Rahul Gandhi came & conquered hearts of Bombay, alias Mumbai

I’m not much of a fan of politicians. Some are friends, many sources & mostly i see them all cynically with suspicion. However, today i saw a young man, icon of the youth in India. I saw Rahul Gandhi twice closely – i know many will be jealous- his complexion is like pure snow. Little too white washed may be for Indian standards, but i don’t blame the women folk for falling for him.

He also has that genuine look in his eyes. Yes, he knows he is in the business of politics and needs to be shrewd, smart, yet not tainted. Last couple of days i however think Rahul Gandhi has made some ridiculous statements. Like NSG saved mumbai city, wc it did eventually. But the 26/11 terror attacks on B’bay-alias-Mumbai were different. The first people to go out on the ground were Marathi police, thos who died were Maharashtrians officers simply bcoz the rest especially 5 officers refused to step out & face the reality. More over the most important factor -FIRST ever terrorist caught alive was thanks to Omble, the police officer who was slain, that same night, while he captured Kasab.

In this background, to shut the mouths of these Shiv Sena & MNS types Rahul too fell for the politics. He too made statements which i think were out of place. The 26/11 terror attacks & those who died are not be used loosely by politicians. Or be made political.

Yes, in this background i was not sure what the end result of today’s possible event would be. I went with absolute skepticism and was cursing i was on that duty. Considering the Youth Congress and Cong leaders had tipped me abt his visit to Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar, his itneraction with slum youth so i reluctantly ventured all the way to Ghatkopar.

Suddenly some news person told us casually that Rahul is travelling by train fm Andheri to Dadar. For few seconds we took it lightly, then it was either Dadar or Bandra. My friend from TOI asked me & we rushed. I’ve not run like this even school for athletics sports event. I ran, my sides still hurt. Then zoomed on friend’s bike & we were descending the bridge at Ghatkopar platform no1, when i see starched white clad Rahul Gandhi like snow walk cooly. Smiling at one and all! it was magical, second only to Tendulkar’s experience on Wankhede stadium. There is something abt these youth.

Suddenly the ONLY buzz at the station was ‘Rahulji,’ “ohh look, he’s there” “yeahhh, i saw him,” after he looked at any girl & smiled, one actually jumped, “I saw him, I saw him.” One wanted to shake hands with him & when he did, she must’ve fainted. The police were all gushing about him. The women and men alike. Most males found Rahul ‘cool,’ “he’s a dude man, travelled in locals,” said few others.

The fact that Rahul set aside security concerns, Sena’s threats & quietly travelled by local trains, he has conquered the hearts of Bombayites, Mumbaikars. Only stray few absolute chutiyam sulphates (pl see Ishqiyaa to know wot it means) have reacted negatively. Symbolic gestures or otherwise, this man means business & the Cong party is grooming him for the future. Only hope he does more than Obama has for US, after all those tall talks.

Some luxuries I willingly spend on

I come from a family where the head, as in my father has always been devoted to public transport. I continue this tradition. It is getting harder you see. But ofcourse we in Girgaum –believe me it is still a village –gaum- more congested, more towers, more vehicles, more crowds, more noise & traffic. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get space to park a car, although I am getting tempted though my rational mind overtakes the temptation, thankfully.

I used to enjoy my driving lesson classes. I am mortified of driving on Mumbai’s streets. It is a trauma for those driving around the city, may be a gearless car I would have considered. However I have come to a conclusion for this one issue –I will spend on taxis, air condition buses and when I have more money cool cabs. This IS on my top priority for luxurious spending.

Actually on par with this is also massages. When I was for a short stint of nearly 4 months scholarship in Bangkok, I spent most of my money travelling to see new places, massages & good food. Ofcourse clean, non cream, non-Tiger balm and non-oily massages. Also definitely NOT non-veg massages. I have had the luck of getting massages even in the Himalayas. Everywhere I go I like to get the authentic massages. They are rejuvenating, reviving and really makes my skin soft. But yes there is one catch I take a massage at home on Saturdays after a hectic week & then have to get to work. I simply detest that. Because I get a lovely kick, I float after this massage for nearly half the day. The lovely oil, vigorous massage and hot water bath actually takes a person to seventh heaven, one is supposed to rest for a while. Here I go back into hectic activity.

