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!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Hymn for Her

ayi raNadurmadashatruvadhodita durdharanirjara shaktibhrute
chaturavicharadhuriiNamahasiva dutakrita pramathaadhipate
duritaduriihaduraashayadurmati daanavaduta krutaantamate
jaya jaya he mahishaasuramardhini ramyakapardini shailasute

Mastering the tounge twisting verse number 5 of the Mahishasuramardhini hymn, I am now 20 for 20 ! Tonight is going to ROCK at Puja at the Ramakrishna Mission...must get there early so I don't end up sitting away from a ceiling fan!

I stumbled my way through this verse at Saptami puja yesterday...I could feel the disapproval from some busybody uncleji for my Sanskrit mispronunciation. "duritaduriihaduraashayadurmati" totally got me. Then again, he should be glad I came. Just by showing up, I lowered the average age at the bhajan to 65.

I'm absolutely loving the aartis at Puja as usual. I show up early by 6.45 pm so I get a good seat up close so I can watch all the rituals and not be scolded by the docent.."Brother, zaraa aage please". I think I was spotted by a couple of great-aunts of mine and had to beat a hasty retreat after the Mahishasuramardini. The last year, they questioned me for 30 minutes about what I was looking for in a girl! I think I earned their approval when I said "religious". Hah! That impressed them enough to not hear the part where I mentioned an 8-inch dick also being a requirement. Or a dream. Whatever.

So, it's MahaAshtami tonight..and a Saturday. Which means I have to debate between wearing my FabIndia kurta (and look very Bong while I'm doing that) or wear something clubby so I can just head to Hawaiian Shack right after. Decisions, Decisions...Well, so far, I've been in jeans and a tight tshirt for Sashti, capris and a vest for Saptami. Maybe kurta is the way to go. I should start looking festive too while celebrating the festival I suppose.

Going through my old blog post, I realized about this time last year I was pining away for someone who probably didn't feel the same for me. This year, I'm single, footloose and fancy free and LOVING it. One year is more than enough time to get over someone looks like.

And yeah, in case you were wondering what Verse number 5 that I keep stumbling on means, here's an English translation.

Oh, it is You Who possesses the invinceable force that vanquishes hard-to subdue
enemies in battle
Who promoted Pramatha, the great attendant of Shiva, a master of subtle
thinking, to be Her general in battle,
Who destroyed the messengers of the demons, who were sinful, with evil
intention in their thoughts and minds,
Victory, victory to You, Oh Slayer of the Buffalo Demon!
Victory, Daughter of the Himalayas, with beautifully braided hair!

Oh! How I love being Hindu! You can keep your "Lord is my shepherd" and "God the merciful". I gots me a "Slayer of the Buffalo Demon"!


Monday, September 18, 2006

Innappropriateness rocks!

Courtesy http://www.pbfcomics.com/

I have come to the conclusion that I have the sickest sense of humor of anyone I know. Well, a couple of people I know come close to it, but most of my friends are way too PC to even admit that they find any of this remotely funny.

I've shut up entire parties relating my endless repretoire of "dead baby" jokes....the silence that usually follows a rendition of my favorite three can only be broken by the sound of some auntieji fainting or some chappie saying "That's not funny in the least". Ah well, to each his (or her) own, I say! I remember cracking up at Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder jokes, Michael Jackson jokes made me choke on my burrito (OK, so that's not a euphemism..). I heart Pope jokes as for the MCP ones? I've risked beatings when I've shared them with my rather "haalthy and waalthy" female friends (Several of who are from the greater Delhi area....Delhi breeds them big and fighter-cock like)

Does this mean I'm a bad person? Well yes and no. I crack up at these jokes but my heart's in the right place (for the most part it's somewhere around my knee...). Do I really want dead babies in microwaves? Do I want Hellen Keller's dog to pee on her leg? Do I want Micheal Jackson to be anywhere close to a boy? Well, not really...but it's funny if it happens.

So in the immortal words of some woman on the Ricki Lake show (I was addicted..I'd TIVO it so I could watch it after I got home from work), "Y'all don't know me!" and "Don't hate, appreciate!".

