Monday, January 29, 2007

House hunt: The story continues

The story so far:
After roomie recovered from spiritual anguish, and we finalized the Embassy society to move. Papers were signed, advances paid, NOC's done, cops bribed, photos clicked and submitted, biodatas given and signatures signed.
Then the Embassy society called an emergency meeting to ban bachelors from entering the premises. Our shadows can no longer darken their doors again.

So, the search continues...

Perizaad (The Fairy) building has excellent views of both the Andheri Sports Complex ground, the under-construction building in front, and the excavated canal filled with a black sludge that looks like Ardros from the ST:TNG - Skin of Evil episode, a psychotic, malicious, unkillable black tar-creature who murders the security office for fun.
Guru Dhrishti (The Sight of the Guru) building can be reached only by land rovers or tanks. We watched a girl in an Accent nose-dive into a camouflaged ditch and bleat pitifully for help from within her trapped vehicle for half an hour.
Amiya (Sanskrit - "nectar, delightful" or "boundless") building is precisely behind the DN Nagar Towed vehicles holding area, so recovering my bike from it's frequent stays at police hospitality is going to be a lot easier. It also has horrific scribbles done by an apparently mentally disturbed child in crayon on every wall.

...and so the hunt continues...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

house hunt: rejections and rabies

this keeps getting better and better.

3 days left, and we've finally selected the house we're going to shift into. Lease on the verge of expiring. 90% of all stuff packed, which means I'm living out of a suitcase and eating out of the single plate which I need to wash when I finish... and the Embassy society calls an emergency meeting to ban Bachelors from living in it.
I'm beginning to get a feel of how a discriminated minority feels.
So now we need to vacate by Wednesday, and there's no alternative in sight. I need to think of some options, fast. Managed to recover the token money, at least; was worried about that, since this Arora broker is so cheap he only makes missed calls until you call him back.
We can either now
1. search, finalize, and sign up for another option - probably as a compromise solution, settling for what we can get because there's no time;
2. Extend the lease and search for another place properly;
3. Renew. Which means dropping S.
After we got this call in the morning, unwashed and unbreakfasted, we were practically biking from broker to broker to more house options, subsisting on tea and cigarettes. And finally when I come back home in the evening, the pups living in the compound greeted me so enthusiastically that I realized they'd drawn blood when I went to wash up.
Which means rabies shots tomorrow.
And there's a dubious plan being implemented in office which promises to triple my workload over the coming 3 months.
Life is Beautiful.

Friday, January 26, 2007

cant move

just hope its worth it... so tired. have 2 days left in which to finish moving and more than 80% is still unpacked, just scattered. living in chaos is psychically draining. I can see my time running out, but I can just sit here and watch it coming.
Deer in the headlights, frozen.
I know what they're thinking. They're thinking, "Run away? Again? I've been running fifty times a day every day of my life..."
Even if I will a finger to twitch, somewhere down the line the signal is getting lost.
On the plus side, though, I found a callus on the inside of my right wrist. One more mark my life habits have given me... a mouse burn.
It's like getting some cult tattoo.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mumbai Marathon

I'm shuffling wild, yeah, I'm shuffling free
I'm shuffling free, yeah, I'm shuffling free

Though that probably just earned me yet another black star from The Dark Forces that be, it wasn't that bad.
Scenes from a marathon
Fifty-foot line at Andheri station's journey extension counter, of people in tracks and sneakers, while the occasional regular looks around in bewilderment
Rising buzz of a city while to all appearances fast asleep in the dawn, is still full of thirty thousand runners and three hundred thousand spectators moving purposefully through the darkness towards Town.
From the suburbs they came, the colonies and the chawls, singly and in color-coordinated packs, stripped to the minimals or staggering under costumes, silently half-asleep or chattering like dawnbirds...
For a day, routine was suspended. People saw the dawn. Breathed sea air without SPMs and dust. Walking, instead of fighting for a toe-hold in a bus or struggling for a cab, strolling instead of searching frantically for parking space.
The loudest cheer of all that went up as the wheelchair run went past.
Loudspeakers on every corner, belting out everything from remix to Reshammiya (and once, awfully, remixed Reshammiya) and it was still okay
Human sounds. Voices, cheers, chatter, footsteps. Sneakers on asphalt. Birds.
No traffic. No horns. A sense of time. No deadlines. Nothing to do but enjoy yourself.
Brilliant sunshine, clear air, cool breeze.
Azad Maidan. Colour, colour, colour. Pageantry.
Jet Airways yellow. Shiamak VAF maroon. Stanchart blue-green. Kingfisher red. HLL white. Mumbai Police khakhi. GiveIndia green. And orange, and pink, and black, and sky blue, and...
The towers of CST on one end, the BSE on the other, faraway through the haze... sense of huge open spaces.
Me: wandering around like a lost soul. Every second person with a search on his face and a cell on his ear.
People dressed like leopards.
People dressed like dabbawalas.
People dressed like Shikari Shambu.
People dressed like demons.
People - actually, extremely attractive girls - dressed in not very much.
Face paintings.
Banners, hoisted reluctantly up by harassed flagbearers being extorted to "raise higher! higher! you haven't had breakfast today or what, atul?!" by a hyperactive self-appointed event-manager type creature.
Caps, caps and more caps.
A leopard taking off it's head to wipe off sweat.
A group of people dressed like the typical contents of a mumbai local - roadside romeo, salesman with tie and laptop, woman with fishbasket...
An ambulatory workstation - PC on a frame with speakers, monitor and CPU - carried by a someweight troubled-looking participant with an expression that hinted at a re-evaluation of the wisdom of running 7 km with the frame on his shoulders.
Spectators cheering, laughing, clicking, waving.

