Bombay trickle effect.


The last 48 hours have been an anti-climax from the 2 weeks earlier. But then again it would look like an aberration to what the many citizens of Bombay have faced in the last few days or so.

When you're in foreign country without access to my beloved internet the only news one's get about India is either a 20 second news spot in German or Italian or on a BBC World news ticker or a casual mention on CNN before the sport news or on page 9 of the Die Spiegel [also in german].Therefore till I reached Frankfurt I presumed all was well in India - more specifically Bombay.

8:30 am at counter 796 terminal 2, hall C - We found out that our Air India flight was cancelled and then the news started to trickle in. "Record rain in Bombay" - "X people dead" and othher more speculation. It's a known fact that distance magnifies or demagnifies ground realities. More the hearsay more the hazy idea you get and greater the chance for misinformation. By the end of which I was pretty confused on what was actually happening. Had to find a internet terminal and make some phone calls and update myself.

Reverberations are felt.
Our World has becomes a giant glass house if one window is broken you're going to feel it somewhere.
Bombay comes to a halt -- global systems fail, ATM's come to halt, stock exchanges close come to a halt, call centers don't work, flights are cancelledm, people are stranded -- global repercussions are felt. It's like a link coming undone in a chain.

Getting stuck at an airport you get a sense of what Tom Hank's character in the movie Terminal must have felt. Endless floor space, escalators, a monorail train and every think a human being might possibly need.

Our visas expire and we become aliens for a while.

The next daywe get a flight - they give us priority because of our expired visas and the super full flight to Bombay takes-off.

8hours latter ...
Our flights cirlces Bombay's cloudy skies for a about 45 minutes -- we are running out fuel the captain explains and we deviate to Ahmedabad.
We land in Ahmedabad and refuel. We take off 4 hours later and ours is probably the last plain to land at Bombay airport because shortly after we've landed flights AI 126 skids off the run way.

Anyways I'm back and to be honest it's good to be back.
Picture, experiences and musings soon ..


Everybody has a scale for beauty in their head. A scale developed from picture, movies, imagination and more ...
Prague expands all these scales of beauty. It's a pure classical superlative of beauty..
With it's ancient buildings, cathedrals,superfluous architechture it oozes beauty in all directions and makes you sigh. It's by far the most beautiful city I've visited in Europe. If you ever planning a visit ot Europe I suggest Prague - not be left out.

I'm now off to Karlovy Vary and then to Vienna.

Ich Bin Berliner

Berlin has an undertone of coolness and some scars from it's somewhat fragmented history but all in all it is doing pretty well and like I said before I quiet like berlin.

Berliner Fragments.
  • Hitler, I feel had a persecutive-superiority complex which made him build, destroy, move many of berlin's landmarks and monuments. For example - Unter den Linden is Berlin's main promenades, which started off as country walk ''under the linden trees'' but was eaten up by the city as it grew. Hitler being the prick that he was cut down these trees and put up giant banners with swastikas on them for the Berlin Olympics. Obviously the berliners weren't too happy with this so most of the linden trees where replanted. Hitler also moved victory columns that bothered him, built new chancelleries, burnt library books and I think you know the rest.
  • Berlin has been through a lot this last century - 2 World Wars, division, occupation, walls, series of despotic regimes, overzealous americans, super-zealous soviets, secret police, and some die-hard gone crazy communists and now some unemployment.
  • Most of berlin was bombed out during the war and this lead to a massive re-building effort after it giving some great examples of design and architecture. Guess what though the americans and british bombed churches, residential building they hit the british embassy once and the american one twice ---- but they didn't bomb the headquaters of the luftwaffe for some reason.

  • Berliner Irony

    I found a building which had a confectionery on the first floor, a celluloid- fat reduction clinic on the second and had a dentist on the third.
    I got to see this absolutely lovely Goya exhibition

    I'm off to Prague.

    Die Berliner (UPDATE)

    In the last 24hours I've been - from crummy airport lounges to cramp economy class seats to high speed trains to trams some more trains and I'm finally here in Berlin. ''Die Berliner''

    I have only spent a few hours in Berlin and tell you what I'm getting a good vibe from the city and can't wait to see more. First thing that strikes you're in Berlin is all the graffiti, it's every and not always the vandalistic kind some of it is pretty arty.Second is all the construction that is taking place it is believed that in 2003 Berlin was the world's biggest construction site.

    Anyways I'm dead exhausted now and I'm going to try and get some sleep.


    Dinner was a scrumptous 'döner kebab' swallowed down with allot of german beer.

    Postcards Anybody ??

    Hello ! From a smackingly 'new' {Delicious} looking Trivial Matters [Courtesy Hussain of Chugsdesign]

    Onto Other News

    In a few hours I'll be on a flight to Frankfurt, for what I hope will culminate into a Holiday.For tomorrow I'll be in Berlin. Other places on my itenerary include Prague,The Bohemian country-side, Vienna, and Trentino-Alto Adige Region of Norther Italy.

    If 'anyone' of you want a Postcard or anything else that doesn't involve me spending money [example : rock from the alps], you know where to mail me.

