Thursday, October 20, 2005

A very normal day in Bombay

Saw this movie yesterday – "Dance with me," starring Richard Gere and J-Lo. A sweet, sentimental, light hearted entertainer if ever there was one. The dance scenes and the ballroom music made me feel so nostalgic and even a bit teary. Sniff sniff. And Richard Gere. If ever one could fall in love with a movie star, well this would be the one for me I guess.

The movie was shown at the club (of which my dad is a member and has been for the past fifty years). They normally screen one every month on a Wednesday, in the “cabbage patch,” the bit of lawn behind the main lawn. There are these huge noisy projectors at the back, whirring away, and it is best not to sit anywhere near them. On the side tables they have snacks and drinks (colas and beer) which you can fetch during the interval.

The club has been given all kinds of names by visitors, mostly uncomplimentary. One young fellow I took there for dinner a few years back, said to me, “Ever seen that movie, Dance of the Vampires?” And he grinned. “Well,” he says, “it looks like we’re in the middle of the sets here.” Other people refer to it as the Dowagers Club because there are so many ancient looking members around, mostly women. My mother (who is herself, 75) looked around yesterday and said somewhat amused, that nobody on the lawn seemed to be under about eighty years old, with the exception of maybe two or three people who could have been fifty.

In front of us was sitting this elegant old lady in a black and white salwaar kameez, with flowers in her hair. She had a bundle of knitting in her hand. (Don’t know what she was knitting, it seemed to be still in the early stages). She was followed by an elderly gentleman who gallantly held up the ball of wool for her each time she decided to take a few steps ( a kind of variation on Sir Walter Raleigh). When they settled down eventually she tried (a bit unsuccessfully) to make conversation with him.

“So are you also going to the U.S.?” she asked him. He smiled at her.

She repeated her question a bit louder. “Are you going to the U.S. to visit your daughter?”

He continued to smile benignly at her. Finally he ventures hesitantly, “Which one?”


Finally he gets it and says in a disgusted manner. “Oh No. I don’t want to go to American. Those children never have time for anyone.”


Jutta was arriving from Germany last night and I had promised to meet her at the airport. Her flight was to come in a little past midnight. So before I leave the house I call up this number in the Tata Yellow pages, meant especially for Airline info. As soon as I get on the line this robotic voice tells me I... am ... second ... (long pause) in line and it will take ... (long pause) vun minute and ... twenty three seconds before my call is answered. I tell you I was so impressed with this exact bit of information, that too in India, I couldn’t wait to tell everybody about it.

After holding on for a minute and a half, the voice comes on again. “You are... second in line,” it says “and you have to wait approximately ... vun minute and ... Twenty three seconds.” ??????? What? I thought I had just done that. Never mind.

Give them a chance, I tell myself. I hold on. After another minute the voice says, guess what ... NO prizes for the right answer. “You are ... second in line and the waiting time is ... vun minute and ... twenty three seconds.” Out of cussedness I actually hold on because I can’t wait to see how this story will end.

After another minute I am told, “You are number one in the line and you have to wait approximately ... forty nine seconds.” I heave a sigh of relief. Something seems to be moving after all.

After a minute and a half, the robot confides in me, that I am number one in the line and the waiting time is ... hold your breath ... forty nine seconds. Well, I had been holding on at least 10 minutes by then, and it was getting to be time to leave for the airport so, sorry guys I can’t tell you what would have happened if I had held on to the bitter end. I had to disconnect after which I contacted the 8888 number and got the info I needed about the flight arrival in about ten seconds. (It was on time)

That’s it for today. Ciao.

Group website:

No comments: