Documenting how thoughts run in the editorial

Fuck man, it’s such a boring day.

Ya man. Why is it so boring today?

Is it because the weather is so great outside and we’re stuck inside?

Ya man, it’s so great outside.

Who do I have to sleep with to have this weather every day of my life in Bombay?


Zeus? Why Zeus? Doesn’t he wield a thunderbolt?

Ya, but you should sleep with Zeus man.

Zeus sleeps with everybody.

Ya, but you should sleep with him and get a child and then he’ll be like a demi-god and everything.

And he’ll have an epic written about him?


I can be in a play? They’ll be a play written about me?

So you have to sleep with Zeus to get a role? That’s the original casting couch?

Non-Bombay readers, move on

I went to the Malad’s Infinity 2 Mall two weeks ago, and it affirmed my belief that the universe is expanding to make room for Mumbai. One of the things I love about my job is that it doesn’t allow a goldfish existence. I get to see every forsaken corner of the city, sometimes in the same day. Even then, there are places I have never seen before.
Infinity 2 is now the mall to go to -— it has Zara, Mango, Forever New, Vero Moda, Promod, Cotton World, Aldo, Accessorize, Charles and Keith and FabIndia. In pre-Infinity terms, going to all of these stores would mean three different malls spread out between Colaba and Parel. I like wandering through these stores during sales and to be smug because I’m cheap like that. Malad is also home to MM’s malpuas (the best I have tasted) and that other malpua, *Josh.
Lacoste had invited me to salivate over their Autumn-Winter line. I associate polo tees with day-wear meant for the golf course or lounging around the sports club in. And my friend NJ who dresses only in sportswear. He recently bought a Jaguar and now I will rib him about he settled for Indian luxury car, that too one from Tata. “Does the boot catch fire,” I will ask him cleverly. But Naveen doesn’t hang out with us anymore. I don’t know why.

Coming back to Lacoste, there are few things that caught my eye. First, this styling detail of using two slim belts. I’d like to try that using two braided belts of different thickness. Also, they are bringing adorable pleated wool skirts back.


The librarian in me wants to wear this with rich merlot cabled tights, T-strap wedges or Mary Janes. AND NOTHING ELSE. Then I will sit in a velvet-curtained room reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula and eating Galaxy. I love the Indian colours in their traditional silhouettes and this dress now sits in my closet.


A few other things that caught my eye:
The swimsuit for the modest but chic sunbather


Chappals for a beach holiday


And the Swallow print scarf. I really like this print and a scarf would be a nice way to own it and incorporate into an outfit after the trend has tired out.


This limited edition shirt with an assemblage of Ming Dynasty porcelain shards


And these wooden soled platforms that the stylist wore. Smooth platforms are all over the trendtown right now and I would get a pair if I didn’t fall down so often.


* I am guilty of keeping many vivacious dogs from you people. Josh is one of those puppies we’ve been pressing against the wound in our hearts. These are all excellent, excellent doggies. But they are no Boo.


What would it be like if my friends wrote porn, or starred in porn, or were porn. or induced porn.

Jaison: She looked like the perfect plate of spaghetti — well sauced, with a bit of bite and the right kind of meatballs. He attacked her with gusto.

Merlin: He knew where the right button was but wanted to see what the other ones did first.

N: There was only one way to stop N’s whining.

Official work

We’ve just discovered that we can have our personal philosophy printed on our official business cards. We’ve been discussing it.

Namrata Bhawnani (Film critic and travel editor): Paisa phek; tamasha dekh.

Vishwas Kulkarni (Art critic): Shame is like pain. You only feel it once.

Me: I will expose if the role demands.

Kevin Lobo (Night life and music correspondent): Mein randiyo se baat nahin karta.

Reema Gehi (Wet behind the ears. Theatre correspondent): I’m cool. I’m hot. I’m everything you’re not.

SM (Features editor, published writer): Ja, ma chuda.

He wins

Me: I can’t do this anymore. I’m going to quit.

Namrata: Go go, you can be a housewife.

Me: No, that’s too much work. I want to be a kept woman.

Vishwas: Yah man, that was my plan. I’d hook up with an investment banker. Get up in the afternoon, go for a swim, then go shopping for a nice dress. Then six to eight, we’ll fuck. Then we go out for a party in the new dress. Look where I’ve landed. From Prada to MHADA.

Agar maa ka doodh piya hai toh…

You say you LOVE Amar Akbar Anthony. But do you really? KK and me challenge you to our A3 quiz.

