Bombay seldom ceases to amuse me with the surprises it throws at me. Every day is a new experience; every day is an eye opener to the fastest city in the country.
Service Levels – Every single city that I visit, I ensure that I have been to each and every food joint worth its salt in the city at every single price point. The only issue in Mumbai till now has been finding the price points that seem reasonable. But I must admit that most of them have been extremely ‘value for money’. In fact, I actually do not mind places charging more for the service that they provide along with the food. But at times it does get onto my nerves. I went to this place called Chandragupta the other day, and I really liked the food. However, after dinner as I went into the restroom, I could sense someone following me there. As soon as I finished splashing water on my face, the feeling of someone looking over my shoulders became stronger. I wheeled around only to find the grinning face of a person offering me paper napkins. I now know how it feels to be stalked but I never thought I would learn it this way.
Stars and Starlets – Mumbai was always the city of the silver screens, however big the film industries down the South might have become or however much the movie world in the East laid its claim to the intellectualism of Indian Cinema. The other day I was having dinner at a place that looked Indian, sounded Italian and tasted good food. As I looked up from my plate, I could see a familiar face looking intently at his glass of liquor and then it struck me like ‘Aag’, Ram Gopal Verma Ki Aag. While I got all excited the people at the other tables continued as if this was a regular occurrence.
The next day, Nitin and I decided to go for a quiz and it turned out to be a TV audition. So we stood in front of cameras gave our voice tests and realized that a lot of effort goes into the making of even a K serial leave alone a movie. The number of times an elderly actor repeated his dialogues made me feel like standing in front of my hypothetical girlfriend’s father who threatened me in the voices and mannerisms of every Hindi movie villain I had ever seen.
The Celebration Spirit – Setty came down from Pune for a marriage and suddenly on a Sunday afternoon I found myself having a DOPY meet in a Gujju Marriage in Mumbai where I knew neither the groom nor the bride. While returning I found myself caught in a rally which was called to showcase the strength of a political party and I walked along with them realizing that it would be the easiest way to home. On the way, as I chatted with the people who were a part of the rally I realized that quite a few of them were here as it provided a nice way to pass the time in Mumbai on a Sunday. And so the celebration continues in India.