Getting to know you

Summer’s here and although I had no real plans to take off to cooler planes,a situation presented itself and though the plateful of work I had on my hands made my head say no, the Sagittarian in me jumped at the chance and I found myself packing my bags for a short and much needed break. 

Landing at Brussels like I have number of times before but this time the presence of  extra security personnel around brought back  the recent ugliness experienced by the airport. 

I tried to shrug off the sadness and enjoy my holiday. 

Beautiful sunny skies, with fabulous cool weather and the endless patches of greens in all their varying shades welcomed me. I requested my driver to let me sit up front just to feast my eyes on the unrestricted vision of the endless trees, ‘the woods’ , they always make me smile and take me back to many a fairy tale.  


My driver was rather amused by my interest in the vegetation, something the locals take for granted, but do enjoy. Each garden has a different style and avenues with rows of trees lined with pink cherry blossoms or white flowers like snow flakes. 

Bye bye stress, hello holiday! 

The Gods were kind with clear skies allowing us to make a quick trip to neighbouring Netherlands. The cheese market tickled our noses and taste buds alike, and the fields of tulips felt like carpets rolled out by the heavens for us. We even had rain and hail for a few days which was a treat for one whose city only offers the seasons hot, hotter and hottest.


And finally as all good things come to an end so did my holiday. Back at Brussels airport we stood patiently in a temporary tent to check in our bags. Reminded again of the deadly attack,I couldn’t help marvel at how they had picked themselves up and continued with life ,while they simultaneously  repair the damages caused. A gentleman in line with us began to chat. He was from Ecuador, and we discussed how we were adviced by our friends respectively  against travelling and how it’s not possible to live under fear amongst other things. Saying goodbye to the new friend guiermo, we walked on to our respective  gates at the terminal nodding at more smiling faces.


They say travel is the best teacher, and the one thing that has struck me on this and recent holidays is that people around the world are getting more aware of ethnicities, of different races, different cultures, and more accepting of each other.


 More people are becoming friendly, in the small town of Gouda the Hollander selling cheese, struck up a conversation with me and I realised she wasn’t just being polite, she was genuinely friendly and wanted to know more about India. Our German  steward on the aircraft couldn’t stop raving to me about how beautiful Iran is and the scarves people wear around their heads. There is a surge of pluralism in the world. All along I have noticed people getting friendlier, and more vocal about not approving or understanding the crazy terror attacks in today’s world. 

This vocalisation of condemnation is slowly bringing about a sense of oneness in the rest of the world. A oneness that’s transcending colour, class, race and creed.

I see a mix and blend of cultures coming about, and a more tolerant, kind and caring form of humanity beginning to emerge, maybe there is , after all a silver lining to this dark terrorising cloud, maybe one day we’ll bloom together like a field of tulips individual, but one! 


Is it my imagination or maybe I’m just a dreamer, I don’t know ,but I know I’m not the only one ….. !

Dear Drummer

a message for a young enthusiastic prodigy in the neighbourhood. . . . .

Dear drummer of the mount , we hope you’ll hear our plea,

“It’s started”,animal-muppet we think, as to work , we take our seats,

When everyday you pick your sticks ,and your drums you start to beat!

 

Your rhythm, let’s be honest, although not so divine,

practice we hope in time, will help to make it fine,

beating  the barrels for  endless hours at a time,

we pray should  give you chops,  that will eventually be kind.

 

Dear drummer we appreciate ,  your sense of dedication,

But once in a way maybe you could indulge in a permutation,

For it never really hurt, to have a variation,

maybe  sometime you can throw in a metric modulation?

 

Music they say is a healer for the soul,

But the notes from this ghost, are leaving us for cold,

Please dear drummer  spare a thought for the old,

We do tire of hearing the battering so bold.

 

We do wish you the best, and hope you stand loud in every single test,

And eventually pocket a grammy , when you are one of the best,

But until then dear drummer, could you sound proof your room,

So when you beat another, we need not hear the boom,

Let’s restore the peace and quiet, for most and many,

In our queen of the suburbs, good old Mount Mary!!

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might is right

10:30 pm, as usual Cy and I had over indulged in the delicious homemade food ,graciously and lovingly prepared by mum. Now groaning and moaning we thought we’ll step out for pan (digestive betel leaf loaded with some sweet stuff).

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We drove down to our favourite pan shop ,a hole in the wall actually, enjoying a peaceful drive, in the quiet bylanes of bandra. As we turned towards home, a big fancy car turned in ahead of us , and suddenly the peace was shattered. There was a jeep behind us frantically trying to overtake us. We wondered what the fuss was all about before realising, that the baby ahead of us,had been seperated from it’s care taker(unknowingly)by us. For those who didn’t understand, the car in front had a self proclaimed VIP who feels constantly in threat for his life, and therefore has a Z security (maximum security rating), which gives him the right to a jeep and a bunch of rowdy security personnel armed with automatic weapons, who think it’s their birthright to stop ordinary citizens in their step, to allow for their VIP to pass , for every little leaf that shakes is percieved as a threat to his self proclaimed highness.