Then I like to spend on is good food. Authentic food, value for money and obviously good. I don’t care much for the kind of place. As long as the food is of the best quality, really tasty, not oily not spicy & has other spices & flavours than just chilly, I relish it. I also am not much of a only rice-dal, person. I like variety, more vegetables I love more than other dishes, accompaniments.

I spend on fragrances – good oils, body shower gels, exfoliating creams, body creams & perfumes. Yes, I love them. I am clear that I need to smell & feel good. I need to invest a little in them & I do exactly that. May be this streak has come from my mother. She loves all this. Actually she loves to dress & wear real diamond & pearl jewellery. I am a total rebel. I do dress but not like her & not in such lavish sarees, with such expensive jewellery.

I love to go to vegetable and fruit markets. The open ones, where my eyes are satiated fully upon seeing dark green cabbages, red tomatoes, purple brinjals-well the only vegetable I do NOT eat. I hate it, but my father loves it. Like my father, I go to the open whole sale markets where all the vegetables you can see, feel & buy. I love the smells of coriander, garlics, spring onions, spinach.

I get completely turned on seeing jackfruits being cut, huge ones aligned along the road stall. Deep orange-yellow mangoes and it’s strong fragrance lingering in my lungs till I go far away from the market. Ofcourse I include the flea markets again open huge markets with all the wares laid out wc you can see, feel, bargain & buy.

Lastly, most important, I love to travel I invest money in some good holidays, because last few years I could afford it. I think more than storing wealth it is best to invest it in knowledge. Travel, I connote to world knowledge. I have become a better person, more enriched & more emancipated after travelling. I believe that I must work for my next holiday. And I do feel my life would dull, poor & uneducated if I didn’t travel.

Hapus in the Himalayas

Well yes that was my mission for this year’s b’day-wc happens to be ma 40th birthday!

I wanted to take Alphonsos to the Himalayan mountains this year. Initial plans were to go to Lahaul, Spiti & Zanskar valley. My friend Anne Margaret who too will complete 40 in Oct, will be celebrating her b’day in South Africa. What to do can’t afford it so she suggested we go elsewhere in India. Again Lahaul, Spiti was getting to be a costly trip so we proceeded from Srinagar.

Now firstly I’ve been to Ladakh 20 yrs ago when I was younger & fitter. I’d gone on a trek. That was my first trip ever alone, a month to Kashmir and Ladakh. It changed my life forever & gave me a whole new perspective to live…earn for the next holiday & help people. I was treated marvellously well in Kashmir. I was not allowed to pay anywhere. The Kashmiris treated me with utmost respect & love, one reason because I’d gone alone to their part of the country.

The men would ensure I was not alone anywhere, they would send their wives or daughters to accompany me even if I went to pee. I was on shoe string budget in 1987, when I was a student & had gone with few 100 rs in my pocket. Even then I ate cherries & fruits, lived on curds & rice in Kashmir & potatoes-rice in Ladakh..besides other local cuisine.

It was the most thrilling experience & one that will always stay with me. There was strong army presence even 20 yrs ago in Kashmir. Infilteration, bomb blast and heavy rains that had flooded Srinagar for 4 days. In fact I got the first harsh brush with authorities when I clicked a pic from my camera in the bus on way to Pahalgam! The soldier stopped the bus & asked me all sorts of questions. He demanded I hand over the role to him & asked who I was, place of origin & why had I clicked the bridge. Now except for that soldier I had no idea about the bridge-I had not seen any.

The reason I clicked was one doesn’t get better pics than when on the move-The turns and curves of the of the mountains & valleys always make good pics and that is what I’ve done all my life. Didn’t know even this would get me into trouble.

It is still a mystery and marvel to me how I reached Srinagar & from there to Sonamarg. I vaguely remember the bus journeys. I distinctly remember falling ill-rather out wt gastro- due to bad water!!

We went all the way upto Leh after Sonamarg. Here not much of trekking, but I visited Thispay, Hemis, Gonpas and the famous Lama Yuru. The little trekking we did was from Baltal to Amarnath. I could not afford thermal or other warm clothes. I had taken haversack & as little clothes cover as I could afford. My SLR was in place though. I remember the difficult trek to Amarnath & the fact that we were at the cave for 4 undisturbed hours! It also was a fact that I was the only girl who completed the trek, as the others had left the group to return to base camp.

