Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Candid Four Pointers... with Skilled Sugar-coating

I have to say it. I hate to say. I have been tagged.

The misfortune that has come upon me is my own doing. I incurred the wrath of a candid friend - also my favorite anonymous blogger. She was tagged and tags can sometime put bloggers who choose to be anonymous in a tad uncomfortable position. Well, one can’t really be candid.

I tried to give her a hard time. In return – the vengeful one tagged me. Tagged by someone, who, as a norm, refuses to tag anyone.

I therefore pick up the tag and try to do justice to it.

So here goes – The Four Pointer.

Four places you have lived:

1) I have lived for the longest time and continue to live in a little suburb in Mumbai. A little more than half a century ago, the suburb was a quaint little fishing village. It has now transformed into a bustling town – known for its spiraling real estate prices, shopping, nightlife, sea front promenades, and now its increasing expatriate population. And now a sea link.

2)My coming of age years. For the first time in my life, I had to move out of Mumbai after I was head hunted and landed my second job. I relocated, for a few years, to the little city not far from Mumbai. The city, then a haven for pensioners, middle class locals and students from all over the country, was just about finding its feet and preparing itself (unknowingly) to become a poor mans replica of Mumbai – inheriting all its problems. The expressway between Mumbai and Pune wasn’t built then. I lived in all sorts of rental accommodation – from a one-room pigeonhole to a two bedroom flat shared with five other fellow savages. Freedom - I have have never had as much fun. The best days of my life – house parties, army rum, sex, chilly evenings, jackets, hill stations, rain, bikes, the first steady relationship, parsi food, failed attempts at trying to cook, nostalgia…

3)Hotels. I have lived in all sorts of hotels in countries all over the world. Good hotels, grand hotels, bad hotels, small hotels, big hotels, dodgy hotels, dingy hotels, cheap hotels and expensive hotels. I have stayed in hotels for work, holidays, after missing flights and on romantic getaways. I hate hotels.

4)Hotel Decent. Anyone who has seen ‘Jab We Met’ will remember the dodgy hotel from the movie. I have, unwittingly, stayed in place exactly like that. Picture this - The room next door creaks opens. The door closes. Animated chatter. Giggles. The sound of locomotion. Creaking bed. Giggles. Animated chatter. Door Opens. Door Closes. Twenty minutes of silence. The door opens again. Repeat.


Four TV shows you love(d) to watch:
Now this is a tough one. I have never thought much of the idiot box and I don’t really enjoy idiotic company. But still….

1) He-Man and the Masters of the Universe – I watched this animated series as a child, faithfully, every Sunday evening – with bread and jam. For some reason, I had to have bread and jam religiously, every Sunday, while I watched He-Man take on Skeletor. Another reason I can’t forget the show is a recent incident in a church during a christian friend's wedding mass. During the service, the priest asked the congregation to bow their heads and make a silent prayer. One could hear a pin drop. A little child, sitting in front, across and not far from me, took this opportunity to draw his imaginary sword, raised it towards God and screamed “ BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL. I HAVE THE POWER”. The priest quickly forgot his prayers. The congregation tittered. The mother was embarrassed and the father beamed – proud of his son.

2) Giant Robot – A Japanese series dubbed in English and another childhood favorite.

3) Man vs Wild - Bear Grylls and his hair-raising adventures. Pure adrenalin. Real.

4) MTV Roadies – Corny and voyeuristic reality TV. But the concept of a long cross country road journey appeals to the traveler in me. Also, Raghu Ram, in my opinion, is brilliant.


Four places you have been to on vacation:
1) Goa – The 12 hour drive from Mumbai is brilliant. The romance in the air, the sound of the sea, the food, the people, the unhurried lifestyle - the place is intoxicating and it isn’t just the cheap alcohol. I slept on a beach once – lulled by the sound of the waves in my ears and the cool wind in my hair. I opened my eyes to a fresh early morning breeze and watched local villagers, at peace with themselves, walking past, smiling, unhurried, for an early morning service at a local church which opened up to the beach.

