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!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Prayer works? And other musings...

So Durga Puja began yesterday (Sashti was yesterday) and like every year (well, assuming I'd have done it for all those years I spent in Boston), I headed over to the DP (Durga Pujo) over by my house in Bandra to watch the Bong dadas set stuff up before heading over to the Ramakrishna Mission in Santa Cruz for the aarti there. (And the bhog, but don't tell Ma that..oh wait! If She is indeed the Great Goddess, she'd know I'm there to check out guys and eat bhog...).

So this time, I head over (feeling very underdressed...it's HOT here in Bombay..35 C yesterday evening!). I wore a vest and shorts and got many looks from the assorted pishimas around. I could hear them mutter (in Bengali naturement!) "How come he gets to be in such deshabille while I have to lug my belly fat around in a tangail?" Left my chatai chappals at the "Leave shoes and other items here" desk and sorta hopskippedjumped (Rushdie literary device...anyone get it?) accross the burning tarmac to the cool of the hall where the idol of Ma was kept.

I sat down, looked around, found the poseurs in their kurtas (FabIndia, non-FabIndia, FabIndia, FabIndia, FabIndia) and then saw the idol. Wow! Ma's eyes are always the first thing that I look at..and OMG! Were they beautiful or what! I mean, it's this weird feeling where a cultural Hindu like myself (who believes myths are just that..myths, who doesn't believe in ritualized Hinduism, who treats religion scientifically but follows it becuase my ancestors didn't spend 1000 years running away from assorted Muslims and Catholics to be allowed to practise Hinduism in vain!), I, felt this amazing feeling where I felt like Ma would give me anything I asked for if I told her why I wanted it.

I asked for only one thing. That M. never forgets me.

I came back home that evening after a few hours, checked email...and there was a one-line message from M. After 3 months of silence. Not one word, not one email, no calls.....and the day I ask for something from Ma, I get it. He misses me. Still. I cried.

Coincidence? Sure, why not? But I'd like to think it had something to do with the feelings I still have and will always have for M. and the fact that someone somewhere (an energy, a woman with 10 arms, a presence, an idol) recognized that and made it happen. It gave me goosebumps. And yes, I went back to the RK Mission and gave thanks for the gift Ma gave me. I am happy today after a long time....not becuase M. emailed me. But because I now believe someone up there (and around me or wherever) cares about me. Men may come and go, but Ma will always be around for me. And that feels like the best feeling in the world.

Theism is not in fashion here in Bombay. My friends will laugh..and I understand why. I would laugh at myself too. But sometimes there's a lot to be said for faith and the way it makes you feel. I even feel kindly disposed to the Halwai downstairs and his non-stop Durga bhajans...and that's saying a lot for the well-disposedness I'm feeling!

Saptami today..and I'll be there at the evening aarti as usual. I think this time I'll ask for some new shoes. And that big bottle of Hugo Boss I've been dying to own. I mean, with Ma on my side, I can have M. and smell good too!

Current Music:
The Winner takes it all : Abba

(Does anyone notice how Agnetha's accent makes it seem like she's saying The "Weiner" takes it all? LOL! Story of my life!)


  • At 11:16 PM, Blogger karuna said…

    It is time... that i try idol worship... hopefully they will oblige me too.

  • At 11:37 PM, Blogger Archster said…

    I know what ya mean. Sometimes when you truly, *truly* want something and ask for it... its like expecting it to happen more than waiting for it to happen!

    Im guessing the shopping at FabIndia went off well?

  • At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bossy, why S'cruz, theres one closer home for you- the National College Pujo.

  • At 11:53 PM, Blogger Vikster said…

    I know..that's what I meant by *after checking the Pujo right by my house*...

  • At 1:14 AM, Anonymous kestrel said…

    i agree..i agree..i agree....

    and i must add one thing about durga poja is that, u see a bong in a fabindia or a non fabindia ..u see one at the puja and u can feel the humidity in calcutta...okie add a pinch of salt. cheers

  • At 1:58 AM, Blogger morpheus said…

    my usual litany to durga ma 'দেখা দে মা নয় টাকা দে মা' never reached her ears, as yet. dayum. :-(

    (dekha de ma, noy taka de ma)

  • At 4:38 AM, Blogger roswitha said…

    Sigh, I want that khichdi so bad it's making my toes curl.

