If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Nov 18, 2012

Thank you Bala Saheb !

Thank you for all you did in life and even more in death. Thank you for the loyalty the supporters your showed you. If the shops had been open today I would have had a problem. I would have had to tell my wife I had no money. Because the site I work at gives me work on a daily basis. I work eight hours, they pay me for eight hours. If the shops were open she would have asked me where the food on the floor was today. I didn't have to tell her that I had no money. What kind of a incompetent hunter gatherer would that have made me in her eyes? The shops were closed, the market was closed, even the liquor shop that sometimes extends me credit on a quarter of santra was closed. So with my pride intact my belly empty and my children hungry I say thank you. Jai Maharashtra!

Oct 11, 2012

Jago Mumbai Radio Show. BandraBuggers on the airwaves

Bandra buggers on the airwaves http://soundcloud.com/clement-desylva/link-open-mic-link-1-brin ....copy and paste link to browser window.

Sep 17, 2012

The Widows Might .

Sudden death in real life hit you more than it did in hockey. It had left her with two children to raise and his aged parents to look after. Money there was plenty of. No, not plenty, but enough. If she was careful.  The perfect life they had envisioned growing old together, traveling the world together , visiting grandchildren many years down the line wasn't going to happen. Everyone gave her a long rope. She didn't need it. She asked for no favors and resented the condescension. And it scared her that there might be long strings attached . So she built her walls. Bit by bit. Set up her independent systems. She couldn't have friends over. Because with friends came husbands. Who would drink when they came over. Who might think they had been called over for themselves and not for their wives. Who might.. And what would the neighbors say. The growing up process for the kids didn't stop because their father was dead. Admissions had to be dealt with. Birthdays had to be celebrated. Cantankerous old inlaws had to be taken for early morning blood tests. And she did it all. She missed him every second.Every day. When she made the single cup of tea. When the father in law died and the brother gave the eulogy. When the boy had to be told about the birds and the bees. She was more uncomfortable than he was. She helped with the sodality. She helped with the CHS.she helped with the ALM. It kept her world secure. She chose when to go out and when to come back in. She chose to let nobody in. Nobody into her world . Nobody who might upset the balance of an equation that was never going be real again. While she wore her coat and the coat of the man who had died suddenly.

