could you pass the butter please~bombay for you

baby krishnaRecently we celebrated the birth anniversary ‘Janmashtami’ of Lord Krishna. Also, known as the blue God by followers around the world.

Lord Krishna loved to eat butter,and as a child he always ate up all the butter his mother had churned. She started to put the pot of butter on the top most shelf in the house so that her little one couldn’t reach the pot. Known to be mischievous, he would get to it anyway, causing the pot to break and eating it all up.

Devotees celebrate this festival by attempting to reach a pot of butter tied usually 373316-dahi-handi2or 3 stories high by forming a human pyramid. These back breaking pyramids are formed by boys and men called ‘Govinda’s’.

The Govindas drive across the city trying to get to the pot of butter. Localities sponsor these pots and reward the successful pyramids handsomely.

dahi handi young boy

While many of the groups end up with deliciously buttered fingers, some simply feel it slip away!!  turn up the volume and join in the fun. . . .

you give me fever. . . .

gifts5heart balloons

Love is certainly all around us.  What with Valentine’s day being around the corner. Shops are busy readying and hoping for big sales. Youngsters are hoping for that surprise gift and a promise of undying love from secret crushes, long term couples wonder what surprises are in store from each other; some hoping for the ‘question to be popped’; while some dread ‘the question might be popped’.

saphire ringproposal

Seniors know better taking it all in their stride. The moral police gear up for the day that shows how the ‘bad western influences’ are ruining our culture.

Although we hail from a land of the kamasutra, with carvings in Khajuraho that would make sunny leone blush, we are not “like that”. We do not “do that”. No, in fact, all one billion of us are indeed“immaculate conceptions”.

khajuraho2 khajuraho

couple on rocks coupleonrocks2

So after a decade or maybe more of trying to dissuade us by disrupting all valentine-ish things on sale, they’ve decided to embrace it. I guess if you can’t beat it you might as well join it. So from this year on we shall be seeing it turning into a mass marriage day of sorts. Who knows, if this turns into a success and an annual event, years from now we can claim it as being our festival all along. Blame it on a  ‘sant valant’ bhau who existed in the year 600 BC and originally sought to bring couples together in ‘holy matrimony’. Fondly known as bhau(brother) to all the young happy couples, eventually attaining sainthood for his noble work.

We are, after all, known for our ‘inspirational copies’, oops, I mean ‘works’, ‘inspirational works’ and our love for adding masala to things, reinventing them and staking our claim. Much like tea which, with some cooking and masala has became our ‘statement chai’.

chai wala teacup

Try as we might, the world is getting smaller, it’s harder to contain the fusion of cultures and people just can’t help falling in love. Blame it on cupid, but when our hearts speak, the brain goes numb, ‘Dil hain ke manta nahin’.

roses  valentines day card

So love is here to stay, but what is love? Is it a grand gesture that one displays on a said day to prove oneself and one’s love?

I remember at a party we attended a year ago a guest brought up the topic of what each one did for their valentine. He went on to gloat about planning a candle light dinner on the terrace with a five course meal for his wife, complete with serenade etc. It seemed like he was most pleased with himself, and he warned us all before starting his narration that he might be upping the scale for all present. Obviously he thought he was the grand daddy of valentine gifting. Doubt many were impressed with this little show offy story.

But I have to ask, is this how we measure the quantum of love, how big the presents exchanged are, and how much money has been splashed?

Doing something extra to make one feel special is nice but to me love means a lot more;

While i like receiving gifts; Rather than a loud over-the-top announcement, it’s the little things that speak volumes.

Love to me is;

When my partner buys the gardening gloves because he’s seen me work on my plants,

When he fills the car tank up with fuel, gets the tyres checked, and loads my favourite music cd, so I am safe and not inconvenienced at 6:00am,

When he plans a trip for my birthday and takes me to dinner to a quiet little place that he knows I would like,

bab al shamshongkong 015

Love is;

When your partner offers you a bite of the cheesecake knowing that you are lactose intolerant,

When your partner buys that quirky kettle even though you don’t need another, just cause it’s your sort of thing,

When your partner watches news and the most boring cricket match just to be with you,

When your partner not only buys you the new phone but transfers all your data on to it,

When your partner declines a dinner invite just because he knows you wouldn’t enjoy it,

When a nudge is enough to indicate it’s time for some coffee,

The list is endless.

Whatever love means to you and however you wish to celebrate it ,

heart on wall

Wishing you all, not just a happy valentines day, but love in your lives today, tomorrow and always!

Derby diaries. . . .

Derby diaries. . . .

This weekend saw the most awaited day in the annual racing calendar.

The Indian derby,is held on the 1st Sunday of February every year, in Mumbai,it is one of the most prestigious races in the country. The winner is crowned  the best horse of the year in India . Run over a distance of 2400 meters, it’s a test of speed, stamina, and skill. The jockey is equally important during a race for he can judge his horse’s capacity and must decide when to push the horse ahead (the brain to the brawn). The winnings are shared by the owners, the trainers and the jockey. Indian horses have even been making a mark on the international front since the last  two decades.

Horses with a capacity to win bigger races are flown over to Dubai and Hong Kong. Race horses enjoy princely quarters and even have coolers (if the horse prefers the cooler temperatures), imported oats, dedicated vets, and personal groomers.

They have tread mills and swimming pools for their daily exercise. They love eating leaves called “loosun” a sort of a salad.

Their shoes are usually made of steel or aluminium, sometimes with a bit of a heel.

Derby Contenders are specially flown down to Mumbai from other racing centres such as Bangalore, Calcutta and Hyderabad. As are some world renowed jockeys, who are specially flown in for the race from England, Ireland etc.

Horses are proud and aware when they win and rejoice. They also remember when they get visited by us. I had the pleasure of one such occasion, when i met one of our a filly’s at the stable, she was a beautiful chestnust brown coloured girl with 3 white socks. (which is what i called her with love). Everytime i visited the stable she’d stop in her tracks holding up all the horses behind her on their evening roll. Her eyes rolling in my direction.

After the racing years are passed, they usually retire as stallions or in private farms, to lead a happy relaxed retired life.

A few pictures of this years record breaking derby win: at the raceslet the party begin

time to don the hats
time to don the hats


lady in red

dolled up

grand kids

derby contenders
derby contenders
anxious onlookers
anxious onlookers

i told you

sharing expert opinions!riyaz chatting

horses circlingoff loading

some equally anxious horses, last minute off loading!

totalizerground flr tv

time to put your money where your mouth is!

and they are off
under starters orders and they are off
Be Safe wins in recored time
Be Safe wins in record time

celebrations for all rolls roycecelebrations and jubilations! Vijay Mallya sponsor of the race arrives in his spanking new Rolls Royce flanked by the customary horsemen (a quaint tradition remnant of the british raj, gives a royal touch to the prize distribution ceremony)

it's a picnic race goers day well spentthe money is in the bank , time for a bit of R&R

end of the day

a day well spent, time to head home !