Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Home is where the Poggenpohl is.

So every real estate developer these days is trying to entice buyers to live beyond their means. Promising them the sun, moon and stars, all from a private wooden deck of course. These buyers, who were earlier satisfied with a one BHK with 'partial' sea view - even if it meant standing on a chair to get to see a wave - are now lining up to get home loans because nothing less than a Philippe Starck tub will do for their wives to soak their cellulite in.

Private spa pools in every room, helipads and automated lighting are other big draws. Don't know why, especially in a country already famous for water shortages, excessive noise pollution and power cuts.

And then there's the clincher - Californian landscaping. It's something every new township boasts of, though no one is really quite sure what it really is, especially those living in California.

I'm sure it won't be long before you drive by a tiny fishing village and see little huts with wooden flooring, net curtains and Koliwada landscaping. But until then I'm just going to get back up on my chair and catch a calm, briny breeze before that chopper rolls in. 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rush Hour

So what's the story on the traffic situation in Bombay? There are more cars and cabs in the city than diamonds at a Sindhi wedding. The traffic moves at snail's pace. And the potholes have roads. You have to dodge pedestrians who've never heard of zebra crossings, taxis that have never heard of indicators and bus drivers who have never heard of lanes. If that's not enough to keep you awake, the endless honking will. People honk for anything. They'll honk if it's hot. They'll honk if there's a pothole in the way. Some even honk to find out why you're not moving - at a stop light. New cars are being launched every week. The Tata Nano is available for the price of a Bottega bag, even though the bag may have more room. There's talk of a new underground metro system and a new monorail project that will probably be ready by the time every other country is offering space travel. After all, speed is something no one in this city is familiar with.