Brownian thought space

Cognitive science, mostly, but more a sometimes structured random walk about things.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Return to India

With a 7-year stay outside, I think this is the first time I see India from an almost outsiders perspective. And me and Adish agreed that it is like living in a comic book.

Day 1

(a) Land at Bombay airport, and the guy at immigration accuses me of forging my passport, and says he is keeping it and I have to make a new one. So I said I can't since I have to return in less than a month. So he gives me back my passport. (b) Dad has booked a shuttle service, from the Bombay airport to home in Pune. The shuttle service is a beat-up 7-seater van with a cracked windshield, exceedingly dusty seats and eventually rattles and thumps along the roads. It nevertheless proclaims itself to be a limousine. (c) Along the Bombay link road there is little traffic at ~2 in the morning. So two horse-drawn chariots are having a race near Chembur. It's like Ben Hur, except each chariot is loaded to capacity. (d) On the highway. The van manages 80kmph despite the potholes and the crazy weaving and zagging traffic. And the driver has just one hand on the wheel; with the other he is fixing himself a shot of tobacco with lime; every so often yanking the wheel to dodge the odd pothole.

Days 2-4

(a) Everything has become so expensive!! Actually, it's like this. The tea I used to have in the little shops when I was in college hs gone up from Rs. 2 to Rs. 4. But now there is Cafe Coffee Day, Barista and the likes, with a totally different ambience (flash), and the same tea costs Rs. 50! (b) Adish and me we go to Vaishali; one of our fav. Pune joints. There is the usual queue of people all the way from the door to the eating area. Adish and me just walk confidently in, ask for table and are seated before 90% of the waiting lot. How this happens is a mystery. (c) I find that my vehicle of choice is to be a 22 year-old Bajaj scooter. Takes all of 5 minutes to get my driving feel back. Actually manage to drive the car through Pune traffic. Applause all around. (d) I find I remember almost all of the Pune streets and bylanes! Me and cousin Monu go to a place with an unexpected bowling alley. Monu has spent the day visiting girls that our families had taken previous appointments with, looking for a suitable match. Score: 0. Apparently this business is a bit like the MTV Dismissed: at some point the girl tells the parents hovering nearby that they are in time-out. What transpires then he didn't say. (e) Went to a bollywood film with an old & close friend. She is the only one who, in the first year in college, knew where she wanted to be, and now she is there. I've forgotten that in Indian theatres the sound levels are incredibly loud. And with the whole speaker banks along the sides of the theatre, background songs and stuff come from just about anywhere. And when the hero makes his first appearance, there are the whistles and the cheering from the audience. And the guy next to me is talking all through the film on his cellphone. The film is supposed to be slick. It's simply awful. I almost fall asleep twice. The saving grace is a very very sexy babe (Bipasha Basu) who occupies ~20% of the screentime. (film: Dhoom 2). (f) A car outside the window is backing up. I can tell because it is playing an electronic, beepy version of a traditional religious song, Om Jay Jagadish Hare... Pic: Me and Adish in front of a bollywood poster; Shah Rukh Khan in the Don remake, at the Cafe Coffee Day, FC Road


Anonymous Anonymous said...

why you say bad things about dhoom2. Dhoom2 is best hindi movie. ever. hritk is awssam, aishwarya is stuning, abhishek is good. dont say bad things.

January 03, 2007 5:11 PM  
Blogger apucalypse now said...

yes, why?

Dhoom 2 kicked the noveau Bond's backside with it's state of the art camouflage techniques (Hrithik Roshan's award worthy rendition of an ageing queen/grandma and a Plaster of Paris statue among much else), schmancy gadgets (pitted against Bond who couldn't plug in his emergency medical kit) and a sensational plot of A-shaped robberies across the globe!

so then why mo, why?

January 13, 2007 6:13 AM  
Blogger Mohinish said...


Here's the curious thing: on the BBC site, people voted the best Bond as Sean Connery:

However, turns out that this Bond film is topping boxoffices.

Mo smells a rat.

Hrithik... D2...
I'm sorry I said bad things. Dunno what I was thinking about.

Oh yes! That was opposites day!

January 13, 2007 1:09 PM  

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