Friday, October 23, 2009

I've got a ticket to ride

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore,
Waiting to take you away.
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds,
And you're gone ...

I have got a ticket to the Paul McCartney show on Dec 22. That is one big box ticked in the "100 things to do before the white coats get me" list. Tangerine trees and marmalade skies did you say?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is there an H in Tuesday

There is no 'H' in Tuesday, I tell Leo who is drawing alphabets with a chalk on the menu board. "Thuesday Special" reads his work.
And so I help Leo write his Italian menu on his cafe's blackboard ... crab cakes and seafood spaghetti, sundried tomatoes and sundries. Was great fun I tell you. The last time I put chalk to blackboard was in Algebra class and that wasn't pleasant. They didn't give me a free Capuccino either.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just call him Al

Let's just call him Al, shall we. Al tunes his weathered guitar with a pitch pipe and a smile. It's tough to smile with a pitch pipe claiming your lips but then Al has smiling eyes. So Al's stage is the subway and his box office collections are open to audit or theft, scattered in his guitar case. It's cold out there on the streets but Al's music warms the subway. His fingers dance on the strings, his blind eyes smile.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wired for sound

I think convenience obscures passion.
I know what you are thinking but this is not about that really. It's about a time before MTV and Compact Discs (how weird that sounds) and iTunes came calling. I remember trawling through used issues of the Rolling Stone and being glued to late night radio seeking songs from beyond. I would make a wish list, buy a bunch of blank tapes, and head to a little hole in the wall recording shop that would source and record these songs for me. Shankar, or was it Raju, rarely failed me. If he couldn't get me the song, the only option was to pester friends or relatives who lived abroad. They usually forgot the music in suitcases crammed with cheap chocolates and perfumes.
If the LP records at home laid the foundation of my love for music, piracy cemented it.
Now, I am a stone's throw or a few Tube stops away from some of the biggest music stores in the world and I haven't done more than a cursory walkthrough. It's a shame because it is so easy.

Just a number really

"How old are you again?," asks the voice behind the counter.

Old enough to be legally stupid, me to voice.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Programmed for chaos

I am conditioned for chaos. All my life, crossing a busy road has been a cosmic experience. Get set, pray, push and run. Try finding a pedestrian crossing in Mumbai and you might get to Pune. Serious.
Now, after all these years of liberated crossovers, I live in a country where most people bow to coloured lights. It's making me soft. This morning I tried to do a yes, no, maybe dash for it and almost got run over. They can't think on their seats in this country I tell you. But I shall conquer the light one day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

He's got Pacino eyes

The next time you watch Al Pacino do the Tango in Scent of A Woman, don't watch his feet, watch his eyes.

Friday, October 9, 2009

What's the good word

If you remember What's the Good Word on good old Farsight, nod furiously. If you are too cool to have watched Doordarshan, tell me what Lynyrd means? Or Skynrd?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Google Earth

This is for real. I began typing in "I am ext ...." and voila Google prompts, "I am extremely terrified of Chinese people". My Sweet and Sour Lord!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My favourite people - 1

You will run into them at any self-respecting queue. And if you are as lucky as I am, they are usually right in front of you. So you have waited for the better part of the day watching the queue inch along like your bank balance. You are almost there, just the bloke in front of you to conquer now. And there he goes, rummaging in his pockets for change, dropping an assortment of rubbish and then picking them up, then mining for change or his ID card or whatever. Minutes seem like hours and you can't find that chainsaw when you need it the most. I love these queue poopers. And it's worse if it is a queue pooping blokess, they have bigger bags with bigger rubbish.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The dark side of the Monk

Old Monk equals happy times. Mostly. My earliest memory of the dark side of the Monk is not entirely clear. It vaguely involved heaving violently on the shutters of a sleeping footwear shop on Brigade Road in Bangalore. I remember being grounded with a purple eye and a head that thumped like a rickety sub woofer.
But Old Monk takes me back to a better place. Of friends and styrofoam cups, of burnt and abandoned cigarettes rescued from ashtray prisons, of boyhood dreams and boyish crushes, of Robert Plant and David Gilmour.
How many milestones have I marked with that rum called Old Monk. La Chaim!