I leave you with three of my favorite dead baby jokes. I've left out the more offensive ones (cause they are certainly not for a couple of weak-hearted peeps I know that read this....and I don't want to pay for your stroke-recovery at Bombay hospital..)

1. What's the difference between a truck full of bowling balls and a truck full of babies?
You can't unload the bowling balls with a pitchfork.

2. Three expectant mothers are sitting in the obstetrician's waiting room, smiling to themselves and knitting.

One lady puts down her knitting, picks up her handbag, takes out a bottle of pills, swallows one, then continues knitting. She sees the other two looking at her and explains, "Vitamins. Good for mother, good for little baby."

The second lady puts down her knitting, picks up her handbag, takes out a bottle of pills, swallows one, then continues knitting. She pats her stomach and says, "Essential minerals. Good for mother, good for little baby."

The third lady puts down her knitting, picks up her handbag, takes out a bottle of pills, swallows one, then continues knitting. She glances at the other two, smiles and shrugs and says, "Thalidomide. I can't knit sleeves."

3. Why was the dead baby in the tree?
The neighborhood kids lost their frisbee...


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Junk food rocks!

I will walk a million miles for a good Pani Puri

-Thanks for the pic and company Lukky Toni!


Friday, September 08, 2006

Oooh! Look! A book tag!

I've been pierced..again. Amma hasn't noticed it yet. She is so not gonna like this one! It's big, obvious and marring the body that G-d gave me (unpierced and flawless...if you discount the longer-than-needed eyelashes and ginormous lips). As soon as the oozing and bleeding stop, I'll put up a pic up here..the pain? Well, after the novocaine shot, I havent't felt anything since. Then again, the long island iced teas at Olive that I liberally imbibed might also have a role to play in this!

Anyhoo, I've been tagged by my immensely talented, well-read friend Roswitha and what do you know! It's a book tag. Woot! Here ya go then:

1. One book that changed your life?

If I were running for the Republican nomination for Prez in 2008, I'd say the Bible. But I'm not, so dare I say "Hollywood Wives" by Jackie Collins? The first book I read that had sex in liberal doses all over..Ross and Elaine Conti, the gay butler who shags the champagne stealing waiter, the movie director who has a heart attack on top of his over-endowed girlfriend and is still "connected" to her on the trip to the E.R. Whew! For a 12 year old Indian boy, this sure did change my life. In "more" ways than I care to think about...

2. One book you have read more than once?

"Russka" by Edward Rutherfurd. A book that builds on my love for Slavic history (Just a notch below my love for Slavic men). Russka is the tale of 3 Russian families from the town of Russka from Avar times through Mongol invasions, Ivan Grozny and the Romanovs ending with the fall of Communism. I just love how the story meanders and the culture, history and lifestyle of Russia is brought out so well in this book. I read this book about once every couple of months.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

Not a book as much as a series of books. I'd pick the "Masters of Rome" series by Colleen McCullough. Beginning with The First Man in Rome and ending with the October Horse. Combining my intense passion for history with my just as intense passion for politics and law making, this series has it all! I can just close my eyes and imagine the pageant that was late Republican Rome...smell the garum, watch the mimes, cower before Sulla, hail Caesar Triumphator, gossip about the Caecilli Metteli, boo Vercingetorix...I can read these books forever and not get bored.

4. One book that made you cry?

"Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen. The bit where Jane's pining away waiting for Bingley to come by and gets her hopes cruelly crushed by the evil Bingley sisters. There's this incredible sadness about the whole crushing of hopes thing that's going on here, the whole "We are too good for the likes of you" bit that I find so incredibly sad. (Dare I say it - I've felt that very same emotion here in class-obsessed Bombay as well)

Also (and many of you will hate me for this) I cried when Sirius Black was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange (I LOVE her) in the "Harry Potter" series. It's just the fact that Harry was so close to actually being happy with family, and that chance is snatched away before his eyes. Tragic.

5. One book that made you laugh?

Anything "Jeeves and Wooster" by P.G. Wodehouse. Especialy now that I have Stephen "Jeeves" Fry and Hugh "Bertie" Laurie to visualize as I read them. The escape from Honoria Glossop, the drama of Madeleine Bassett, the terror of the gaggle of aunts (Agatha, Dahlia, Constance), the newt collection of Gussie Fink-Nottle...It's a laugh a minute!