To re-visit is fun, although I had read somewhere yrs ago that one should never visit the same place again. But this time too I was keen on going as we were to visit Pengong lake & Nubra valley, new places in the Ladakh region. I’d heard these were really beautiful & the experience is unforgettable. Believe me this is an understatement.

Anne, her aunt Ayala too agreed then anne’s bf ashiq & mr raja Hindustani the driver…whos good at the wheels & insists since he’s set his heart on me I shld too fall for him….grhhhh why me??

Firstly we travelled quite lahdidah! We flew by Cheap air tickets on May 19, then we hired a vehicle which took us from Srinagar airport, went straight to Sonamarg and stayed at a lovely cozy hotel Snowland. The next day although we were ready in time, we had to warm ourselves as we waited for the army convoy to leave so that we could leave thereafter to Kargil. On 20th we reached Kargil. Till Sonamarg it was just about ok, from then on it was cold, chilly, rainy and got more dark, cold and finally the snow.

Sonamarg was the same-one dream run. Cold, rainy, over cast and the army cordon was to return only in afternoon so whole morning we sat around chilling…taking pix. A river flowed behind the hotel, one of the most picturesque views. Horses mating, grazing…snow-capped mountains & slight drizzle. Only a decent man for TLC was missing….but that’s ok.

It was a pleasant surprise to live in a hotel in Kargil! This was unheard of even a decade ago. One could only live in army barracks or municipal hospital. But what a set back to all my plans. I sat quietly listening to my pm3 with some cool dire straits, suddenly one darn Gujju aunt walks happily with washed undies of her hubby, blue electric ones to b precise wc she coolly hung bang in front of ma face. Hello auntiji this is my part of the string I don’t want to see neither urs nor ur bloody husband’s. I looked astounded & abso shocked.

This was the same one who sat with other huge aunties bitching abt my friend anne’s size!! These gujjus I tell you..but more fun. At night a load of Maharashtrians sat at the dinning table staring into our boobs! What’s wt Indians & staring man?? They were talking in chaste marathi-hahaha I know Marathi, Hindi & gujarati….hahaha
They looked like straight out of one chimanrao- gundyabahu comic strip with monkey caps & ears to be precise!!

Food was awesome everywhere. Except that Dum aloo kashmiri had different pastes & taste in every other restaurant. Ok, I was all set to open my b’day goodies that I’d brought along-alphonso mangoes! Early morning for breakfast before we left for Leh. One tiring long and dusty journey to Leh it was.

But so much is the same! State of the roads, lovely people & more than anything the beauty…that’s still untouched & virgin…so very rare in India.

We were dead tired…had a lovely hot shower & prepared with the white wine that I’d carried for everyone to drink down for ma b’day. Surprise…anne & ashiq planned a lovely cake wt my name & 40 written on it. They sang, candle was lit & lovely meal we had wt white wine.

Yes dessert was hapus in the Himalayas!

Next day we took easy. Thanks to the elections in Ladakh there was a call for bandh. Visited some Gonpas, hall of fame as respect to our brave soldiers who gave their lives in Kargil war, etc. Finally in the evening we went to the market, didn’t buy much as had to go for dinner with my army friend.

Vow! Had some good Chinese food and went on a lovely night walk around the city. Saw the more low profile 2nd palace. Went around and was dropped back safely. Col Sannat told me to be careful as it had snowed on top & pray we don’t get stuck on way to Pengong & Nubra…now that was NOT good news at all. I was freezing as it is..I knew that it would be cold but not like this man. One set of thermals, 1 sweat shirt & 1 flannel pull over…gosh why didn’t I carry my humungous jacket??? Well too late dear…

Next morning we left-daily we ate out of lunch boxes wherein the menu was 1 boiled egg (ugh), 1 boiled potato (ughier), sadela synthetic juice, rarely a macaroon, perk (VOW) some such stuff & yes Indians love Bananas…fruit I mean

Anyways long ardous drive boob breaking roads I’m serious thought they existed only in Mumbai but the Himalayas beat them! Most were asleep, stenzin our driver-by some mercy raja Hindustani was called back to Srinagar-also in Ladakh the Tibetan union is stronger so any vehicle has to be parked in the city & we have to take their cars. Now stenzin’s reply to my repeated query where is the lake, he would say “ma’m 15 minutes!”