So here we were, in the dark of the night,in a  narrow 1 car lane, mr. paranoia in a big fancy car (traveling fast because, he has to, he is important), ahead of two pan chewing indivduals in a smaller fancy car (traveling slow because we don’t need to rush we’re ordinary people), followed by 1 jeep with now hyper paranoid guards swerving left and right trying to overtake. Cy and i looked at eachother and  with a twinkle in our eyes and a smile on our lips, both thinking alike. We would not give them way. We have every right ot be on that road, and drive at our pace. So we trundled along, taking off the pressure of the accelarator, while the pressure on the bowels of the guards began to grow.

They whistled, they honked, but it all fell on deaf ears, while we enjoyed Andrea Bocelli croon in our car. When we reached the end of the lane we knew, this play would end they would soon reunite with their boss safe and sound, in his bullet and bomb proof personalised 2 crore car, as they drove past, they couldn’t help break into a smile as we laughed in their faces at their inability to overtake in the tiny lane. We watched relieved faces, guns clutched in preparedness disappear into the distance, ahead of us.

This is not an unusual sight and is a daily occurance, from businessman to politicians, to movie stars, we see this entourage follow. While i have no problem with their personal fear, and the need to protect themselves with sometimes private isreali  security, i wonder the reason for this fear for their lives.

Many leaders, in all fields roam around freely, then why are these people so scared? Unless of course they have given, someone somewhere reason enough to want to destroy them.

Many lives have been lost in ambulances while traffic is halted for hours to allow dignitries to pass, in convoys of sometimes, 30 vehicles. Only recently some functions where cancelled on a 2 day notice due to the arrival and landing of VVIP helicopters in the vicinity,causing great inconvenience to party hosts as well as venue owners. We’ve heard of many innocents being at the receiving end of the wrath of security guards, who take the law into their hands, in fact attack unlawfully.

might is right

Today again we hear of a young man who lost his life due to the apathy shown to the common man.

One can run and hide from repercussions of wrong doings, but it would be impossible to hide from a conscience that lies within. The blood of this young man today and all those who have died in the past similarly, is on the hand’s of the all the system makers of such rules. Ironically, this young man might’ve even voted his angel of death to power.

Cy and i had a laugh that evening, but this is really no laughing matter, and the common man the true VIP’s needs, need to be addressed , for true might rests in their hands, and there is no digestive that  can come to the  aid of the loss of one , so as to  be written off as collateral damage !! 

from behind the counter

i have been blessed to be in a family business that never fails to pique people’s interest. The mere mention of the field of work generates interest from men and women alike.Diamonds!!!

i have been in the world of jewellery for a pretty long time now and have dealt with various customers and thought i would like to share with you all some tips about jewellery,gems and diamonds, also some thoughts of what runs through our mind standing on the other side of the counter.

refraction

It’s not a torch: here’s a thing about diamonds, they REFRACT light. Ladies when you hold jewellery under a table, to check  how shiny your diamonds are, you are not as smart as you think you are,you look silly to us.

 

 

nose pin

Cleanliness is next to Godliness: please ladies please clean your jewellery regularly, it dulls with soap,cream and grime sticking to it in crevices. Also don’t take your nose ring  freshly off your nose for us to check the clarity of the diamonds under our eye glass, the stuff stuck around it magnifies as does the diamond in it,yuck!!

Shopping does not an expert make: If you have been buying diamonds all your life it still does not make you an expert and when you hold the eyeglass the way you do, we suppress an inward chuckle.

Reality over fantasy: When your budget is limited do not try and tell us you are getting your fantasy diamond elsewhere at a fantasy price, we are aware of rates and personally feel, if you are getting a good deal there why are you here?

antique ringAll that glitters in not gold:Most people feel the diamonds received in inheritance are of a very high value, because their forefathers only bought the best. Not true people not true, get your jewels evaluated on inheritance.

Good vs Bad: There is no such thing as a bad diamond.Diamonds are valued as per certain characteristics they display.

You are not a trader: Do not try to be a trader by exchanging your diamonds and calculating the appreciation you will get, you will likely get burned. Jewelry is a luxury.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is: Don’t get swayed by cheap deals , you get what you pay for.

Clipart_MastermindWe are not a walking price list: Stop asking for rates of diamonds whenever you see our face,we do not walk around with the latest price list in our head all the time.if you have a serious enquiry do come to the office and check.

Business not Trickery:We do work hard for our money, which is what we work for. So don’t grudge us for making it, or try to offer us gifts instead of profit. We are not cheating you,simply running our own businesses, so when there is a difference in buying and selling rate its the basic rule of business.

craftsman

Everything in life is not tangible:the gold does not melt itself into a fine piece of jewellery,making charges are due to the craftsman,he deserves it,don’t cringe about it.