    And the aarti is lovely too. I've visited RK Mission at least one evening every Navratri; my home in Bombay is just about two lanes away. Your post brings back memories. I'm going to enjoy thinking about that khichdi even as I eat parboiled Maggi in my desolate kitchen tonight. Gratefully, etc.

    (Not so grateful for the fact that I've spent most of today doing no work and reading your earlier posts.)

  • At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Sometimes it is just enough that you read someone's wish has been granted. Just enough.

    Thanks for a lovely post.

  • At 10:00 AM, Blogger Vijayeta said…

    They do say be careful of what you ask for...'cos u might just get it! It's my only feel-good proverb. Seems like it worked for you too :D
    I like this post. It's a lot like u ;)

  • At 11:21 AM, Anonymous closetalk said…

    went over to rk mission de other day myself.. but i think u were already at ure party. ;-) saw no cute bong men, though.. other dan in de mirror.
    manolo boy.

  • At 11:22 AM, Blogger livinghigh said…

    aha! i c we finally have links! ;-) niiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

  • At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I believe in God, yes I do. I even capitalized His name. There I did it again with the (HIS). I would not have done that a few years ago but I've had a few religious experiences lately, and I would not lie, honestly there is another side. I don't know how it works or what all the rules are, actually I think it's a lot simpler than we think, but I too feel like someone is looking out for me. I would say it was my mother. She left this world six months ago. I know that sounds really weird but I swear she came to me as a bluejay a couple of times last week just when I needed her. Bluejays don't stop and sing to me, ever, but last week it happened three times and then it was followed by a dream that felt more real than a 3-D movie. I'm telling you when you least expect it, IT falls in your lap --a bluejay on a sunny day, turning your whole life upside down just when you thought you had it all figured out.

    Duncan Hines

  • At 9:17 PM, Blogger anydamnguy said…

    I have always believed in prayers and happy that Vikram's came true.
    I get 1 out of 1000 wishes fulfilled. Why so? I am not HIS/HER favorite ? Do i ask for too many things , some contradictory? Does he/she understand what's best for me and never let me have other stuff?
    Its absolutely essential for a bong to get a date during puja. I went out with mine on shasti evening. went pandal hopping, had sex, dinner with friends and pandal hopping again. And he was clinging to my arm like a 10 year old. Had bong dadas and didis and the hep crowd of maddox square gaping in disbelief. it was so :-) embarassing for our friends to be with us . lol.
    but dates are one of things that cant u make u happy for more than a day. i called up a zillion times on saptami and but he couldnt get a break from work.I went out with my sister , my best friend in this lonely world.
    I prayed last night that I get a love who stays with me every puja , every day of my life , someone i can never stop adoring .
    now i know why this prayer can never come true.

    Listening to "The Beautiful Ones (Mariah)". Recommend this.

    The beautiful ones
    Always smash the picture
    Always every time

  • At 2:13 AM, Blogger Vikster said…

    Morpheus: I tried your prayer as well yesterday...It's cool!

    Roswitha: No khichdi at night aarti..it's only the bhog for the afternoon one. At night it's sweet boondi.

    Anonymous: Thank you ;-)

    Vijeyta: A lot like me? Well, I guess so. Under my not-caring liberal exterior, I'm a pretty conservative Hindu LOL!

    Closetalk: Pujo, party, pujo, party..A boy has to live no?

    Duncan: Sorry about your mum sweetie. (Big hug..and sloppy wet kiss too..but that would be so outta character for this post)

    Anydamnguy; Sex on Shosthi...That will be the name of my new Bong porno.

  • At 2:13 AM, Blogger IRIS said…

    awwwwwwwwwww....so sweet:-))))))))))
    I hope you are forever Blessed!!!!

    PS: I love reading your blog!!! It makes me laugh:-))))))))


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