Sep 1, 2012

The Zonal Filmfare awards

Subash Bhai mopped the sweat beads off his forhead. His banner, ‘Yukta Arts’had not produced a hit film in almost a decade.. “What we need are the fresh ideas”, he told his Assistant Mukri, as he paced up and down his decaying Lokhandwalla office. “What we need are the new stars who are better than the many old ones”, he declared. “People want action, sensation, reality TV put on the screen… “”Sarry Sir” said Mukri, “there have not been too many terrorist acts of late.. “So, go find something exciting!” boomed Subash Bhai. Something with Passion, revaange, laughter, tragedy, badla, something more exciting than even the ‘Saas-Bahu episodes of Ekta Kapoor!” Mukri hung his head in despair. For once he had no inspiration to give his boss. He knew in his heart, that all of Subash Bhai’s hits had been the result of him being his sounding board. He decided to find inspiration in the theatres of Mumbai – Prithvi Theatre was saturated. NCPA was too high brow. He ambled upon St Andrew’s auditorium. Buzzing with activity, Mukri happened to ask what was the action about? “The Zonals” replied one of the organizers, proudly displaying her shiny badge to prove her credentials. “ What means that?” Asked Mukri. “You don’t know what are the zonals?? Replied the busy organizer… “See for yourself”. Mukri excitedly bought two tickets and called his Boss.. “Bass, Come here and see for yourself , they are telling you will find a new heroine, plot line and entire star cast”. Four boring hours later, Subash Bhai is not impressed. Not with British accents the Queen would have been proud of, or the abstract acts that reminded him of the Emperor’s New Clothes. “You call this drama?” He thundered on, red in the face. Pretty girls in fancy dresses acting like monkeys? I am not understanding what you are finding so exciting about this zonals-shonals” With that he stomped out of the power packed auditorium, a sad Mukri trailing behind, his head hung low. For once he had disappointed his boss. Mr Bhai, however was slightly impressed. It was the chikna announcer that caught his fency. “Find out his name”.. ordered the Bhai. Mukhri came back a few minutes later.. Sir, Chicken Masala, sir… “What? Who would name his bachcha after a curry? Growled Mr Bhai. “Exactly right boss.. that was his name.. Curry.. Mr Krish Curry”…” Krish? Who does he think he is? A Superhero?” There had to be something more about Bandra’s most talked about event.. Mukri thought to himself as he ambled alongside his boss. Maybe he should ask someone who calls the shots.. the judges, perhaps? Mukri decides to do some research. He must get to the bottom of this. For his boss’ sake at least . He waits patiently till the results are declared and the show ended. The crowds are milling around him exiting the auditorium. Some are cheering, others jeering. The song of the day seems to be “We are the champions”. Mukri is wondering whether the FIFA world cup is on at the moment. Poor Mukri doesn’t know anyone in this large group comprising of Bandrabuggers, wives, sisters and girlfriends included. There once was a hero in a Bollywood flick named Anthony Gonsalves. “Hey, Anthony”! Shouts Mukri, hoping to get some attention in this melee. Five fellows say “Yes”. One of them takes him aside and wonders what this idli is doing amongst the fugiyas. “I need some help”, says Mukri. “Aks, men”replied Anton. “ I came here to get some ideas for a new film in Bollywood.. in there, all the dialogues went bumper over my head. I am completely lost and confused. Am I stupid or what? Can I meet the judges? “Judges? replied Anton. You’re mad-o-wat? You want to get bashed up and have your teeth broken in height order”? “Sorry” explained Mukri… I just wanted to see Passion, Revenge, Romance, Dishoom-dishoom all in one place. Could not understand anything, in there”. Anthony whispers something in Mukri’s ear. Mukri listens attentively and thinks he has found his answer. CUT TO Scene Three. Act One. Location: Bosco Hall – Late Night. The post mortem meeting after the zonals is on. Mukri silently seats himself in the last row. Right next him is a rather tall actor he had seen on the zonal stage. Tall actor seems to interject the proceedings to make inane points. About a picnic to Uttan. Woman in flower skirt objects to whatever he says. Somebody objects to a performer. Her father was Hindu. But she’s Catholic. Mukhri stops chewing his gutka and quickly swallows. Boundary changes are re-demanded. Are they talking about Kargil or Chimbai ? Real action is taking place before his very eyes. Real Drama - Action. Passion. Revenge. Man with rosary ring wants ticket quota for each zone to be increased. “Over my dead body”, says Mr.Chairman. Duet winner has lodged a complaint. Her winning partner kept the cup in his house for 3 days extra. South West Zone is lodging an objection against themselves that their lead actor was not resident in the zone last year. Disqualification is better than losing by 300 points. Harakiri over dishonor. Mukhri can see it unfolding before his eyes. The Lead actor plunging a ritual Samurai sword into his bosom. While fountains of tomato sauce gush forth. While his lover who played the main lead for another zone cannot rush to his side because of … choir practice. Flower skirt objects to the Dramatics Judge no.2. He’s an old has-been. He held up the judging procedure while he went out for a smoke. His ex-wife was acting in the North West production. Though post separation she lives in North East with her mother. He wished his mother-in- law was more politically inclined and would know that all North Easterners are to be sent back. He wants her back that’s why he gave her Best Actress. Objection over ruled. “Won’t help him” says Flower skirt, “I know she’s seeing a chap from Dadar”. Mr. Chairman in a rare loss of temper tells Flower skirt, “ Next time, you get the judges “ . Tall man objects to the quality of samosas being served at the post mortem. Flower skirt tells him they are much better than his mother’s beef patties. “All patties and no beef”! she proclaims. Tall man asks what can you expect for Rs. 7.65 each. While Mukri misses tall man’s thought blurb which would have let him know that tall man was trying to work out how to put the arsenic into Flower skirt’s Mangola at the next meeting. Mousey gold Bangles is opening her purse. Mukri wonders what her weapon of choice will be. Gun or Knife. It’s full of pieces of paper. Where she has scribbled some code. NW 56.25, SE 63.72. There is a difference of .23 points between hers and the solemn scorekeepers. The North East zone objects to the following. A] The division of zones so that their best tenor was robbed from them. B] The restriction on not using a winning piece. [ After all they all knew that ‘My Prayer’ was the only song that suited Mr. Pimento’s voice and range. ]C] That Roger Drego gave special lights and sound to his zone. Mukri is stunned. Roger Drego ! Are they talking about Roger bhai who gave them fifty foot high speakers for that big song and dance sequence ? The auditorium usher(in his yellow shirt) who attended to lodge his case against the Hershe Bakery’s hot dogs that found their way to row E15 objects to any aspersion cast on his boss. He was also there to return the 153 water bottles left behind by the contestants in the lobby. Flower skirt, Tall man, Mr. Chairman and Yellow shirt usher are all ears for Mousey gold bangles who argues her case against the redrawing of boundaries to facilitate equitable distribution of talent. She asks what they will do if Chelsea gets married and moves to North West. “Remember what happened to East Pakistan” she says ominously. Mukri is wondering what her signing fee will be. Tall man thanks God that the old fool Pimento did not have the range for ‘My Prayer because he had sat up with him at the Bandra Gym the previous night. Suddenly there is Action in the house. Mukri cannot contain himself. The entire South East zone has now landed up in full force. Mukri wonders if he should notify “Aaj Tak”. Would their satellite vans have space to park outside Serpis? Plan abandoned. South East presents their case.. Why have the North Easterners got so much publicity just before the zonals.. that too in the ‘Times of India’? If those North Easteners can call themselves Assam, we are the US of A! Tall man claps his hands violently in full support of their stand while Mukri is rubbing his hands together with glee. Mukri did it again. He had found his plot, storyline, dialogues with all the masala he needed right there that evening. What’s more.. he found his Hero..ironing out the creases, trying to make things better for next year’s zonals at least, and even ending the meeting with a prayer. His new leading man– the chikna Krish Curry! By MS BANDRABUGGER (Aka Annabelle 0