2) Mangalore – My grandmother’s village. Coconut groves, mango trees and jasmine plantations. The laziest place in the world with the sweetest smelling jasmine scented air. I go there when work gets to me and when I want a few stress free and lazy days. Once there – I just sleep or put my feet up and read. Heaven.

3) Phuket – Thailand… Thailand… the ocean… snorkelling…scuba diving… corals… water sports… the nightlife… need I say more…

4) Kashid – Read Goa but closer to home.


Four of your favorite kind of food:
1) Indian – The diversity in the country is demonstrated through the variety in food options.

2) Indian Chinese Street Food – The Indianised version of Chinese food tastes best at any local street side thela – especially on a rainy evening. Triple Shcezwan rules.

3) South East Asian Food – Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese food, the best-looking food in the world.

4) Irish Stew & Stakes - Sorry, that probably makes it five. But I cant help it. It was tough short listing five in the first place.


Four websites you visit daily:
1) Wikipedia

2) Rediff

3) Candid Talk (Cant help it – Choco is prolific, writes everyday and writes well)

4) My company website (sorry… cant disclose the name… or I wont be anonymous anymore)

5) Used to be Expressive Silence too – but she pulled the blog


Four places you would rather be:
1) Goa

2) Managalore

3) The Lake District – One of the most beautiful places I have been to and the best place to enjoy English weather (I personally find English weather to be the most fair weather in the world – I wonder why they complain)

4) Kashid


Four things you hope to do before you die:
1)Travel around India for one month. I want to travel by train in second-class compartments with no fixed destinations or plans, with a limited budget and without mobile phones or plastic money. I want to live among the people and stay in cheap hotels. I want to travel to the heart of India – to its villages, B towns and C towns – and stay with people in their homes. My destination each day and the mode of transport decided spontaneously at the spur of the moment. My fellow travelers – my books and my camera.

2) Learn the guitar and master it

3) Learn to para glide

4) Retire by the time I am 45 and then write a book


Four novels you wish you were reading for the first time:
1) The God of Small Things – A book that probably wrote itself and Arundhati Roy just took credit. Never have I read anything more magical - influencing and manipulating the imagination, making it soar high and dive deep, all at once. After every few pages – I had to lie back, let my mind take over and imbibe the magic bit by bit. The only book I have read twice.

2) The Fountainhead – A book that has had an immense influence on life. .

3) My name is Red – I did not have to read this book. It sat up and spoke to me. All its characters, animate and inanimate - had life. Brilliant narrative

4) Swami and Friends – For its simplicity. I wish I could write like that. I wish I had a childhood like that. I so wanted to grow up in Malgudi.

5) The Famous Five – I know I am cheating but I want to be a child again and run to the local circulating library. The smell of old books combining with the smell of incense. Pick up a Famous Five book. Run back home and start reading the book with a mom-made Salami sandwich. Aaah! Why did I ever have to grow up…


Four movies you love:
1) Dev D – Or anything by Anurag Kashyap (I loved No Smoking). The film turned Devdas on its head and the visual imagery influenced me to write “Mother Loves Jeremy”. Now I wait for “Paanch” to see the light of day.

2) Life is Beautiful – Chaplinesque. The only movie that made me cry aloud… and I looked so stupid because I think I was smiling at the same time. The father – a hero to his son, both in a Nazi concentration camp and separated from the mother, tells his son that the camp is a game – and the one who gets 1000 points first wins a tank. Inspiring and beautiful. Funny and heart wrenching. An underrated masterpiece.

3) Oldboy – A South Korean. A man is kidnapped and imprisoned illegally for 15 years. He spends the 15 years in one claustrophobic room – with no access to the outside world. For 15 years he plans his revenge and trains himself. Only – he cannot seem to think of anyone with an incentive to do this to him. After 15 years – he is released – as suddenly as he was kidnapped. The man, a misfit, in the outside world, now has only one objective – to find the man who did this to him. The end hits you like a brick that falls from the top of a high-rise and hits you bang on the head. The film was plagiarized in Hindi and made into a bad film called Zinda.

