Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And I saw Him Standing There

Him and his acoustic guitar and Blackbird. Twentyfive thousand hearts beat noiselessly lest they intrude on the mesmeric voice soaring over the sweet twang of his guitar. He joked later that he may have missed a few chords.
He played the Ukulele in a moving tribute to George Harrison. He had played Something in George's house fifty years ago and he played it for us last night. It was moving, magical and humbling.
He sang for George, he sang for John, he sang for Linda, he even sang for Jimi Hendrix. The strong resonant voice is still there, so are the boyish good looks. I went to see Paul McCartney perform songs that my parents grew up with. It is a night I will never forget. I came away happy and inadequate.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snow, rain and two cities

The first flakes of snow dropped on my shoulder today. And before I could say winter is here it had turned into a full-fledged cotton woolly Yash Chopra song.
The smiles on people's faces reminded me of the first hesitant showers that announced the arrival of the Mumbai monsoons. If you were near Nariman Point or any other point with a view of the bay, you could see the clouds assemble in the yonder like unruly boy scouts.
London has many charms but the English rain lacks conviction. It is a polite, semi-educated rain that is almost apologetic about its existence. It lacks the gorgeous primal fury of the Mumbai monsoon in full ballast. Now, that's a real force of nature, thrilling and wrecking at will.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Comma tose

The importance of punctuation, according to Stanley.
"If you don't put one stupid comma nobody will read your story or what man," he asks.
I bow my head to a superior force.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Random rubberish

When I was six years old, give or take a couple, someone stole my white, scented eraser. It was white with a green crown, smelt divine and didn't taste too bad either. It has been bothering me ever since. So, if you have it, please return it, all is forgiven.

PS: While you are it, please return my half-eaten Parle G too.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So long Hamara Bajaj

It's the most distinct sound of my childhood, the gentle, even slightly sissy rev of the Bajaj Chetak. It didn't have the alpha male roar of the pompous Royal Enfield or the rakish charm of the Yezdi but it was aspirational and it was everywhere. It was Hamara Bajaj.
In the Indian food order, it stood betweeen the amoebic Hero cycle and the king of the road, the Royal Enfield Bullet. Safari-suited uncles rode it at 30kmph, their kids wrecked it trying to touch 40. It was the great Indian middle class dream till the Maruti 800 chugged in.
The Bajaj scooter has been laid to rest now. It's taking a piece of my childhood to its grave.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

An ashtray-sized urn

"I ask for an ashtray and he brings me an urn," says he to Sudhir.

The delicious irony of that statement, me to my Marlboro.

PS: Yes Dipta, I have heard of Twitter.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bad chicken karma

Nameless monsters have taken over my sleep leaving their heavy bags under my eyes. I wonder if it's the soul of the chicken I had for lunch. Bad chicken karma, not good.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Starry starry nights

The sparkling glow of the trees warm the chilly nights. There is music in the air and smiles on faces. It will be Christmas soon and London is glowing in anticipation.