I *heart* Bombay (and well..Boston)

I'm urban..in the way other people are mountain-people or tunafish junkies. I love city life...something about dreary concrete blocks and grumpy people totally gets my juices flowing. Ergo, this will be a blog about me, my two favourite cities (Bombay and Boston), my addiction to Vietnamese coffee and my views on Gregorian chant and it's efficacy in curing some types of tympannic membrane rupture. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Where in the world is Carmen Santiago?

Kharghar, that's where. Well OK, I was there yesterday, don't think Carmen was around. She was probably somewhere in Guinea-Bissau (Just how cool is that name? I can't stop saying it..Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Bissau....).

Where is Kharghar, I hear a lone voice call out. Ah well, Mr. Owner-of-said-lone-voice, it's in New Bombay (Navi Mumbai for all you keepers of Maharashtrian pride and wot-not). It's about half-way to Pune, atleast it seems like it. Surrounded by verdant (well, they used to be till the land mafia got hold of them) hills and beautiful smooth 4 lane roads...Jeez! I'm so urban, nature for me has been reduced to roads and prospective building sites!

I was there to meet a friend and secretly panicked (Well, I only freaked out like twice in the privacy of the break room) about how far this place is from civilization as defined by the island of Bombay. Apparently it's 54 km away from the centre of the city, which means it could be on the moon for all I knew. I'm starting to sound like a couple of my friends who don't believe there is a world outside Manhattan!
Anyway, after assurances from my colleagues that I wasn't going to be sold off as bonded labour in a mine once I left Bombay city limits, I set out armed with a bottle of water, a book and 1000Rs. (In case I had to bribe the customs officials to let me come back into the city of Bombay..I hadn't had time to get a visa into New Bombay yet). Took a train (1st class thankyouverymuch!) into Wadala and then changed to a train from Panvel. Crossed what seemed like 2 rivers and a sea to get to Kharghar..and was pleasantly surprised. The railway station was reasonably clean (well, with a population of 3, just how dirty can a place get?) and the buildings were large, airy and pretty modern looking (in that ghastly Hafeez -Contractor- meets-and-mates-with-Appolodorus, the-designer-of-the-Parthenon way).

On my way back, I tried not to look at the faces of the people in the train with me. But it was hard not to join in the general whooping and hollering as we crossed the final bridge into the island city of Bombay. Suddenly, we were all comrades. Just tired, hungry people, yearning to breathe free..on our way to the City of Gold - the Land of the Free. So what, if we still had 1 hour to go to actually get anywhere remotely interesting? So what if we had to change a train to do it? I was home! I think I actually skipped passed a couple of lepers and eunuchs at Bandra and gave them a "Isn't it great to be alive?". I don't understand why they threw bits of their bodies at me...

All in all, an adventure. Next stop? Juinagar! (Are you brave enough? Strong enough? Is Fear a Factor for you?)...quick question (qq). Why is there a suburb of a city named after lice? Jui-nagar..neighborhood of lice?? Who's the marketing genius who came up with that one?

Random website:

Your #1 Match: ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're qutie the storyteller!

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

Current music:
Don't go breaking my heart - Elton John and Kiki Dee


  • At 6:40 AM, Blogger livinghigh said…

    good gawd! u rave a lot, love! ;-)
    i have a frnd who lives in some place called koparkhaana - i think he's a neighbout of ure kharghar frnd - and he travels to and from lower parel every day! i cud never do DAT, frankly! ;-)

  • At 4:35 AM, Blogger Geetanjali said…

    Love the way you describe TinselTown as " City of Gold - the Land of the Free." :-)

    Have similar feeling abt venturing into the great unknown of Navi Mumbai - btw those rlway stns out there seem quite nice and clean frm outside...so do they keep it clean enough to match that fancy UFO exterior they've given those stns?

    Love that Neruda poem in your post above - recently discovered him and think that's my fav poem so far...stole my breath with that one.


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