4) Mard – I watched this Amitabh Bachchan starer some 25 times on home video when I was a kid. I still like it. The film is an absolutely regressive, B grade and senseless pot-boiler. Imagine this - A father, a king in exile, has british soldiers hot on his heels. When the soldiers are about to get to him – he picks up his little son, an infant, and with a knife carves “MARD” (Macho Man) on his chest. The infant smiles back. Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota (A real man never hurts). The child grows up to be the Mard jisko Dard Nahin Hota – Amitabh Bachchan.


There... Done...dusted... And dedicated to Choco...

I know I am supposed to tag someone... but tags can be real drags... anyone who is inspired enough to do so can please pick up this tag and waste a post on it... only... please come back and leave a comment... so I can come over and read and be happy that someone else also had time to waste...

52 comments:

ani_aset said...

Wow lovely
I liked He-man and giant robert too...i can recall summer holidays when i used to see giant robert after playing cricket..dd metro it was i guess..how did you miss Dee-dees comedy show? :P
Good read..

Buy a guitar..thats the first hurdle :D

Grayquill said...

Hi Mr. Mind Meander,
I don't totally understand your game with Choco...but this post helped me get to know what my anonymous friend is like – a least a little bit. I enjoy your writing.
My favorite part I think was wanting to travel around India for a month. I have wanted to do the same thing on a motorcycle but across the USA, from the Pacific to Atlanta.

blunt edges said...

looooooooooooongggg read ;) but entertainin nevertheless :)

2 things dat jumped into my mind wen i read d post:
1. i dont share ur opinion abt raghu ram! he comes across as a wannabe 2 me
2. i absolutely luved wat u said abt mangalore...hv many pleasant memories of dat place
3. yeah i knw i had said 2 points (n u thot only u can cheat!) ;) even i hope 2 do (1), (2) and (4) before i die :D

dats it n still chucklin dat u actually hv "mard" in dat list ;)

ps: jumpin over 2 candid talk

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Ani

Oh Dee-dees comedy show. Missed that one...

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Grayquill

I hope you manage to live your dream. And blog about it...

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Blunt Bhai

I know it was long... but couldn't stop myself...

And I love Mard... its better than most Mithun movies put together. Only Jallad stands out, I guess...

Nikki said...

Lolz. I had fun reading this. About the film Mard...I have a story behind it!

Choco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thoughts said...

loved it. :)

Choco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Nikki

I am dying to hear it... Mard is my all time favorite

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Thoughts

Thank You

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Choco

@ My Name is Red - Buy the book. Its worth it...

Look forward to reading the to do list...

Whats so Sheesh about Mard... Its a really good 'bad movie' :-)

@ The blog - Can I help it... you are on my blog roll and you insist to writing everyday...

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Choco Again...

Kannadigan??? ha... gotcha...

Please update your post on the places that you stayed at too. And you liked Green Park only because they liked your cat... LOL

Showers that aimed at the ceiling.. ROTFWL... They obviously built that only for Spiderman :-D

Duh...What is chapcha???

Choco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
As the Mind Meanders said...

Choco = Baal ki khaal nikhalne mein expert :-D

Why are you obsessed with Hotels as places lived in now :-(

@Captcha... Sheesh... I am slow. Cant get it... I mean I know what is Captcha now... but cant relate...

Choco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
As the Mind Meanders said...

Ok. Torture :-(

Miss Kido said...

Wow!!! That was really really well put :)

Must admit, you've got amazing patience :)

Four things you hope to do before you die *Same pinch*

I just love Swami & friends... In total agreement wrt to Malgudi :)

I agree with you, but guess what, my previous post was a tag, my current one is a tag & the next one will be too!!!

Tag tha, tag hai aur tag rahega!!! :D

Enjoyed the post thoroughly :)

Have a great weekend :)

Cheers!!!

As the Mind Meanders said...

Miss Kido..

Welocome to by blog. Good to see you here... and happy that you agree with some of the things I like...

And happy tagging... I will come around to read them soon...

Cheers...

Pesto Sauce said...

Pune must have been lots of fun...I agree it is a free city great to have a thing going there

aahang said...

I thought everyone had forgotten Johny Soko and his Giant robot.I guess you are as old as the mountains which means as old as me.
They always said patience is a virtue ,now I know it is !!!

Nikki said...