Going , going, gone.

He was a shippie. Six months on two off. A lot better than the days when his father was a shippie. Then it was twelve on two off. And the ship had Internet. And a satellite phone. A big ship whose masters paid him big bucks. Big bucks to take cars from Japan to America. Wheat from America to Africa. Once they even loaded iron ore off Goa. He could speak to her on his cell phone. Every day, for the three days they took to load up. Sometimes thrice a day. The big bucks were useful for buying the flat. The day he put down the down payment, he proposed. Yes yes yes. Three voyages and the money her grandfather had left her paid for the wedding. Honeymoon in Bali. Three days back home and the company wanted him to join a ship in Australia. No honey I can’t take you on ship with me. Only first officers and captains are allowed that. I’ll be first office next year. So he checked his email at the end of each watch and before the beginning of the next. It was raining back home. The BEST had gone on strike for a day. The parish priest was transferred. The new guy was a Keralite. He came home from that voyage and the party lasted sixty days. Back on board the Phillipino cook was trying to learn how to make Biryani. It just wasn't the same. She was sick. Go to your Mums house. You can't be by yourself. Not sick , sick. Morning sick. What? You heard me "Daddy. " He wrote to the co. Immediately so that he,d be there for the delivery. The only thing they stuck to a signoff schedule for, births and deaths. Eight pounds of heartbreaking smallness. As much hair on her head as he had on the back of his hand. Two little eyes that smiled at you, two little ears that .... And one big voice that raised hell if she wasn't fed or changed within three seconds. No honey, children below three aren't allowed on the ship. How can we leave her with Nana. The planning for the first birthday started via email three months before D day. The building had never seen a celebration like this. The whole compound walll was covered with pink balloons. Even the watchman got Biryani for dinner that night . Officially. Unofficially he got some beer. Another voyage, another ship, other ports. It's either her birthday or Christmas. Christmas. We'll celebrate her birthday next year. So Christmas it was with the dance at the gym and the Christmas bazaar where everyone who was linked to Bandra by a thread showed up. Where he stood in line with her on his shoulders to get her gift from Santa. Where he dried her tears when Santas ho ho ho set them off. He wasn't there for her first day of school. But she cried only a little bit she said. Master . That entitled him to family accommodation. The company schedule and the school schedule were at odds. Ok next voyage. Honey I'm sick. Yes yes the good sick. Can't talk now have to take Kim for her dance class. The Doctor says September. Too many large whiskies at the new years dance in Jan and you become a daddy in September. This contract finished in June. Two off meant he'd have to resume inAugust. Don't worry I'll manage. Mummy's here to help me with Kate. A boy. He didn't haul the first officer over the coals for the shoddy docking at Shangai. Damn He should have been there for the delivery. The school wants both parents for the admission interview. It's either that or her first communion. The dentist recommends braces. Forty-five thousand bucks ? Are they made of gold ? Shhh. Don't play the TV so loud . She has school tomorrow. Can you take them out for dinner You,ll laugh so loudly. Even the neighbors would get up. No we can't go to Goa in May. Kim has her piano exam then. Ok you go. Yes I know you work very very hard on the ship. Yes I know you need a holiday. The kids exams are in two months. The teacher says if we don't take it seriously now the kids won't take them seriously later. Ok. I'll be back late. He walked his little girl down the aisle . He knew where the time had flown. And she thought her daddy was crying for her.

