Showing posts from 2013

Cutting Chai on SV Road

I looked up from my laptop and saw her moving away. She was nearing the glass door that led to the lobby which led to the main gate which opened out to the SV Road. This office on the ground floor didn't give us the time to meet in the elevator and share that little awkward time, which definitely leaves some possibility for small talk. There were no water coolers either and Chotu, from housekeeping got us a glass of water when we asked him to. So no small talk there too, no ice to break. The restrooms were at the each end of the hall, separate for Gents and Ladies. But there was the lobby, so I thought of running to meet her in the lobby and ask her if she wanted to have the pumpkin spiced latte at the new Starbucks that everyone cool seemed to be raving about. I personally didn't like pumpkin except in the Sambar from Ram Ashraya. She seemed the sort who hung out at 'Bucks and had frozen yoghurt for dinner. But by the time, I locked my screen and wore my shoes ( I like t…

Lady Luck from Munich in South Bombay

It was a day that dawned as ordinary, although sure it was the day when the 10 days of the madness aka Ganesh Festival commenced. I was in South Bombay meeting a friend who was visiting Bombay after two years. She told me she chose to come here because her parents were going to be in town for work. She lives in Munich and was happy to be back in our city. As we walked about SBS, catching up over the last two years, since we never managed to stay in touch in the interim period. Towards the end of our meeting, she mentioned that she was expecting a call from her mom, who was going to be at NCPA, as her dad was performing at a concert. It seemed unlikely but I jokingly asked if he was playing with Zubin Mehta in the Bavarian State Orchestra. And she beamed at me and said a yes! That call never came so we decided to go visit her mom and somehow try to find her, maybe she was looking for my friend too. So off we went, entering from the audience gate laughing at the VVIPs of the city, stan…

Lost and Found at Naneghat - The case of the missing trekker

Prologue: I visited Naneghat recently, and this incident that happened on my first visit came back to me in complete detail. Penning it down with due permission from R, my friend whom you will read about in the next few paragraphs.


The year was 2010, the holy month of Ramazan was underway. During the week I had eaten like a glutton at Mohd Ali and on the same weekend I set off on a trek to the ancient trade route of Naneghat with 11 other trekkers. Located in the beautiful Murbad region, not far from Bombay. The trek was long and indeed taxing because the rains had evaded us. We ran out of water and collected water from streams running down the walls of the rocks. But once at the peak, we forgot all our tiredness and enjoyed a sumptuous biryani with views of Jivdhan and a lot of laughter for company.

The descent was pretty much the same as any other trek; but we were looking forward to soaking ourselves in the second stream that we had encountered on our way to the top. It had …

The Fall of the Base Village

It was a cool Saturday in the month of February, 2010 when I first visited the impressive fort of Lohagad. The tranquil base village of Bhaje with its caves and the friendly locals, were welcoming. I was so impressed by it, that I made a trip with different folks another six times, during the same year. In the winters, it wore a brown coat of dried grass and a strong wind blew all over the massive plateau. In the monsoons, it was as close to heaven as one can get. The peak was almost never visible from the base - Bhaje Gaon, always shrouded in mist it seemed so inviting each time I landed up at Bhaje. I made a trip again in 2011 and was slightly perturbed at the number of people who had started visiting the fort and the caves at the base.

These weren't the usual band of trekkers that you encounter at popular trekking destinations such as Kothaligad, Rajmachi or even Kalsubai, these were tourists that you want to avoid at all places, especially on a trek. Playing loud music on the…

"Paanch Juhu"

I have not been a regular on the Fourth Seat. Not on the blog but on the actual seat. I have been taking the bus routinely since a few days. Bus Journeys are so much more different. Instead of bustling stations, you stop by every once in a while at a bus stop and at every traffic signal and every time some dude decides to create a jam, for fun. So it's not a smooth ride but in the end it gets you to places that the train can never manage to. Due to the general pace of the bus, the sights around keep changing slowly. It gives me enough time to read every signboard and hoardings - both legal and illegal. Legal selling soap, illegal one wishing a very happy birthday to the 'yuva' shakhapramukh, gatneta or the likes. And then there are the passengers. So much more different than their counterparts on the local. We'll talk about them some other time though.

For now, here's what happened on the bus. Route no 203 heading to Juhu Beach. Crowded it was. I had a seat though…

The God on the Rickshaw

The eleven-ten BO slow pulled into Platform No. 1 of the Kandivali Station by 2315. Not bad, I thought to myself while I made my way to the northernmost exit. Rolling down my sleeves, a feeble attempt to keep me warm, I climbed down the uneven stairs as I passed the blacked out stores which lined this exit on both sides. Some sold pirated computer games while others sold Chinese bhel and garrish red manchurian balls, which off late have become such a rage on the streets. And of course there's Sugarcane Juice, even Nira in plastic sachets and Bhajiyas all equipped for the thirsty and hunrgy. And there are two temples too. But all the shops were shut. The exit wore a lonely, deserted look. Autorickshaws stood in a long line, awaiting passengers in the cold evening. The ones towards the front, turned you down upfront. Since I stay only 1.4km(wonders of the e-meter) away from the station, I am not the best bakra for them. So I moved a little ahead and asked a fellow clad in full wint…

The Bulbul's Song

The school building rose high amongst the smaller buildings in its vicinity. Enclosed in the security akin to a prison, it sometimes belied the atmosphere of a place where children gathered to play, make mischief and well, study. The bell rang and the kids reacted with joy, just like Pavlov’s Dogs they were conditioned to expect freedom which was as good as food, after a dreary day at school. Hordes of children began to stream out of all the gates of the building. There is something electric during these few minutes. Pent up energy is being released onto the hapless looking peons and guards. Children bounding with enthusiasm rush to the gate, in spite of their heavy bags, they make a dash. The innocence of childhood is magical, when information hasn’t been overloaded in our minds and every little thing matters. The dash more often ends in the arms of a parent, beaming with pride and relieved to see their child in onepiece as they say. And then after the last child has left, everything…