Oh my god! are you serious? Mard? Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

I like the way you write..... havent been following your blog, but just thought of blitzkering past it... should say..... a very very creative, imaginative character dwells within you....a l'il wicked too ;-)

As the Mind Meanders said...

Yes Pesto... Pune was loads of fun...

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Aahang

Naah... I am surely not old as the mountains :-)... I must have watched a re-run

As the Mind Meanders said...

Nikki... stop giving me a hard time on Mard :-D

Its the best "bad movie" ever :-)

extremity said...

same effect wth God of small things..a book that devastated me wth its tragedy yet satiated d reader in me.the book is nothng but MAGICAL.

Gymnast said...

Wow.. i see that we have somewhat similar taste in books. I love fountainhead and think it is an epic.
Swami and friends was a most honest depiction of childhood.
Have read "My name is Red" too , while i enjoyed it , cant say it left a deep impact.

And by the way..i cant agree with you about Raghu. I have wished many times to give him a tight slap.

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Extermity

Ah! I know... I want to read the book again... each time I read it... i find nuances I had missed earlier

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Gymnast

Tut Tut.. I dont know Raghu personally... but I believe that the monster on screen is carefully created... I know a little bit about his background and he has done amazingly well... independently... and is a fantastic game theory exponent...

extremity said...

exactly ..each time u read,yet another facet.oh !wat a book !i'm in love it :P

extremity said...

and please tell me somthng abt 'my name is red'
a frnd giftd me that book,but 2-3 pages..and i cudn move further.Gymnast enjoyd readng it,u felt d characters talkng to u.WATS WRONG WTH ME ?

As the Mind Meanders said...

Nothings wrong with you... Its a difficult book to get going with... Thats how Orhan Pamuk writes... but stick with it and it will suck you in...

agent green glass said...

my gosh...so much nostalgia. for me as well. famous five, home-made salami sandwich. you want to make me wail for my mommy.
and i have the same dream. one month...train...india...no fixed destination.
and he man, and did you say dee dee's comedy show. and one second, i know why i keep coming back to your blog. you are so much like me. dang! this is fun!

agent green glass said...

oh...but fountainhead...okay...fine...we are have differences!

agent green glass said...

forgive the are have differences... blame it on fountainhead!

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ AGG... You went missing... welcome back...

What about the fountainhead don't ya like

Atrisa said...

He-man and MTV Roadies make awesome television. What bout Splitsvilla? Better yet, Rakhi ka Swayamwar. It won't take long for it to crawl up the charts.

Just the other day I was reading a blog in which a person said he was tired of how many people liked Enid Blyton, as if it was almost fashionable to do Blyton-bashing. NEVER listen to them.

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Atrisa

Rakhi ka Swayamwar.. Ah! If someone had bombed the set where the auditioned happened... rest assured... the world would have been much cleaner...

Happy that you like Blyton...

Rambler said...

Mard really? :-)..Then you must like the Mithun movies too...Just kidding

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Rambler

Oh! I love Mithun movies :-)

Good to see you back Rambler...

Ms.R. said...

Really enjoyed this tag! Was way more fun than the usual ones :D

Dreaming Eyes said...

hello... its a vry long post but i really enjoyed ur writings as always..evn giant robot,he man,malgudi days were also mine fav chlidhud tv shows..and yeah get to knw lots of stuff abt u..:)

keep writing..
enjoy life..
take care..

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Ms R

Thank You. Good to see you back. Not that you went anywhere... but I miss your writing... please write a little bit more

As the Mind Meanders said...

@ Dreaming Eyes

Thank You... I am glad you read this...

Thousif Raza M.B said...

hmm nice its good to know a lil more of you, anonymous one, anyways, indian chinese street food one was nice, and i too wasnna master the guitar, though i dont have one :P, nice one


take care and keep writing.......

Shanu said...

Kafi similarities I found thru this tag.. like we both live in mumbai, dono ke grandmoms live in mangalore, both love goa (who doesnt), same same tv shows we like and I loved life is beautiful!

Umm...will have to chk wit mom if i have khofied a brother in some kumbh ka mela or sumthin..for all u kno..u mite be him.

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