Back in Mumbai…


….after more than a year! From 15 degrees to 30 degrees. We started sweating the moment we put our foot outside the airport. Luckily, no rains.

Am I being paranoid or has the traffic still increased in the past one year? Shantanu and I were greeted with heat and dust (nothing new here) but after a year it feels yucky! I may sound like those NRIs who come to India after a short time and start cribbing about things all around. But it is in fact the situation, we do live in filthy conditions. This becomes all the more glaring after staying in a lovely clean city.

I did recognize all the landmarks on my way on the Western express highway but I also came across so many new constructions! Where is the space? The uneven roads, bumper to bumper traffic, honking, dust, almost running over someone at high speed….all so familiar but so sad at the same time.

My hubby asked me to analyse the experience of returning to Mumbai and come to some kind of informed decision about whether we should return to Mumbai permanently or stay abroad. Apart from the emotional bonds with our families and relatives, there is really nothing that makes me want to stay back here. Life abroad is monotonous but so so easy!

About our travel, sonny was an angel! I was somewhat dreading our journey, managing him on my own for such a long flight. He slept through most of the journey and seems to have adopted pretty well with his grand-parents. He is awestruck with the ceiling fans – it’s a new concept for him and fascinated with the autos and open door buses! His curiosity has achieved new levels and he has questions about each and everything in the household.

Well, this is just the first day and am still jet lagged drowsy yet vividly awake.

Very excited about this trip though.

Weekend with Yashraj films


We got a new Blue Ray player sometime last week. For the lack of good movies on TV, we decided to watch some Yash Chopra ones that my parents had left us from their Europe trip last year. We watched Bachna Aye Haseeno, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Chandni.

Here are some afterthoughts:

  • Then: Rishi is so handsom and charming. Now: Rishi Kapoor is far more charming and handsome even with his shirt sweater on. Compared to Ranbeer obviously.
  • Then: When I saw it in theatre 16 years ago, I only noticed Shah Rukh’s dimples. Now: In the song, Ho gaya hai tujhko toh pyaar sajana, Shah Rukh is not driving through London. There are no alps in London. Snow-clad or otherwise.
  • Watching Sridevi and Rishi Kapoor dance together is like listening to any Lata-Rafi song. Both, Lata and Rafi sing so well that it is difficult to concentrate on either and you cannot enjoy the song for the overwhelming beauty of it. It is so much better to listen to Lata and Mukesh sing, where Lata rules as usual in complexity and Mukesh is as simple and plain as a line. Similarly, Rishi and Sridevi dance so well that it is difficult to concentrate on both of them. At a time. Together.
  • Then: Every time I watched Chandni or for that matter Lamhe, when I was a kid, I always lusted after Sridevi’s dresses, tresses, sarees, practised her dance moves to perfection and wanted to be like her in every sense. I even mimicked her squeaky voice. Now: I noticed Rishi’s sweaters. After 40, I gave up counting.
  • Sridevi looks far too better in the white dress in Tandav dance than Juhi. I guess everyone agrees with that.
  • I decided that I would always want to watch Kajol in DDLJ than Deepika in Bachna Aye Haseeno or Deepika in whatever movie. My hubby disagrees.

You find any changes in your perception after watching movies after a decade? Do tell.

Will miss you Edinburgh..


…the Autumn colours

…the short days and long nights

…the variety of wines

…the five-minute walk to Sainsbury’s supermarket

…the lovely Princess Street

…the majestic view of the mighty Edinburgh castle

…the smiles and ‘cheers’ from random people 

…the interaction between son and random people from buses, roads etc

…the beautiful gardens and kid’s parks

… the quiet and peaceful days

…rainbows

…cobblestone roads

…frequently changing weather, experiencing three seasons in a single day!

…the hills of Holyrood park

…last but not the least, my hubby, who will join us in Mumbai a couple of months later

Will miss you Edinburgh, the most beautiful city I have visited so far but I will be back. Now back to enjoying the last week here!

Dear Mumbai, I love you too, but am most charmed with this city here!

Book Review: The Facility


Title: The Facility
Author: Simon Lelic
ISBN: 9780330522724
Source: Library Copy
Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis: The book is set in the near future where a “Unified Security Act” has been passed in the UK which essentially allows the government to go to any length in the name of maintaining security. A secret facility/prison is established and a number of people are detained without any explanation. The book follows Arthur Priestly – one of the imprisoned, Henry Graves – governor of the facility and Tom Clarke – a journalist approached by Priestly’s wife, Julia, who believes her husband has been detained under false pretences.