Half knowledge is dangerous:either you do a course on diamonds like we have, and learn the trade OR trust your jeweller,

and lastly,

It maybe the hardest substance on earth but it can crack or chip, It has natural fissures sometimes too.

Now that you know all there is to know from the other side of the fence;

Luxuriate,indulge,flaunt,relish and enjoy,the baubles you hold!!

queen

Don’t forget to clean,polish and get them checked regularly!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

un-pimp my city

The trees were tall, green and lush, as the sun shone through and glistened on the waterfall that Adam and Eve had discovered a few days ago while they explored this beautiful planet called earth. There seemed to be bounty wherever they went discovering new vegetables and fruits everyday on their journey around the world. Everyday offered new promise and they set off in a new direction depending on where their fancy took them.

It’s 2015 and i stand in line applying for a visa for the holiday i wish to take a few months from now. Complete with letters from our bosses, and fee receipts from school promising that we will return home and not settle down in the visiting country. 

Between the time that Adam and Eve enjoyed  earth and now a lot has happened, i’m not sure if i can fathom it all but i know, borders were drawn, divisions were made, and what was essentially ours is now yours,mine or no ones!

So while we all now belong to parts of our world or do the parts belong to us, i am confused, we are taught of war and strife undergone by our forefathers for our nation,we become patriotic enough to lay down our lives for the piece of land we so love and one that graciously has accepted us, except that the land has no say, it willingly serves us produce irrespective of where we were born and what colour or shape or size or race we are.

History as i see it should be taught not so we may avenge, but as an example of what not to do, with basic take aways of the good, the bad and the ugly,at the end of lessons, not to learn dates and give exams on them. 

While the politicians within us  fragmented the earth along the way on petty differences, it now seems like its breaking up into tiny bits enough to make it crumble. And while it crumbles we witness it’s uglifying and our senses are subject to atrocities, where nature’s beauty was our birthright.

where pretty islands of green once were, there are hoardings with claims of work done for the people by politicians, every installation of a safety measure or an aid has an ugly hoarding of groups of people taking credit for it, while they are the most fickle of the lot who jump ship at the drop of a hat, they wish each other birthday greetings and their people are wished for every little occasion there is.

happy independence dayDear Sirs (to whomsoever it may concern),

So coming back to some facts of the land itself, which is owned by governments put into place by me, which actually makes the land mine in a way,so while it is used for advertisements and raising of funds which i understand is a necessity but it is important that a line be drawn somewhere, once upon a time our land was dotted with a few hoardings freckled along the way now one has to try and find the city behind all the sold spaces;

happy birthdayall i want to say sir is, stop screwing up the environment with your hoardings wishing us for our festivities, or telling us that you brought fresh vegetables to our door step, stop putting up boards with every cc tv installation with an “i did it” attached to it, after all it is the tax payers funds that are dipped into for everything not personal funds. Labelling of garbage bins will not win you brownie points, and dear sirs, if you truly desire to wish your colleagues a happy birthday just call them up, announcing it via a hoarding in a public space does not make it sincere, it’s in fact a newer low, one that is pretty close to rock bottom.

Dear Sir, while i do understand things in your line of work have gotten worse over time and washing each other’s dirty linen publicly is very important, i do request you to take it online. With things going digital, may we please have our islands bridge hoardingsTata-DOCOMO-signage hoardings 2 hoardings hoardings-in-mumbai-620x350back to the eye pleasing natural green minus all hoardings now, in fact dear sir, may we please not have any hoardings at all any more, yes kindly take them all down,and simply have more trees,may we please have back our old view while we drive to a hill station where the view of the mountain and waterfalls is clear and  devoid of any advertisements, and a hint of the paradise  that we were gifted with, at the very start, give us back a time in our city that once was, before our spaces were hoarded and pimped !! 

sincerely,

sore eyed citizen

mumbai-secretariat cuffe parade

    

 

from holiness to holy mess

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As we bid adieu to Ganesha the elephant God, hosted in grandiose for the last 10 days, His farewell is as pompous as His welcome.

While some still try to play the traditional hymns, many prefer to hire the ‘traditional’ (age old) bands belting out renditions of bollywood songs, to accompany the lord’s procession to His final immersion.

Sadly, the harsh reality is that it all ends up as sheer disposal, an inadvertent eventuality.

(WARNING: video is harsh on the senses)

While the trend towards eco friendly idols is creeping forward at a snails pace (for fear of breaking away from tradition), it would be  heartening if guidance were given to people to maybe have a stone or metal idol which could be revered and symbolically immersed only to be stored at home and welcomed again year after year!

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…..purchya varshi laukar ya !

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. . . .