. I'm guessing PR firms hire people with shaky hands, because I get the same message thrice at one go every day for two weeks. And just for the record, no, I do not want to be at the biggest party in town with DJ Kamlesh from Mombasa, belly dancers from Dharavi, unlimited Blaklabel & premium food till 5 am.

Friends soon start planning what to do. But not without asking everyone on their Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and LinkedIn accounts, as well as their neighbours, parents and the building watchman first. Then like every year, Bombay is divided into two - no, not North and South - Pro-Goa and Anti-Goa. One lot goes early and tries to find a secluded spot on the Southern most tip of Goa only to realize everyone they were avoiding has made it there before them. And the ones that stay back in Bombay panic in last-minute confusion trying to find something to do so that they don't have to spend it with Monica.

It's all the same. Every year. It starts with the usual forwarded messages and spam mail on January 1st. People will ask you about your new year resolutions throughout January. They'll ask you if you broke your new year resolutions throughout February. Then the question for March and April is "Where you going this summer?" Once people return from their vacations, the next three months are spent complaining about the rain and the heat that follows, before everyone's back to "So what you doing for New Year's Eve?" all over again.

Happy 2011 all. Hope you enjoyed reading this. Or else I'll just post it again at the end of next year.





Friday, December 24, 2010

Holy Smoke!

So it’s been over two years that the smoking ban was implemented in Bombay. No smoking in public places anymore. It was the dramatic end of the era – the one where you could smoke and drink at the same time. Now, thanks to the ban, everyone has moved to smoking and drinking while driving, which according to a recent survey, is not going down well with many drivers as they say it’s beginning to interfere with their texting.  

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the smoking ban, especially in restaurants. Now when I order my smoked salmon, it doesn’t smell of smoke anymore. Bars and nightclubs, I’m not so sure of. Women think the ban is great. When they get home, their clothes and hair aren’t layered with smoke anymore they claim, even though the smell of cheap rum and J√°gerbombs can be traced on them from two nakabandis away. 

 Men, on the other hand, aren’t quite sure of how to deal with the ban yet. They’re always torn between taking a cigarette break outside and ordering another beer. When on a date, this decision gets harder. Leave the girl alone inside or smoke later? Well more often than not, the cigarette wins. After all, the girl can always put on another layer of gloss, adjust her bra and check her BBM during all that time. No smoking in cinemas is fine. Anyway, missing ten minutes of a hindi film is a good thing. Hospitals needed it. So did schools and colleges. 

The initial resistance has died down and the ban has worked pretty successfully throughout the city. Except in cabs. Guess it’s because our taxi drivers are just used to saying no to everything.





Thursday, December 23, 2010

Frequent Crier Miles.

So as an unmarried guy in his thirties, I have no real experience with kids, except for the fact that I still behave like one. I do babysit my nephew and nieces from time to time, and they're the most adorable little things, especially when you know you can make them eat everything they aren't allowed to, before you send them back to their parents to deal with the consequences. 

"Can I have some bitter chocolate?" says the 3 year old. 

"Didn't you just brush your teeth for bed?" I say. 

"Yes, but puhleeeeeeeeeze..." she says with a look that would make Hitler flash his pearlies. 

"Ok, but just one bar." I hypnotically succumb. 

Little kids have it real good. All they do is eat, poop, eat some more and sleep. Strangely, I have a couple of friends my age who still do that. Kids are pampered all the time and have everything handed to them on a platter. Strangely, I have a couple of friends my age who live the same way. Kids throw temper tantrums, scream, cry and shout and get away with anything. Ditto with some of my friends. I love kids, except when I'm taking a flight. There's nothing worse than traveling long distance to realize you're seated next to the toddler whose shrieking can make noise reduction headphones melt. 

Fortunately, there's a site out there that provides tips for moms traveling with their wailing wee ones that may just come in handy to keep those diapers buckled up during the flight. And the bar service from being grossly misused by harrowed passengers.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Call me textrovert!

So the trend of morphing two names to come up with a third one is one bad idea that just doesn't seem to go away. It started with Bennifer, Brangelina and Tomkat before moving on to our very own Abhiash and Saifeena. And just when everyone thought it was a trend confined to the world of celebrity, in late 2009, the fashion world unleashed its worst word combination since the failure of the Tankini in the 90's - the amalgamation of jeans and leggings - Jeggings. So popular have they become with the 'in' crowd and lazy-assed women who can't find the time to squeeze into a pair of skinnies that every major denim brand has included them in their collections. The sales of regular denim jeans has seen a dramatic fall with everyone swapping authentic style in favour of comfort. Conan O'Brien tried on a pair too and called them Meggings. Will this morphing insanity ever end? Or just keep going on like Imran Khan and Ranbir Kapoor's bromance? 



Friday, December 17, 2010

Fat people. Thin book.

People do crazy things for their friends - kill, steal, lie, beg – I did worse, I agreed to read a new, chick-lit book for one of mine. At first, strange things crossed my mind. Would my male friends accept me once I finished reading it? Would I wake up with a French manicure and a craving for chocolate and Robert Pattinson? But then again, you do stuff for friends and I promised to read it and so I did.  And let me tell you, Vrushali Telang’s debut novel, ‘Can’t Die for Size Zero’ was fun, witty and, rather appetizing.

Think Sex and the City meets The Food Channel and you’ve pretty much got what’s going on in the mind of Joyeeta Naik – a big woman whose friends think she should get a makeover, a new diet and a new fitness regime so she can be confident, love her body and love life. Unfortunately, or fortunately, she loves food more.

What unfolds is an exciting account of Joyeeta’s life in Mumbai, accentuated with boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, best friends, colleagues, tailors, parties, little black dresses and enough food to feed every screaming 10 year old at a Justin Bieber concert. Don’t be fooled by the chick-lit tag, I recommend this book for anyone who has a sense of humour and a stomach. Even the size zero folks. 

The 'Big' Debut.