Khair, saw Yaks & Pashmina goats grazing-yes same ones whose wool is used by the Pg3 celebs for wearing Pashmina Shawls…The terrain was a mix-dusty & specs of greens, then dry, arid, suddenly sno
w…I saw flakes & went beserk..then icicles…gosh when was the last time I saw them? To top it all the car-wc was cramped man-kept skidding. Thankfully some other vehicles too skid so all together would dig snow, pick mud in their freezing hands & chuck it along the path. I wondered there’s something called as snow wheel chains wotta happened to them?

Drive was long & winding…frustrated with sitting for hours & days, suddenly I saw a spec of clear crystal blue between few coloured mountains! Ordered stenzin to stop, got out changed the lens & with the zoom clicked away this spectacle! Later some more drive & reached the lake! Gawd pl do something abt these loud Indians ya…

Drive back was ok, though snowed. We were keen on getting back ASAP coz we had to wake up at 3.00am the next day. Never have understood how in Mumbai I can’t wake up early, in the cool mountains I’m up with the sunrise.

Now begins some adventure our journey to Nubra. Early morning winding thru’ mountains is now daily journey…but as we went higher towards Khardungla, my sleep was tossed outside the wee bit open window. It was Snowing! This realisation dawned as I stepped out to pee…both the cameras & me was I remember…at Khardungla Pass-shit man teeth chatted, shivered & my body shook…rubbing hands we went to the army canteen. There was one spooky shop for souvenirs. Why aren’t we more enterprising? At 9.30am this shop was closed! Some really cool beer & coffee mugs, caps, scarves, etc…again had lunch in a box. Thankfully stenzin found a good Tibetan hut that gave up Ladakhi food –Tukpa, soup & Haag-Kashmiri saag-green as ever.

We saw dry sand like the kind you in the desert. Suddenly I saw Turquoise blue rivers- Shyok & Siachen. One is supposed to be slightly salty. Like the Pengong lake-wc is salt water, so is one river. Theory goes that once upon a time there was sea in place of the Himalayas, after the massive earthquake & movement wherein the Himalayas rose, we got the mountain range..good for us India. Also as a result the Ladakh area which is very dry & arid has these little spots of oasis around the rivers, water bed and in between the mountains.

We reached later afternoon 3ish..cold ya it was…there we saw tents..i’ve been soooo used to living in tents, shivering at nights, hoping for some warmth on my numerous treks, wc gave me an opportunity to travel to remote places- that this was luxury. Beds, tents that closed, warm blankets, we were special guests so got 1 more blanket & hot water bag for the feet!! Yeah…but my water drinking had not decreased so bladder needed constant release on top of that the cold it was horrible.

Ok, now starts a real Gujju saga…openly amidst the quiet serene beauty loud jibes & a harsh lang pierced our ears. Near the common toilets& bathrooms was a red board that read ‘heena travels.’ Hahaha good place. All silence was broken by these Gujjus who had come in hordes to Kashmir…why wot sin had we committed to bear these ones man…

The server brought some bhajiyas that vanished in split of a sec…when I asked for us he had to request the gujjus to eat less! Then they stared into anne’s face & talked about her weight. To top it children screetching around-it is genetic deficiency their community suffers from-seriously.

Loud mummy, wah wun fuck knows wot more…then when we inquired about dinner we were coolly told-wait this is real-there will be kadhi & khichdi-this is Ladakh man. What happened to Tukpas & momos? Arey madam unka majority hai na, wo apna maharaj leke aye hai so pure veg khana padega. Now….i’m a veg but I always eat local cuisine. Either remove the non-veg or ask for the same to be made in veg. But no these ones won’t eat local food..but we have to suffer? Search me…

One extra smart kiddo called anne fatty…took his case man..called him monkey, taunted the gujjus & realised this is our culture. We took to our tent for the drinks & warned the manager not to call us for dinner till these ones had finished. Before dinner as we approached the loos more was in store. Kids screamed & mothers told them poat upar base…sit on the pot! More over some told their tods ainya karje-piss on the ground! The loos were stinking man..plus we became safai kamgars! This only meant @ night I had to go behind the tent.