1. Kothon pe taale kyu lag jayenge?
a. Ghar ki murgi makhanwala hone lagi to
b. Nadira ke pair kabar mein latkane lage to
c. Lakshmi jaisi ladkiyon ki shaadi hone lagi to

2. Tayyab Ali ke ghar mein bijli kyu kadki?
a. Akbar Illahabadi ne photoki jo khinchi
b. Anthony ke gusse ka shola jo bhadka
c. Rim jhim badal jo barsa

3. Anthony ko shaadi banane ke liye kaisa ladki mangta?
strong>a. Jo Zybysko ke saath package deal mein mil jaye
b. Jisko dekhke dil ki ghanti bajne lage
c. Jiska pura naam ho Sandra from Bandra

4. What does maaji get Akbar for good luck before his big qawwali performance?
a. Uncle Chips
b. Flowers
c. A see-through green tunic

5. What does Kishen Seth’s tatoo say?
a. Swiss Maid
b. Kishen Lal
c. Amar Prem

6. How does maaji get her eyesight back?
a. Shirdiwale Sai Baba gives it to her
b. A very successful eye surgery
c. Daily dose of vitamin A supplements

7. How does Anthony save Jenny from the goons?
a. Slips them a mickey
b. Kidnaps their women and children
c. Dresses up as a scarecrow

8. How do Amar, Akbar and Anthony celebrate their reunion?
a. By going to the Gymkhana Easter celebration
b. All three couples sing along in a windy Mahindra Jeep
c. By creating a trust fund for the local church, temple and mosque

9. Whiskey mein maza kyon nahin aa raha?
a. Kyonki woh whiskey nahin, brandy hai.
b. Kyonki hum aayce dalna bhool gaya.
c. Kyonki hame izzatka falooda pasand hai.

10. Who plays Jenny’s decoy at the airport?
a. Zeenat Aman
b. Hema Malini
c. Helen

11. Anthony kis pe haath nahin uthata?
a. Police pe. Apan vardi ki bahut izzat karta hai
b. God pe. God hamara mai-baap hai
c. Ladies log pe. Ladies log se dance karne ka

12. Tareef teri, nikali hogi dilse. Par lab pe kaisi aayi?
a. Shaayari banke
b. Banke qawaali
c. Gana banke

13. Life mein aadmi aisa kab bhagta hai?
a. Toilet ka case ho
b. Olympic ka race ho, ya police ka case ho
c. Car ka chase ho

14. Pyaar ka sabse bada dushman kaun hai?
a. Tayab Ali. Hai Hai
b. Robert Seth. Hai Hai
c. Father Gonsalves. Hai Hai

15. What does Robert offer Anthony in return for hiding him from the cops?
a. Gold bar
b. Wad of cash
c. Biscoot

Edit: V, husband of 30in2005, has these to add.

1. After how many years do the brothers meet one another again?
(a) 20
(b) 21
(c) 22

2. Who burns Mukri’s House?
(a) Robert Seth
(b) Bijli
(c) Ranjeet

3. What disease forces Nirupa Roy to run away to attempt suicide?
(a) Cholera
(b) TB
(c) Loss of sight

4. Which cricketer left for West Indies without meeting Anthony?
(a) Andy Roberts
(b) Michael Holding
(c) Malcolm Marshall

5. What is “just a position by the haemoglobin of the atmospheric pressure in the country”?
(a) A straight line
(b) The coefficient of the linear
(c) The curvature of the globe

For answers, rent the movie and pay attention.

We’ve got a lot to catch up on

Me: Wouldn’t you totally do Ben Kingsley? I would totally do Ben Kingsely in the toilet of an airplane.
Namrata: Noooo! Sheeee! He’s so old.
Me: Fuck you. You have no taste. I’m sure Nilanajana agrees. Nilanjana, would you do Ben Kingsley?
Nilanjana: No yaar. He’s like a prune.
Me: WTF? How can you not find him attractive? Vishwas, you *have* to agree. Wouldn’t you do Ben Kingsley?
Vishwas: No yaa. He’s Gandhi and all.

I’m so lucky to do what I do, where I do.