"If not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled."

6. One book you wish had been written?

Ooh tough one. Probably a book about the Konkani community sorta liek the awesome tomes about the Parsis and the Indian Jews that I just read. For a community that (depending on religious definitions) is between 2 and 8 million people, we have almost no literature about us. Well, how long can we claim the effects of the Portuguese Inquisition and subsequent loss of script and literature as excuses?

7. One book you wish had never been written?

Anything by Ayn Rand. I am SO NOT a fan of the extremely dreary, tedious and hopelessly preachy stuff she writes. Followed VERY closely by the crappy Deepak Chopra pop-philosophy that every two-bit actor and actress in Bombay "claims" to have inspired them.

8. One book you are currently reading?

"The House of Rotshchild - Money's Prophets 1798-1848 Vol.1" by Niall Fergusson. Much as the author pisses me off with his unabashed love for British and currenlty American imperialism, this book is a fascinating read about the most powerful banking family in the world and just how much they influenced European (and global) politics and contributed to the economic powerhouse that Western Europe is today all thanks to family connections and brains.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

I've been reading David Plotz' amazing take on "Blogging the Bible" on slate.com (He's on Deutoronomy now). It's amazingly well written...which means I'm about ready to start delving into the Old Testament myself now...and this time NOT the abridged version. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy..here I come! (Maybe this will give me brownie points when I go down to Israel in search of my hottie sabra)

10. Tag five people.

Okay! Hob Gadling, Ameet, Mitli Mizz, Craiggers and Thej.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

It's cloudy and I'm thinking out loud

1. I love Nelly Furtado. Not just because she has a Bandra Mac aunty name...she sings these amazing songs. And what a voice! Plus she sings in Portuguese (and English) which has surpassed Italian in my head as the most romantic sounding language ever. Bengali runs a close third. I think "Scared of you" is my new favorite song...

2. It's baby time in my friend's lives. I guess 30 is the new "must have kid now" age. I'm going to be chacha and mama to many little kiddos this month alone. Starting off with baby Anjali. Congrats Bhawana and Atul. *makes mental budget how much it's gonna cost me to be the favorite uncle*

3. I think I haven't been going to the GB parties a lot anymore. This past weekend, there's been this influx of hotties to the party. Either that's the case or I've just been starved of male bods. A few months on a diet and even a salad is starting to look pretty good wot?

4. No Bali this year for New Years. I'm sad. And I'm sorry Ameet and Andy. I just got my ear chewed off by Sanj and Shwe for neglecting my Best Man duties and running off to Bali to look at beefy Aussies and skinny Indonesians. Instead, I'll be organizing a bachelor party and putting on my happiest face when the busty stripper does a lap dance for me. (I've been banned from inviting male strippers...)

5. Is eating pani puri in the monsoon a sure sign of inviting disaster? I've been craving it all week and been sneaking off after dinner to Linking Road to get my daily Karachi Mithaiwala pani puri fix. I've had to hide this from my family and my friends..though I think my mom suspects. She smelt boondi marinated in khara pani on my breath last night. Oh the shame!

6. I need to get myself adopted by some rich old Parsi woman. A friend of mine just inherited 3 (yes, 3!!) flats in Bombay after some 3rd. cousin twice removed died and left him everything. The shithead is now worth a few million! It's way better than my method of slogging for minimum wage and saving every paisa.

7. I hate the "Shirdi waale Sai Baba" song. It's driving me nuts. All thanks to the obnoxious Ganesh pandal up the road from me that seems to have trained its loudspeaker right in the direction of my window at work. Dare I drop in my Eminem Cd into the donation box this evening?

And finally,
8. Yes Ryan, I am full of myself. In case you haven't noticed this is "my" blog..and you've had fair warning in the intro to the blog. Just paraphrasing again .."Ergo, this will be a blog about me..yada yada yada". Hell hath no fury like the Vikster scorned. Or denied of Paneer Makhani every couple of weeks.

Current Music:
Rock el Casbah - Rachid Taha

This is SO much better than the original. I'm guessing cause Rachid probably has his "umm" still living in the Casbah..