Dinner was sad as mentioned…slept well. Breakfast was another episode as the server opened all windows & doors to drive away the omelette smell…else the gujjus would run away. All along they spoke only of lack of sex, chill & sacrifice they ha to make for this lovely beauty! Spare me man…

Return journey was full of prayers & patience. Stenzin is quite frail. Now we went to the base of Khardungla pass, wot a queue. A smallie wireless army officer who was Shahrukh look-alike & with some attitude- controlled the traffic…basically communicated with the officers posted at the peak of the pass. I excused & asked him when we were likely to start…coz anne & I were dying to pee….he went on to telling me how unfortunate we were, unlucky, all in one breath! He said vehicles were stuck up in Khardungla, so he couldn’t commit to anything & more so sadistically stated we may spend the night in Khardungla. By then our bladders had reached beyond burst capacity.

By then I’d chatted with plenty army men, who told me their sparkling white snow boots cost Rs 10,000 a pair, there were over 20 soldiers, that’s where our tax goes honey I said to myself. Then god knows why that puny Shahrukh decided to chat wt me. Knocked on my closed window & asked where from was I? When he heard Mumbai he simply said bad timing, arse hole. Then saw aunty ayala & displayed some emotion for the 1st time. Thankfully stenzin had cut line somewhere & we began the long steep crawl. Some aberrations and stops..rather plenty I should say. Heavy snowfall, hazy atmosphere chilly sub-zero & we were huddled inside the scoprio. Outside all drivers pushed, dug snow splashed mud all over, pushed each others cars & the stops were just too frequent…why weren’t the snow chains on any vehicle, my simple query went unanswered all through.

Finally we made stenzin stand guard behind the vehicle facing other vehicles, anne & I opened all doors went up front & peed till we felt like relieved humans. Thankfully we began crawling…me think anne’s prayers & commitment was answered. She promised to go to the church every week, arey god will go walking to her if she doesn’t. She has good luck-mine is hilarious for myself. Her prayers or presence always brings us good fortune, mine brings good fortune to others not to myself…so it contributed I think in this.

We managed to reach a Tibetan eco-friendly shop in Leh & rushed to the hotel to have hot water bath…we thought we’d take some good rest. Food was lip smacking Ladakhi food with stewed apricots in honey!!!

Next morning were Leh elections, we were to leave in time so that army & police do not stop us. Suddenly ashiq began banging all doors & waking us up. 1st time in 10 days ashiq woke up early, gawd I hate it when I’m given a time & then we are made to wait on these late types….ok, so finally we boarded…that’s when ashiq told me at the 1st army/police post flash ur card. Thankfully my manual camera equipment, press ID, etc came to our rescue…for long sunshine greeted us. Then delays along the road were due to road maintenance and blasts being conducted by BSF roads organisation. By the time we reached Kargil it was dark, rainy & cold. Ya ya gujjus were booked in the Siachen hotel in Kargil…loud as ever man. Woke up at 3.00am drizzle & loud awazes of that same piercing language…finally the other frail driver arrived..I was dead for the first time & couldn’t stay up to see Tiger hill once again…from Min
i Marg it was plain snow all along…I cannot hide my excitement.

In December 2006, anne & I took a special trip to Gulmargh, only to witness fresh snowfall, which we got only on a high ropeway point, here for my 40th b’day one of ma dreams had come true! I was in midst of snowfall every 2nd day!! We managed to reach Sonamarg for some quick hot coffee & bread toast. It was raining then. We went straight to Srinagar. Showered & went in a total high zombie hungry appetite to Moghul Darbar. Vow! What Kashmir cuisine we ate..me veg others Goshtava, Gosht, etc. We were drowsy after that? Some understatement…have vague memories of what we did thereafter..but we slept early. Oh! Forgot to tell that from the hotel that we’ve stayed in usually, we were stacked way in some super compact cottages…that day I really gave to the puny arse hole fuck knows his name…hitting on me like nobody’s business. Well im so used it by now…Gave him a piece of my mind because we were paying for it months in advance & if someone then gives attitude they’ve had it!

We then woke early to go to Pahalgam wt an abso cute kiddo Bilal driving. Sadly Bilala’s story is like many in Kashmir. 4 year old kiddo Billal’s father was struck by a stray bullet when he was shutting shop. Their mother barely managed to bring them up. He now drives the car…I goaded him about his future, studies & poor thing has to fend for his younger sibblings..that’s life.