    Next post from the Circus Hostel Berlin.

    Trivial Thoughts In Pune

    This Sunday morning is perfect for offloading those random thoughts accumulating in that empty head of mine.

    All shops are closed beteween 1:30 p.m and 3 p.m . Why you ask ? Afternoon Siesta.
    Punekar's love their afternoon sleep.Still wondering why they call Pune a sleepy city ?

    All women here drive wearing lab-coats and use their dupattas as head gear which makes them look more like ninjas or bandit queens. There actually really quite fierce.

    The Sakal headlines reads "Pune gella Khadeyat" [loosely tranlated into --Pune has dispeared into a Pothole --].

    Punekars are really quite capitalistic.
    Me - Here's the paper bill. [hands money and bill]
    Paper fellow - Can you give it to me tomorrow. [giving money back]

    200,000 cars and 1 million two-wheelers in 146 square k.m --- do the math.
    I've had 3 accidents in 2 years. [all minor thankfully -- you could read about on them here]

    People talk more in smaller cities. I sometimes have trouble keeping up with my rickshaw-wallahs.

    How to read a Pune rickshaw meter ? {[Meter reading*6]add 2}

    I get a lot of google queries about this --- One can get a Neeta Volvo to Pune near Dadar TT circle and it costs roughly 200rs.

    Watching Sarkar, rohits and dabbas joint sentiment --- Where is Katrina Kaif ?

    Pune is India's 8th Largest City but 5th richest, has the highest average per capita income for any Indian city which equates to least unemployment and one of the best standard of living.

    Most maharashtrans can't pronounce 'J' it comes out 'jzee'[as in Issiah] for some reasons. It's especially hilarious if you studying vectors [i, jzee, k].

    Poona traffic police are called 'pandus' not 'mamus' like Bombay and they eat 'kanda poha' not 'vada paus'. Paunch and other accessories same.

    The other features you can look if you liked this one are -

    Bombay Matinee

    Sterling, Regal, Eros and Metro where once Bombay's shining beacons of filmdom, Bombays a-list cinemas. Most people who know Bombay might remember the countless film-loving denizens of the city lining up outside the ticket counters, while the closet black-ticketeers desperately peddled their prized commodity in the parking lots.
    And On any given Friday these four cinemas turned into Bombay's Colliseums where the faith of films was ultimately decided, a thumbs up or a thumbs down.
    They became as much of a part of Bombay as Victoria Terminus or The Gateway of India or Colaba Causeway or Bandra's Bandstand.

    Things Change, People Change...
    In the modern age of large multiplex cinema, these single screen wonders are but forgotten.
    The Maharashtra state goverment has granted Multiplex a three year tax break to promote such ventures. Multiplex give people more choice and therefore their profit depends very little on the films they show and it's possible for them to cycle the films more and the end result being that that films can be shown to larger audience in a shorter time span.

    Single screens on the other hand depend very much on the film they show and all thier profits and margins depend on the same.Therefore many of them find it hard to compete with the larger more organised, snazzy multiplexes.

    Already The Metro is being and cleared and being turned into a Mulitplex.

    Vintage postcard view of the palatial Metro Cinema in Bombay

    The Art Deco cinema opened on June 8, 1938, and initially exhibited movies made by MGM. The interior, floors, walls, ceilings as well as the furniture, was in shades of red and pink. The marble foyer and staircases led up to murals executed by students of the J. J. School of Arts, under the director Charles Gerard.
    - source Bombay - the City Withen

    My dad remembers watching the premiere of Star Wars at Regal, so many years ago and the how unmaginable it all looked.
    Cinema in India is more than a roll of celluloid, it's a vicarious passion for the new, colourful, captivating, loud and the bold and these cinema's the medium for this passion.

    The Light at the end of the tunnel...

    All is not lost, these cinemas still could re-invent themselves. May be they could show art-house or foriegn films or think of new and more inovative ways of attracting people. I remember reading somewhere that Dadar's Plaza served a lunch buffet with their matinee.

    But as the trite showbiz phrase goes "The show must go on".

    If you want to read some past Bombay post you can get your hands on these-

    Spielberg's Back !! - War of the Worlds [2005]

    We know now that in the early years of the twentieth century this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than man's, and yet as mortal as his own.

    We know now that as human beings busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

    With infinite complacence people went to and fro over the earth about their little affairs, serene in the assurance of their dominion over this small, spinning fragment of solar driftwood which, by chance or design, man has inherited out of the dark mystery of Time and Space.

    Yet across an immense ethereal gulf, minds that are to our minds as ours are to the beasts in the jungle, intellects vast, cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.

    Watching Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" yesterday it was hard not to get a feeling that Spielberg is back to his apocalyptic-best. Back to days of 'Jaws'.

    The film is riddled with some pretty entertaining, dark and scary sequences. Like when the Alien Tripods rampage through New Jersey vapourizing people and and incinerating buildings in their way.
    The movie revolves around a dock-worker from northern New Jersey [Tom Cruise], his children and their flight for survival.

    Pretty good if you ask me.