And thirty thousand people going for a - shuffle, walk, trot, slow run, (and the occasional wild sprint when around the Aramex and Kingfisher cheerleaders and anyone with a camera.)
It must have been fun to watch, but actually running those 7 km gave you a little taste of how this otherwise hellish city can - in a minute - also become, literally, a fun, vibrant, exciting, colorful, and enthusiastic heaven of camaraderie.
All of Bombay is here, in all it's ages, communities, shapes, colors and avatars, but they're not snarling or indifferent. They're smiling, happy, having fun together.
And there are the occasional nice surprises - ran into a gang from my ex-office whom I'd gotten completely out of touch with.
Ran from everything possible. Save the Tiger. Help the Old. AIDS awareness. Don't take the path we have taken. Etc. Etc.
And Last Of All, in the end... the caption on the back of Grey's Tshirts.
"I'm running because I want to get it over with."
I'm in next time, and with a better camera and more organization.
Let's have even more fun.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

New House: The story so far...

Rajkumar (Royal Prince) society belives bachelors will corrupt their morals, proposition their daughters, tempt their wives, offend their traditions, and hurt their sentiments, apart from throwing loud immoral parties.
They're right, but it's offensive to think our intentions can be read so easily.

Deepali (The Wall of Lights) had a giant earthmover parked in front of it, shovelling up tons of stinking black muck from the canal.

Guru Kripa (The Mercy of the Spiritual Leader) had so much furniture I could barely get into it, forget the other two and all the stuff we were planning to bring with us. Rats wouldn't be able to move within.

Oasis had a dug up courtyard and several carcasses of rats, entrails artistically draped over the landscape.

Pratap (The Glory) had one bedroom opening into another, and that was the only access. Privacy redefined.

Embassy is so close to current roomie's ex-girlfriend's house he would experience spiritual anguish just standing there.

(Unknown Building) did not let us in. The door was opened a crack, from where an eye of an elderly albino Parsi lady was seen and we were quaveringly queried, "Rent? This house? Who said? Who is renting it?" When the broker indicated me - me looking as respectful, nice, morally upright and harmless as is humanly possible - the Eye let out a screech and yelled "to HIM??!" and slammed the door shut. Kinda unnerving.

Model Town (The Town Of Models) was shown from outside, with the broker enthusiastically describing how pretty and beautiful the interior is, and how I can attain Nirvana by merely imagining it's spacious dimensions, beautiful colors, good furniture, etc etc. Wish we had the key to the damn place, though, for that dream shall remain forever a dream.

Shreeji Dham (Respected House) had a beautiful view of a ravine filled with garbage and plastic bags thrown from the slum opposite.

Sagar City (Ocean City) had an approach road filled with razor-sharp stones and suicidal slum dwellers throwing themselves into your path as you negotiate a 25% slope on loose footing around a blind curve.

With such a brilliant range of options, how can we ever miss getting the house of our dreams?

Monday, January 08, 2007

A moving story...

This is a story about a young girl who fought against overwhelming odds, imposed on her by her circumstances, incurable disease, George Bush's War Against Terror, abusive parents, heartless friends, an uncaring system, and evil corporations to still stand fast and succeed in her life and achieve her goals.

Naahh, just kidding. I'm moving again.
Really hate to do it - current setup is good, but maybe it's time to think of bigger and better things. and maybe own some furniture as well.
And no, one PC table and 6 bamboo racks of books and DVDs don't count as furniture.

And So The Quest Begins.
The Quest for a
1. cheap (or at least affordable, and failing that, not ruinously expensive) flat
2. within a half-hour walk from Andheri station (bus / bike / auto would take at least 45 mins, cosidering the state Andheri is in)
3. in an area not infested with pigs, pigeons, rats, open drains, and galli cricket
4. somewhat accessible by main road
5. less than 5 km from the beach so I can continue to jog
6. having a reliable trustworthy domestic help
7. and also receiving dabba services
8. with a balcony / open space to dry clothes
9. with 3 rooms so each of us has some modicum of privacy
10. and a passage entry so one of us doesn't have to share his privacy with 25 smelly shoes
11. reachable by a cable internet provider
12. with cellular connectivity in the house
13. and walls a light color (enough with the pinks, blues, greens and hospital whites)
14. where flooding isn't higher than 4 feet at ground level
15. non-nosy neighbours
16. a live-and-let-live landlord
17. has bike parking
18. pretty single women staying WITHOUT families
19. nearby general store and cig shop
20. And a society that allows that scum of the earth, 'bachelors' to live in it.

21. personal guardian angel with flaming sword, 'coz if I get all of the above than I know I'm either God or near enough thereabouts.

Anyone know a place like this and is crazy enough to tell me?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

stop the world i want to get off

life stagnant
speed burn
slipstream that tears the flesh off bone
die like that
pushing to the limit
far beyond
something more than just what you are
what you can hope to be
do it anyway
tearing away the stereotypes
all you see before you is a wall
this is not my life
this was never meant to be my life
walk away
stop the world i want to get off
frustration anger blind rage
rabidly biting
there are no absolutes
why not
can't but must
greener grass
self loathing
i can't live this anymore
i have to
what is me, myself
what is
just don't know
can't think anymore