Anyways anne & ashiq paid a man to catch their fish, wc they handed over to a restaurant in a hotel. It was nice to see a very aged bow-legged lady in a nauvari! Reminded me of my aaji…except the group began clapping & singing loudly to teechi taal turu…hahaha

Anne, ayala & I went over to the hotel garden where we got some really good Kashmiri herbal/acupressure massage. It was a treat…by the river side, cloudy overcast, slight drizzle, hot tea and massage! Sheer pleasure…ate something, went to ice cream corner ate ice cream & went back to the hotel.

Next day 29th we were all set to return…well I don’t carry heavy heart anymore as holiday is planned to be enjoyed to its optimum & then one has to return to reality, that’s why its called holiday.

Altho’ I admit I didn’t want to face the fucking heat in Mumbai. It was worse than I expected. The journey back till Delhi was fine. Fm Delhi it was worse by the min. These cheap fared airlines are a pain in the butt man! Spice Jet tops it. 1stly NO communication only we know how we managed to get our tickets for onward journey in Srinagar after we learnt out of the blue that the flight had been cancelled…the crew @ Srinagar was really nice but the company sucks!! The plane had some chutiya accented swiss ka aulad…the atmosphere was 40 degs with NO cooling facility for wc he didn’t even apologise. Then to top it some tartlet (cabin crew) was impolite…ya lodged complaint against her.. generally was in a raging mood….But to touch Mumbai’s soil is some other expreince altogether…when I returned after my stint in Bangalore 1999, I kissed the ground when I disembarked don’t know what it is abt this city man….

Travel trails

Mumbai’s local trains have always been talked of, more by ‘outsiders.’ Sudden tales of Samaritans, or horror stories crop up more details follow in the columns…But even as a Mumbaikar or preferably Bombayite I NEVER identified with the monsters who travelled in these trains. I know they’re packed like sardines-apt name, considering the odour too wc often is rattling for someone like me who has a very sharp nose!

I don’t like being pushed, period! It brings out a beast in any person & I see that everyday. Free advice, jostling, pushing & human beings cease to exist as beings, we become like furniture pieces, eg. Instead of asking u, requesting u like decent normal beings, WOMEN (???) suddenly fucking poke in ur arm, shu shu…kidhar utarna hai? Sometimes I look dumb, vow I love it, brings out the worst in them. They speak in dirty hin-mara as in Hindi-marathi, call me dumb, extra smart etc. Else I say don’t know i’m undecided…or pick up a fight saying muh se bolna haath kyu lagati hai…& wipe off her touch frm ma body!

The other thing being speed…yucks! Everyone wants to chase, run, be there first. Always wondered why don’t we make great sportspersons? may b the sports minister should just contact the Mumbai’s local railway authorities, or come & do a recki of our stations! PT Usha will be put to shame. Jostle, push, wanting to get out first!

I LOVE buses…they meander thru’ all streets, the pace is the driver’s u can ‘SEE’ loads fm the windows…yes there r probs in buses too..especially if u have to go under the arm pits of sweaty, smelly ones!! yuck! I dont know why in our country like sex many do NOT like deos!! we r like this only baba. Smelly, stinky even in the mornings…NO wonder people r put off with each other.

Now on Tues 23rd Jan, I decided to inflict torture on myself- so no fucking suburbanite can accuse a townie (why me? coz i’ve even travelled in Virar trains, have gone standing for over 1&1/2 hrs starved, thirsty, all ready to pee) of NOT experiencing the travails and problems they go through daily! Sounds very magnanimous & charitable na? So from Mahim I took a train to Malad!

Firstly it was the 1st class, if you thot there was any ‘class’ difference, just keep it at home & scoot off. Of course I stood at the door, but how! 4th standing. On both the sides women of all sizes-NO probs man..but these very comfortable women take objections to others’ sizes.

If ur on the big side ‘bai ga…kay hicha vajan, dekho na moti…if ur thin, she ga baya, kay hichi katadi, bochtat meli…so on so forth. So on both the sides of the coach this is the case, with remaining all of us squashed from all sides.

