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Mumbai Bits and Bytes
Jan 27, 2011 01:49 AM 3521 Views
(Updated Dec 29, 2014 12:51 PM)





A survivor does not let a particular crisis define his life. Instead, he finds strong ‘anchor points' in life. “These anchor points could be a person, hobby or even some kind of aim in life, ” says Sharma. His eyes sparkling in his auburn face, his red turban a reminder of his rebellious spirit.

Nigel Akkara is over six feet tall, with piercing eyes and shoulder-length hair tied into a bun. With his earrings gleaming in the sun, the 35-year-old looks like the quintessential bad boy.

With two more films set to hit theatres early this year, he is guardedly enthusiastic. He exudes impish charm when he says, “I've been a naughty boy.”

In a world of typos and deadlines, Subramani has carved his own space.

A few labourers and rag-pickers trudge in the unforgiving sun. An open drain running beside the highway holds the only signs of moisture in an otherwise arid landscape. Thousands of shanties line the highway on either side, homes of lakhs of handloom workers. In this shanty town, Noor-ul-Hudda, 23, presides over a tiny grocery store named after himself. Noor means light in Arabic, but not even the ghost of a smile lights up the man's face.

These days she padlocks the grille gate of her one-room home.

Today, the town¯situated in the north-western corner of Maharashtra, bordering Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh¯is on the boil over a land scam linked to a bypass on National Highway 6.

Despite top-drawer performances as the corrupt and immoral husband in Life in a Metro and arrogant, wayward son of the Godfather in Sarkar, Menon continues to rot in the wings, resting on early efforts in Hazaron Khwaishe, Gulaal and corny masala films like Raja Natwarlal and ABCD.

had to be peeled off the ceiling.

Dusty alcoves of memory are where many of yesteryear talents are junked and only the rarest of the rare hope to return to the glories of yesteryear.

There is food, and then there is Delhi food. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for my waistline, my office is in the same complex as Bengal Sweet Corner and Rajinder Da Dhaba—so with unending supply of garamagaram Gajar and Moong ka Halwa, Kababs and Rumali Rotis, Samosa Chaat, Mathri and Gajak, work was never a problem. And after work, things only got better. In a span of one week, with no real night outs, this is what I managed—thanks to my dilwale friends in Delhi—Raam ladoo(a kind of dal pakoda served with green chutney and grated mooli), momos and beer at Delhi Haat, homemade barbeque chicken and sweet potatoes, Dahiwale Kabab, Nihari, Galauti Kabab with Khameri roti at a place called Tipu Sultan, Lodhi Garden restaurant, the Ethiopian Cultural Centre(must visit for its coffee). Phew. Not to forget, a burger at Nirula's(it's meant to be desilicious! but I felt rather sad for the once-super-hip chain) and authentic rasam vada and dosa at Mathew’s Café near JNU. I missed Evergreen’s Chole Bhatura and a trip to Old Delhi though. Strange as it may sound, I also had an elaborate meal at the Saravana Bhavan(for old times’ sake and subconscious south Indian leanings) along with strong hot filter kaapi. The latest restaurant to open on Janpath, I was told, is Bombay ka Shiv Sagar, right next to Saravana Bhavan. Aiyyo. I know not what to say Moving in Circles

What makes a Delhi stay comfortable is also what makes me slightly wary of it.

One tends to move in circles, cliques and meets friends and family at a certain time and place for certain duration. Despite having lovely monuments and open spaces, one doesn’t seem to frequent them as we would throng Gateway, Marine Drive or Band Stand. I know very few original Dilliwallas and those who have moved from elsewhere seem to be living in separate orbits. Is it a class or community thing, I do not know. The circles overlap sometimes, at an artie-fartie event or a house party may be, but they seem like parallel tracks to me—never really assimilating or becoming one. Let alone mingling with, say, the Mehrauli crowd.

A Bagful of Memories. As I got into an unbearably crowded airport, where apparently all the flights were full and so people were waiting on staircases and passages, it seemed like a weird sign from above to start getting used to jostling and shoving and pushing and getting ready for my horribly crowded, slightly crazy and yet the best city on this planet. As I left with a bagful of happy memories(and yummy goodies to distribute), it occurred to me that may be, just maybe, we can start being friends, Delhi and Mumbai? Ring out the old rivalry? May be?

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