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, November 24, 2005

Rock on Bandra!

Celebrate Bandra! The hoardings all over the Queen of the 'burbs proclaim. Right next to the "Beanbags" and "K2" grafitti all over the place..not to mention the "Jehovah is my Lord" crap all over the Carter Road walls. We know Bandra is relatively affluent by the hoardings for carpet cleaning and dog grooming. We know Bandraites care for the burb by the signs for "Strictly no garbage dumping" and we know they have a sense of humour by the board outside St. Andrew's church which said "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans".

Now we're being told to celebrate Bandra...to which I say "Huh?". I've been doing that ever since I was born! I shop in Bandra, eat in Bandra, live in Bandra, studied in Bandra..and dammit, even vote for Bandraites! You can't get any more Bandra Boy than me (men). My interview on CNBC Aawaz where I extolled the virtues of Harry Potter in Bandra Aunty Hindi proved to my friends that I am indeed a lost cause (if you seek to convert me into a Lokhandwalla or Hiranandani type..). As I was telling my Catholic-Atheist-but-not-from-Bandra friend Ook last night, my lingo can prove very confusing to a non-native Bandraite and almost totally incomprehensible to a non-Bombayite.

(Sunday morning 6 am at Jude's bakery at Pali Market)
Jude/Alex/Micheal/Andre/Glen/Robert/Peter/Sean/Derek - What you want men?
Me - Give 2 ladi pao, 1 gutli and 3 brun men. And give fast fast.

(and it's not just me..Vikster's Amma at Pali Market Saturday afternoon)
Ramprasad/Ramdulare/RamBahrose/LaxmanPrasad - Kya chahiye Mummy?
Vikster's Amma - 1 kilo batata and give 5 Rs. ka masala aur chillies less mat dena.

Anyway, to get back to the topic, Celebrate Bandra is an attempt to showcase the best of Bandra's talents/arts/food/shopping in one 21 days festival centered (weirdly enough) on the 3 sea front promenades of Reclamation, Carter and Bandstand. Why they don't want to showcase the old houses of Old Bandra and the villages of Pali, Chuim, Chimbai and Shirley-Rajan before they disappear under the builder's maw, I will never know. But hey, one takes what one gets, no? So I toodled off to Bandstand last night to watch the best of Bandra's young rock talent last night with Ook. I had high hopes..after all, the previous show I watched was this AWESOME French blues band at the old Bandra fort.

This is what I learnt last night:
1. There are no Hindus/Muslims/Sikhs/Parsees/others in Bandra's bands (Or among Bandra's famous denizens according to the brochure for the festival). A steady procession of Nicks, Joshuas, Rachels, Wendells, Ians, Joes ensured that the rock concert turned more into an audition for getting into Willingdon Catholic gymkhana....

2. There are a myriad ways to massacre the most awesome songs. To hear Zombie, Take on Me and Higher croaked, squeaked and growled by the lead "vocalists" proved to be a bit too much for me.

3. I hate Creed and its non-offensive Christian rock and I will continue to hate it.

4. Audiences at IIT's Mood Indigo concerts are metal heads, pot smokers and the general unwashed masses. At Celebrate Bandra? Aunties, Uncles and the odd Burkha-clad shadow. And I'm serious about the aunties and uncles. Some of them looked like they'd just stepped out of Bandra Gymkhana or the PJ club after the evening Housie game...

5. The drummers in Bandra are mostly good, the guitarists (if they try not to show off) are good as well. The vocalists on the other hand? Destined to sing "I will always love you" at McRonnell's at Ian's and Shaila's wedding.

6. Since when did Karaoke become de rigeur at a "rock concert"? Cause that's what a lot of the songs ended up being. Including singing off lyric sheets...Sheesh! I wish I had a drink in my hand when I was listening to them "sing". Or a joint as I sat on the rocks right next to the sea and the promenade..

7. The odd Punjabi'ism does creep into Bandra lingo as evidenced by the lead singer asking the assorted bunch of people (Average age: 55) if they were impressed by "his bums". I scuttled away before he could mention "Hallo dear" and "Beta, what work you do?".

After my big musical disappointment, I'm relieved to see that over 200 retailers are giving between 10 and 25 % discounts on everything from salon visits to shoes to Koliwada fish frys. I'm thinking of celebrating this 400 year old suburb by splurging till my credit card loses it's magnetized strip. Or I exhaust my bank balance (I think I still have about 657 Rs. to spare this month).

Till then, I leave you with my favourite quote about my favourite part of Bombay.
"If you throw a stone in Bandra, you hit either a pig, a priest or a Pereira".

Current Music:
Ode to my family -The Cranberries.

I had to find my faith in music again after the horror that was assorted Bandra teens trying to sound like Dolores O'Riordan. She rulez.


  • At 2:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ...i used to meet a guy in bandra. He used to pick me up from "open house" restaurent. He used to tell me his name is Rajesh. And he used to repeatedly tell me that he got late because there was a puja in the house. I even asked him if he is trying hard in hiding his identity. I was so sure he is not a hindu and normal bandra catholic ..He used to say he is not lying. We used to have fun in the car..croners and things like that but never really had sex..and one fine day in some ultimate moments of high excitement he went into the blissfull release..and he yelled "Oh Jesus!"...........while cumming!


  • At 2:46 AM, Blogger Vikster said…


    Talk about the second coming of Christ!

  • At 4:07 AM, Blogger F-cubed said…

    To really appreciate Dolores you have to hear her doing Ave maria live (its on one of the Pavarotti & Friends albums.)

    Mind blowing takes on a whole new meaning

  • At 4:12 AM, Anonymous VEED said…

    ROTFLMAO @ Talk about the second coming of Christ!

  • At 7:19 PM, Blogger R Pereira said…

    Loved reading about Bandra. I did my 11/12 at St. Andrew's. Even dated girls (sacrilege, I know), but Bandra girls are different. Didn't know that bands clamour to play at Willingdon. I'm a life member (orig from Santacruz, now in North Carolina). No stones this way please. Here's yet another Pereira.

  • At 11:41 PM, Anonymous closetalk said…

    lol. wats u do, beta?
    pun intended, of course.

  • At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Vinay said…


    Your blog is bloody brilliant...As a Bombay boy in exile in the US...my heart pines for the city...And spending 12 years in Don Bosco, the 'maca pav' lingo was second nature.

    Some obvious phrases come to mind..."Aks me mein" instead of Ask...kaanpaati = rap on the head, gussouting in the line = breaking a queue...all these delivered in the musical english I had grown to love.

    Good job mate, keep the stuff coming


  • At 1:06 AM, Blogger oook said…

    "If you throw a stone in Bandra, you hit either a pig, a priest or a Pereira".

    And sometimes, all three will be the same person! ;)

  • At 1:56 AM, Anonymous dylan said…

    good post. though, i'm positive you'd never say something like:

    "Give 2 ladi pao, 1 gutli and 3 brun men. And give fast fast."

  • At 5:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    dude cant believe this
    just yest i was discussing all this with a frend at the bandstand concert lol

    cant take the bandra outta us


  • At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Seems like Celebrate Bandra is inspiried by Dubai Shopping Festivel.

  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Toni said…

    I am soooo bringing my Creed song collection to Bbay! We can have a Creed slumber party! We'll wear pajamas with feet, do each others hair and play truth or dare. Oh, how much fun :)


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