Mar 15, 2012

When in Doubt .

St. Thomas was here. I doubt that. St. Thomas amidst neon crosses and plastic flowers ? A group of sari clad women gather around a casio keyboard practicing hymns. While large signs everywhere urge you to watch your belongings .The pile of footwear outside each entrance let's you know that this is Indian Christianity. There's little of interest here if what brings you here is curiosity and not faith. There are lists of parish priests of days gone by. Heavy grilles guard windows and doors. Were they to keep the newly converted in or the heathen out ? A sign tells us that St. Thomas's grave is accessible from the back of the church. A wrong turn somewhere between front and back finds us on Marina beach. More fishing boats in one place than you'll ever see. Nets dot the beach scape. Little shanties where card games fill the time between fishing. We cross the boats to get closer the the water. Only to invade on the privacy of kissing couples and toilet bound fishermen for whom the penumbra of the boat affords the only privacy. The leavings of toilet bound fishermen do not for a pleasant stroll along the beach make. So we move back away from the water. Dodging thru footballs and beach volleyballs. Thru tyres propped up vertically that make do for cricket stumps. Our cheering for a well bowled ball that hits the tyre draws puzzled glares. The batsman is only considered bowled if the ball goes thru the hole in the middle of the tyre were told. Just hitting the tyre isn't good enough. MCC ,Gully or Beach cricket, all with rules almost incomprehensible if you're not on the inside. The boats are starting to thin while the multitudes are starting to abound. Children atop ponies. The pony man running along side. Whipping at the ponies flanks. Trying hard to get the pony to break out of his sedate walk so that the children get a run for their money. A few meters of trotting before both horse and man agree to live and let live. Bedsheets stretched between bamboo poles and smothered with balloons. While from ten feet away airguns on the shoulders of wannabe QuickGun Muruguns and their lady loves in equal measure seek to burst their balloons. Cheers for their nominated shooter with every pop. The missus handles the guns while the mister keeps blowing up balloons to fill the emerging gaps on the sheet. Candy floss men abound . With floating clouds of pink and white in their wake. The couples walk with contrived nonchalance toward the boats. Coffee is pedaled from the backs of cycle and heads. To balance a hot urn of coffee on your head, dispense coffee into a minuscule plastic cup, collect payment and still keep scanning the horizon for new customers calls for a highly developed skill set. Kites abound. Without the violence of Mumbai kite flying. The peace loving Tamilians happy to watch their kite with it's long tail fly sedately in the evening breeze. With no wish to slice their fellow kite flyers kites and vanquish all that shares airspace with them. Families on the sand are huddled together. Odd. With so much space on all sides of them. Up close you see the bed sheet that all of them are trying to squeeze onto. Is it to keep the sand out or just to be near Amma who's doling out wadas and idlis ? The sun goes down to reveal the lights of the port in the distance. With the light house adding it's intermittent spotlight onto an ever-changing kaleidoscope. We don't have an Amma with us so we don't have wadas and idlis.
So we hop into a rickshaw venturing further afield in search of chicken Chettinad and dosas. Just like Amma would have made, had she been a Madarasi.

The road to hell is paved...

You say airport and the cab driver thinks it's his lucky day.
Double charge Saab. Long line at the airport . Extra charge for baggage sir.
What baggage? My daughters school bag is bigger than this.
But Kingfishers cancelled their flight and the website says the counter closes 45 minutes before tAke off. So you say Ok Ok and get in.
The joggers are out already. Dodging Aunty Mazie who wants to be in time for the novena before the mass.
From Monday. You promise yourself. From Monday I'll be up early and jogging. And i'm not going to get sidetracked by the Mumbai mirror and dr.watsa. I,m not going not start checking my email. Maybe not Monday ...tue. Because Monday evening I'll get a new pair of track shoes. the old ones were given away to the watchman because they weren't being used. And no going to A1 for patties on the way home from the jog. Because that's like walking out of an AA meeting into Raja Bar. Maybe a new route altogether so that the aroma of the freshly baked bread doesn't make you stray into that palace of indulgence pretending to be a bakery. No stopping to chat with with fellow joggers about stock market tips, cricket scores or Sunny Leone.
Saab up or down ?
Huh?
Jet ya Indian airlines.
Down. Jetlite. Budget doesn't run to full service tickets.
Saab two hundred.
Two hundred!
Meter plus airport charge plus baggage charge.
Mr. Sobhraj aap kya samajta hai Mai Poland ka Sardarji ho , mai Moira se aya kya ?