In and around Mumbai!

On a fine Sunday morning, having nothing better to do and more so upon insistence of my flat mates (N &T) , we decided to visit the Elephant caves. Though it will be my second time there, I was enthusiastic about going since I believe  journey with different people can bring in different perspectives about the place. Same is the case with life I guess.

As always the streets of Bombay fascinated me. Some pictures I clicked during the walk towards Gateway of India from where we had to catch the ferry to the caves.

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That weekend being the New Year weekend the whole of Maharashtra and tourists from all over the world had the same intention as us – to see the caves!  The queue for the tickets was so long that the flat mates gave up on the idea. I seconded the idea since there is no point in going to a place with so much of history and scenic beauty unless you can see and understand the place without being pushed and pulled in the crowed.

Within no time we decided to pursue our plan B – of visiting the Jehangir Art Gallery and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya,( formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India ). Our first stop was at Jehangir Art Gallery. I am not a knowledgeable art lover and hence the modern art exhibitions did not excite me as much as the paintings outside – on the streets did! N &T did enjoy since both were interested in paintings. I was amazed at the way they interpreted the mental state or psyche of the artist based on his art creations. The texture of the paper used and the kind of paints used were also discussed, which went way above my head.

I choose to see, understand and observe such artsy stuff in isolation rather than in groups and for the same reason I was on my own at the gallery and finished earlier  . This gave me an opportunity to venture out and be a part of the hustle bustle on the street.

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I always had a fascination for those artists/painters who make their living by selling their paintings on the streets. Those people whose art can be bought for a few hundred rupees because they are not famous and not because they are not creative enough.

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These pictures may not have captured the beauty of the paintings but it’s a tribute to those who do not need a getaway or luxurious surroundings for their creativity to take form. It’s a matter of making a living.

The Jehangir art gallery also has a lovely café – Samovar. Unfortunately the same was not opened and hence I could not take N &T there. I shall soon write on the same – the place truly deserves a separate post.

The next stop was at Prince of Wales Museum It was interesting to see people from all over the world coming to see the museum  , whereas I had never been to the said place despite of being in Mumbai for 4 years. Guess it’s in humans to never appreciate what is around you and look forward to things that are far away.

Since we had only a couple of hours we managed to see only one section of the museum. We have decided to dedicate one whole day the next time to explore the place.

Without delving into historical details, I would let the pictures that I clicked do the talking.

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A bit of history, quality time with flat mates, and tottering around my favorite part of Mumbai – the day went well. As we were on our way back home in the local train to the  newer part of Mumbai I realized that the hustle bustle of Mumbai never tires me. I still share a love- hate relationship with Mumbai – period.

I like! Part V – Lunch box (Subject in scrutiny)

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It’s after a long time that I have sat down to write a review of a movie. And it’s indeed after a very long time that I have written a review of a movie which is not that of the current craze –period.

I am not going to delve into the excellent story or brilliant action, because a lot has been written about it.  It’s also because what attracted me in this movie are nuances other than these. This may be so because I went for the movie after reading a lot of literature about it and hence was aware of the obvious – simple and engaging story line, heart touching acting of Irfan Khan as Saajan Fernandez, Nimrat Kaur as Ila and  Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Shaikh  and interesting cinematography.

Those things which I loved about the movie other than the above – in no particular order:

Any movie that explores the life in Mumbai makes it special for me because it’s a city with which I have a love – hate relationship. The movie explores Mumbai in great detail – be it the local train journeys, dabba walas, fast paced life, lack of space and many others.

One of the main characters in the movie conveys her presence through her voice. It reminded me of K.P.S.C Lalitha’s role in Mathilukal [a Malayalam movie].  The characters in both the movies leaves an impact on us even without a screen presence.

The movie gives screen space to the small time artists who sit at Fort. The context in which the same is done is beautiful and I would leave it to the people who read it to go watch it at the theatre. That as it may be, these artists have always fascinated me and I will surely have a collection of their strokes as and when I have a house of my own!

The usage of old songs from the late 80’s and 90’s was beautiful. The best part about it is that along with its importance in the movie, it rekindles some emotions that you attach to the said songs which you may be heard umpteen number of times before.

It was a delight to see Lillete Dubey in a very different role. The other role of hers that instantly came to my mind was the hot and sexy aunt in Kal ho na Ho. This was a drastic departure from the same and executed brilliantly. What struck me most was the scene wherein she tells her daughter that she dreaded the thought of her life after the death of her husband and now when  her husband is no more, all she feels is hunger since she did not have breakfast – a slice of our raw and real life without any pretensions.

What’s most beautiful about the movie is that along with portraying realities of life it professes true romance one that transcends beyond age, looks and logic. The love that emanates out of loneliness in two individuals life is endearing to watch. Even if one does not watch the movie for all these, do watch it to experience the sincerity with which all the characters in the movie approach life. You may even begin to appreciate the life a little more.

I will not claim that this movie is a league apart and I have not seen any movies as good as this one. I have seen many Malayalam movies over the years which has evokes the same emotions in me and this  will be included among those.

Lunch box may not have in its journey reached the Oscars but it has surely put the viewers in touch with true love and good cinema.

 “Sometimes, even the wrong train can take you to the right destination!”

P.S : People whom I know personally, though the online medium and who are yet unknown read my cluttered thoughts. It would be great if you could drop in a comment or drop in an e-mail at poulose.sarah@gmail.com about what you think of my cluttered thoughts!