You say, use my body for your bed

Home can be quite a relative term. When on the road, it’s the dorm bed you spend two consecutive nights in. Across cities, the bus station you started from is as welcome a sight as any land. On a sabbatical, it’s the room you’ve spent a month in. New married, it’s your parents’ home. Over years, it’s where you spent your childhood.
Eventually, we’re going to have to put down our roots and buy a home. Apart from unrealistic expectations (colonial architecture, leafy lanes, carpet area that runs into thousands of square feet), what we want is a home where our friends are.
The town I live in now comes closest to the ideal. I know most of it by foot, can drive up to my friends’ place in the morning and drag them to breakfast. We are the first ones to line up at the new supermarket when the give away free cheese samples. There are barbecues on Jaison’s terrace to look forward to, even if I have to pass my school to get there. Every time I’m out, I bump into teachers, school friends or their parents.
When I was younger, I tried to convince the boys that we should buy a big house in Goa and live together. Forever and ever. That course of action was aborted when the boys shared a flat in Dubai and reported each other’s daily routine. Me and merlin would have been the only ones cleaning and Andre would have to be tied outside.
On a normal day, no two persons are more glad to see each other at the end of the day than me and Boo. He waits till I take off my shoes and crash on the bed before nuzzling into my stomach, weary after a day of worrying. Will they come home? Will bananas be forthcoming? Do I have to do something about the doorbell? Then with a deep sigh, digs in deep and falls asleep until it’s time for dinner.
On my part, I’m happy to have something to abuse physically. I knead his back, thumb his haunches and rub his ears together. Home, as it turns out, is just another word for Boo.


Did I miss the bus?

I read this on Broom’s blog and thought it was a great way to measure how far I’ve come. So…

2000: I was in the final year of college. There were six students of English Literature in the final year and were a close-knit bunch. We brought in the year at Romel’s new home and I was terrified that I didn’t know what to do with my life. Everyone else had their careers marked and if I wanted to study further, I’d have to finance it myself. I needed to start earning soon and I had a portfolio clicked. I did one assignment for Frazer and Haws, made twice the money I invested in the portfolio and never tried it again. I was in a long-distance, long-term relationship with a boy. I was content but unstimulated. We broke up by the end of the year because his parents refused to pay his med college fees if he continued to date a non-Sindhi. I started freelancing for a local newspaper by the middle of the year and by November got a job as a copy-editor with a computer gaming magazine. I also got my first column, met a bunch of geeks who opened my mind with a crowbar; and worked in what seemed then like a concentration camp, but in hindsight, was the best journalism school I could go to. I learned to use computers and the boys are among my favourite people today.

2001: I turned 21 at my first job and have celebrated every birthday at work since. Met merlin. Blown away by his talent. Magazine discontinued in August. Devastated. Fell irreversibly and irreparably in love with a drunk and drugged poet. Broke my heart in eight months. Hear of new snooty boy at work whose MSN nick is Scrotum. Start working at architectural magazine. Travel from Panvel to Bandra every day and cry at night for the poet.

2002: Decide to get a Masters. Move out of home with college-mate into our own row-house. Series of rebound mistakes follow. Roomie pines for Malabar Hill artist, I for poet. Ally McBeal soundtrack tape is worn down. Get a job with technology magazine in old office. Brother moves to America, I move back home. Almost marry Wrong Guy because I’m lonely and heartbroken. Seek counselling.
Learn Scrotum’s name. Offers money to see me in a skirt. Insult him at office Diwali party. Briefly date Married Man with Child while simultaneously dating Scrotum. Leave when I see turds in toilet bowl. He isn’t particular about flushing because he lives alone.

2003: Feel strangely young and mostly happy. Start blogging. Dissatisfied at work. Pine for poet. Go to Sikkim with best-friend from college.

2004: Scrotum asks me to marry him. Say no. Say yes. Say no. Say okay. Go back to poet. Come back to Scrotum. Get engaged. Quit tech magazine. Join Animal Rights organization. So happy about what I do, even if it means travelling from Panvel to Juhu every day. Go to Pondicherry with two girlfriends.

2005: Become Mrs Scrotum. Boo comes home. Get fired from Animal Rights Organization by insecure boss AFTER she calls my husband for tech advice. Spend three months at home, swimming free-style in anger.

2006: Join newspaper. Resentful. Directionless. Worked to the bone. Start three blogs to kill time. Start investing in tools of trade. Buy Macbook, nice camera and tripod.

2007: Swasta Ani Masta becomes a newspaper column. Consider switching to writing from editing. News to features. Join dance classes.

2008: Apply to volunteer on a kibbutz. Put Cassie to down. Lose grandmother. Start writing more, editing less. Put Boo in car and go around Kokan.

2009: Lose Cookie, Rusty and Dumpy. Tushar taken to ICU. Loses gall stone two weeks later. Tushar’s grandmother hospitalized for one-and-a-half months. Comes home, leaves earthly abode two weeks later. Spend first NYE in seven years away from Tushar.

ps: I didn’t know the Married Man was married. Neither did anyone else. His family was in his hometown and he’d been pretending to be a bachelor in Mumbai for 6-7 years.