I really wonder how daily travel in these trains can help people retain fat is a miracle! Then one mod gal got in fm somewhere. Tapped me once- some 460 volts lightening went from my toes to ma head! I hate anyone touching when I respect someone else’s space i expect rather demand the same. thx to my mp3 player, I’m less hot-headed now tho’ enough for the amount required to stay sane in Mumbai’s locals.

I told her she could go ahead if she wanted but no need to touch me. After a while I thot I had become a hanger. Felt being pushed on my neck. I snapped at her telling her firmly wt glaring looks ‘don’t touch me, coz if I did the same u won’t be seen standing.u can go without disturbing me.’ Ofcorz I was pleased with myself smiling fm ear to ear.

Caught the attention of another smiley & endowed woman who stood next to me…she too was being pushed around. She smiled & informed the woman to chill –something to that effect. She was happily pushed by a kid as we spoke. Thx to ma mp3 I said aloud, ‘wots wt these people, are these women or animals?’ kiddie heard me & said its not right to call women animals, very humiliating and Shrewd (??? English baby) smiled & said its a compliment…english i tell u! She lamented she didn’t push deliberately bcoz some woman was getting off. Wots wt ‘had to’ was forced??’ isn’t there a mouth to say excuse me?? So I got one more chance, said its not u only girl its all here who want to push. We are all king kongs in this compartment.

We 2 women chatted & meanwhile suddenly one lot of women stormed inside the coach! Pushed? Its an understatement! Seriously by then my 36 size had been reduced by quite few inches!! Hands felt like they’d left my sides, feet ceased to exist. One typical kobra girl screamed, aga bai tumahra duppata gira hai, sambhal na! Another went on lecture a girl (like me in the middle) how she had stood incorrectly & how if she moved a bit all could stand in a better way. Best part is all were standing perfectly well! No one was imbalanced – except us who were being jostled, de dhana dhan! This conversation contd, some idle women butted in it saying sahi hai kaise yeh khadi hai wt sound effects like chaha. Oh! i forgot all this is interspersed with hard knocks in the ribs, boobs, strong nudges, etc. some like me anticipate & push back my elbow, push hard into the stomach of the nadia hunterwali!

Other thing is Doling out free & uninvited advice is the birth right of Indians! Im sure we all have heard how if ‘Tendlya (as in Sachin Tendulkar) had played on the off-side, then he would have hit a four, how tendlya should field, bat, etc, or ganguly ko ab cricket chodna chahiye…or even more remarkable how the actors should run their lives, kaise yeh aj kal ki ladkiyan adjust nahi karti na?

Ya if the advice of female train travellers is taken seriously then they will have problems with even two commuters on board. They have a problem, that’s the bottom line. Plus god knows wot frustrations? Looks they are not taken seriously in their personal lives so they compel others to listen to their phookat ka advice.

I talked aloud with the other woman, wots the problem? Free advice is being given all around but no one has been left behind on the station? Then suddenly some women began inquiring, where ru getting off, kidhar utarna hai?? Chalo chalo aise beech mein mat kade raho, all the while pushing, shouts of aah, ouch, arey kya kar rahi ho, pair par ho hato pl…sounds very corny I know…arey thoda side mei jao na..agar utarna nahi hai to beech mei kyu hai?? Nalayak, kay baika, etc etc

I could see all wanted to be a the gate first! So I told my friendly neighbour, all want to go first? Its a fucking race! Wonder then India hasn’t yet produce one fastest sportsperson, these women should participate instead. Ofcorz women ignored me like plague ..wc is ok…I wanted to make a statement & I got it straight from the heavens above!

Then andheri came, ai age chalo, kya kar rahe hai, yeh kaisi auratein hai becch mein khadi hai…more pushing fm the gate into us helpless ones. I was by then falling behind on the seat, coz the rest is only for waist below! I thot most of these women were frustrated & wanted to say it aloud wc I did ofcorz…in addition I loudly lamented, seems we Indians don’t like sex & its obvious we are deprived of it, that’s why we see women fight like this everyday!

By then my friend fm The Hindu saw me & was in splits to see how I was indulging in self-inflicted torture. She even said now she knew the secret to my weight loss, wc ofcorz is noticeable but I also think I had shrunk by 10 kgs on that very journey.

Thankfully by then Malad, or should I say Mallad (as gujjus pronounce) arrived! I was shocked to see lesser crowd & really was disoriented after alighting on the platform. Truly my sides pained after I sat in the auto…