People and Perspectives!

 

My stay at Mumbai led me to interact with a 21 year old coming from an entirely different professional background from that of mine. When I met her she was interning with a media house which is into ad film making. I got to know a lot of nuances, details and work that goes into making an ad film. For the same reason I watch any advertisement with a lot of interest and has begun to value it as much as the specific programme that is played in between the ad breaks! Any interaction with her gives me the assurance that I can think beyond what I do on a daily basis.

A newly found **soul mate** – who along with sharing the tips of dealing with life makes me laugh in between meetings with her reasonably good sense of humour! Interestingly she acts as a mirror helping me understand what I feel and more importantly placing in front of me many truths that I may want to run away from. Any Interaction with her gives me the assurance that emotional fools cannot survive in this world and one needs to be in touch with reality.

The people you interact with bring their own perspectives into your life. It’s upon you to decide who and what needs to be a part of your life. The choice is completely yours.

**soul mate**:   Soulmates are kindred spirits and need  not  necessarily be romantic partners! [Refer ‘google’ for more explanations]!

She is mine!

So this time around my ramblings are not about Mumbai, the rains or the current craze – period. Its about her. She stands tall amongst her peers, dressed  in a black little dress with some beautiful frills at the end. She is from the Europe and travelled miles to be with me in Mumbai. She is my umbrella !

A couple of months ago, when the company that I work for decided to send me for training to Spain (Seville). I did my usual research on the internet about the climate during my visit, the necessary things that I should be carrying etc. Google did help me out with a lot of information but it forgot to let me know that it rains or rather drizzles in Seville during the said period and that I should be carrying an umbrella. I have no grudge against Google since I would have never had her, if I knew about the rains since I would have carried an umbrella from India.

So on the first day of office at Seville, dressed in a white crisp shirt and a nice formal skirt I set off to the office which is about 15 minutes’ walk from the flat where I stayed. The climate was cold but I loved it after the heat that I was enduring in Mumbai. The day went well. On my way back as I was enjoying the sights around, it began to drizzle. Confused with the climate change and partly angry with Google for not letting me know of the rains, I took shelter at a coffee shop. I definitely did not want to wet my new white shirt and more importantly fall sick.

After some time I set off to find a shop where I can buy an umbrella. I was disappointed to know that the only shopping market I knew of did not have umbrellas. Tired, exhausted and drained of (a) walking (b) trying to explain that I need an umbrella in broken Spanish I ended up at a medical store. Out of desperation I asked the lady at the medical store if she sells umbrella. Though surprised, she gladly pointed out to a tiny shop across the street and indicated that I will get an umbrella at that shop. Thanking her profusely (‘muchas gracias’ – hundred times!!), I set off to the said shop. And behold my eyes fell on her – the minute I stepped into the shop. I did not ask for any other options. Within a few minutes she was mine!

She helped me through the rains in her hometown. At the end of the training, as I was packing my bag, I was sure she shall travel back with me to India even if I had to leave many other things behind. And so she travelled back with me from Seville – Madrid – Dubai – Mumbai tagged as ‘fragile items’ so that she is well taken care of. But as I was reunited with her at the baggage counter at Mumbai I realized that she has suffered some injuries like a little bent. Nevertheless I was happy that she was with me.

In Mumbai she was safely tucked inside the cupboard until rains began. Now with the onset of rains, she is my constant companion wherever I go.Her beauty has been appreciated by many. I forgot her in a Meru cab a month before. I tried my level best to hide my disappoint of loosing her since I was with someone.  Thankfully the driver took pains to come back and return the umbrella.The other day as I was walking up the stairs in the train station she slipped off my hand and had a very bad fall. Thanks to the stranger who saved her from more injuries. She is with me despite all the trouble and she is safe.

She shall definitely remain with me through the monsoons and I hope to use her for the coming monsoons as well.

I believe in not having any attachments to materialistic things. Guess she is an exception to it! After all, she is mine!

As to why I love Mumbai?

The other day I happened to be a passive member of a conversation wherein a question popped up as to why I love Mumbai. The fact that I love this city is a known fact to all my friends and acquaintances. I do not remember the reason why the question popped up in the said conversation. In any case that is irrelevant in the said context. The relevant part is the answer given by one who took the liberty of answering the same on my behalf! According to the said individual, Mumbai is the only city where I can do what I please without being answerable to anyone and without ending up in trouble. The answer if taken in its essence is correct. However I would rather word it differently. Mumbai is the only city which gives me the freedom to be independent and lead a comfortable life without any security issues.

Guess, it’s a matter of perspectives!

Mumbai – An interesting mix.

The other day someone asked me an opinion on a few aspects of Mumbai. One of the questions related to  the kind of people  you meet in the city. I did mention that one tends to meet an interesting mix of people, from various walks of life who are in the city to make a living. And that makes Mumbai special.

 One day later I happened to accompany a friend from Calcutta, studying in Delhi and interning at Bombay – for a walk around Bandra organised by B.A.P – Bolloywood Art Project. B.A.P is an urban public art project that aims to transform the walls in Mumbai into a living memorial to Bollywood

Interestingly, I met a lot of creative people who are into films, free lancing, and media – a world completely different from mine. I got to see Bombay from their angle. I did click some pictures too!

 All said and done,  Saturday was an interesting day and the opinion I had given on Mumbai stands accurate!

The Pictures !

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April 2013

Bandra