Monday, March 23, 2015

Bitten by the Bombay Bug!

In a memorable coincidence, on our way back from Shirdi/Nashik early Sunday morning, on the last day of our attachment, just as we had paid the last toll and were entering Mumbai, the MP3 player started playing “Bombay Bombay- Tararararumpum”. Little would anyone have thought that in a matter of just 2 weeks, we would be overcome by so much nostalgia and emotion – the city does this to you – and *that*, coming from a die-hard Chennai’ite, is quite something.

Here’s a quick recap of what I did over the last 2 weeks, apart from hectic work-days, gold seizures, interrogations and snooping that is. wink emoticon
Day 1 – First Vada Pav
Day 2 – Kailash Parbat + Marine Drive
Day 3 – Siddhi Vinayak + Bandra_Shopping + Carter Road
Day 4 – Bade Miyan + NH10 Premiere
Day 5 – Mahalakshmi + Haji Ali + Gulshan-e-Iran
Day 6 – Some_ mall_in_Bandra + Service Dinner
Day 7 – Daman
Day 8 – Juhu Beach + ISKCON + Santa Cruz + Carter Road (again)
Day 9 – [Airport Night Shift]
Day 10 – CST + Holy Pilgrimage of Mumbai Local at Peak Hours
Day 11 – Mumba Devi + Gateway + Leopold Café + Taj + Double-Decker
Day 12 – Farewell Call on C’s/ADC’s
Day 13 – Shirdi + Nashik + Shani Shingnapur
Day 14 – Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (Maratha Mandir) + Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Rajdhani Express)

What I find immensely satisfying is that on most days, I returned to the academy much after 12 AM and travelled by the local as much as possible. Though I find it a little embarrassing that having spent 2 weeks in Mumbai, not a single disco/pub finds mention in my “hung out” list, given that I’ve been occupied enough even otherwise, I think I’m excused.
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Being part of Zone 3 meant that our default_hangout_group size was reduced to 5, but despite that, I did manage to spend time with many others as well. The only regret I have is that I couldn’t spend more time with more people. Still, I loved the time I spent with whoever I got to. 
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Wherever there was company, it was wonderful and wherever there wasn’t, I could tolerate myself enough not to feel bored or irritated. grin emoticon

On the professional front, the Mumbai attachment well-and-truly marks our arrival into the Service – while we had our share of fun, it is the work ethic that we learnt in this city that impressed upon most of us.
As the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani chugs out of Mumbai Central, each of us is sure to have left a small part of us behind and taken a large part of Mumbai with us, hopefully thopefully to return some time in the not-so-distant future.
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Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Tale of Two Best Friends

Exhibit 1
It was yet another busy morning for friend and her husband - cooking, packing lunch for work, getting their 1-year-old kid ready for playschool and themselves getting ready. Yet, something was amiss. Li'l S, usually pretty sure-footed, was falling once too often. Once, twice, thrice and R was getting exasperated at this regular tripping of his lovely daughter. He exchanged quizzical looks with B, who, despite sharing her husband's concern, had little to add to the mystery of S's trippy day. But then, work beckoned and both got going. Though both worked in the same company, they went separately for logistical reasons. B reaches work first and gets a call from hubby R - "You're such a sweetheart and I love you so much." B, despite knowing something was amiss given that such an early-morning-expression-of-love-over-phone was happening, couldn't help but blush 2 shades of red. Then recovers from the assault and "What happened, R?"
R - "I just dropped S off at the playschool. And guess what, she tripped a couple of times here as well. That's when Mrs.C (the caretaker) figured out that you, my sweetheart, had interchanged her shoes."
Exhibit 2
It was a regular evening. K was returning by the air-conditioned public bus after yet another exhausting week. "TGIF", he muttered to himself as he hopped on to the bus, head-phones in place. After settling into his seat and ensuring the Harry Potter audio book started playing, he quickly attained office-commute-moksha. So intense was his sleep that an even more intense dream ensued in double-quick time - where a thief locks his arms (he's in the bus in the dream also) from behind, ensuring he can't move. Our friend, though bulky of build, demonstrated uncharacteristic suppleness and in one swift move, straightened his arms so they slipped out of the thief's lock and once free, acquired a 90-degree shape and whammed into the thief's ear, knocking him out cold.
The next thing K knew - he heard his neighbour cry out loud, shattering both his dream and his sleep. K had just delivered a stunning elbow-slam to his co-passenger. Outside of the dream.
With best friends like these, who needs TV Sitcoms or Movies for entertainment?