My Review:

I had read good reviews about Lelic’s debut novel, Rupture (which I haven’t read yet) so I was eager to get my hands on his second book. I am usually not too keen on reading political thrillers but this plot sounded interesting enough and so I chanced it.

This is a fast paced thriller and is gripping throughout, well almost. It wasn’t very thought-provoking and I felt that this complex issue of government confidentiality could be investigated further. The book revolves around these 3 protagonists and how they react to this situation. Instead of a typical frameworks of such novels which reveal more as they progress, this is an inverted projection of this kind of story in that it doesn’t reveal the big conspiracy and aimed at keeping things hidden.

We don’t really know why the facility is established until a third of the way through the novel. The difficulty with this approach is that it is difficult to examine the issues in-depth. The writing is good, there is a creepy murky feeling throughout the novel but it doesn’t really stand out as an exceptional thriller. It is an absorbing fact paced read but it doesn’t end up leaving you satisfied with the outcome.

Updates


It’s a bright sunny day to put down my thoughts. Autumn has not started yet officially but the leaves have started changing colour and it is lovely to watch. For once, I am not suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Although all is going to change for a couple of months. I am going back to Mumbai (yay!), home sweet home in a couple of weeks. It’s a planned trip, well ahead of time, and yet I am sure that I will forget to carry something and wish that I had shopped some more 🙂

I’ll miss Autumn in its full bloom, the leaves, the colourful gardens, the fruits, everything but am going back for a very important event. My kid brother is getting married (still can’t believe it!) but there it is. I still get worried about him and how he can manage himself let alone another person, but I guess after a certain time you have to let go of the people you love. You cannot control them and look after them forever and they are able to take care of themselves. This sounds as if I am his primary care taker but then you always feel responsible for your loved ones. Anyway, all this is for another post. Though I know that his mum will find it the hardest, this is a glimpse for me and my kid but well, that is far away in the future. So I have been busy with shopping and not so much of packing.

On the other hand, my son seems to be obsessed with symmetry! All his toys, are arranged in perfect order, be it cars, soft toys or other mixed assortments. When he is bored with toys, he picks out spoons and forks and arranges them in a straight line on the floor. (We believe he has great potential to become an architect but then his grandpa wants him to be a model! Let’s hold the argument about his profession some other day). Among the many cars that he has, he points to the most shiny bright blue one and tells everyone that this is his dadda’s car. Not his but his dadda’s. His dad is his hero and the best of best belongs to dadda, yet. His words and vocabulary have increased ten folds and can now hold great conversations pertaining to his interest.

At bed time, we have tricked him into telling stories to us as both mum and dad are dead tired, and he kindly tells us stories or cows, tigers, dogs and horses. It is a little surprising though to find that everything these animals do is what the kiddo has done during the day. The cow eats Weetabix, drinks chocolate milk, the tiger goes to the garden and puts stones in the pond and plays with his dad and so on. Papa madhe dagad takato..Du-book! (puts stone in the water…du-book!)….that is how the stone goes…with actions! 🙂

His social skills have also improved in that he talks to random people while travelling, in buses etc and starts his chatter in Marathi having no doubts whatsoever that the person understands every word he says. And his favourite song is still ‘Wheels on the bus go round and round…’ Yesterday I took him to his play school in bus and the entire time he kept singing in his clear, distinct and loud voice ‘Mommies on the bus go chatter chatter chatter..all day long’ giving me sheepish smiles in between.

When it is time for his dad to come back from office, I keep telling kiddo, ‘Dadda aala ka bagh’ (See is dadda has come). This goes on for some time till his dadda actually turns the key in the lock and enters. Then kiddo will rush to him and ask ‘Tu aala ka dadda? aala ka tu?’ (Have you come dadda?) to which his dad will solemnly reply, ‘ho mi aalo’ (Yes, I have come)! At other times, he wants me to open the door and he will stand outside with crossed arms and one leg outside the door with a big smile on his face to welcome his dadda home.

Anyway, I started with updating you guys about what I had been up to and digressed into a mommy post, but life is seriously revolving around the kiddo. Am not sure how often I’ll post once I am in India, but still, do keep visiting, if not commenting. 🙂