I need colour. I am missing rummaging my cupboard for a pair
of old denims and tee. I am missing the
shrieking and screaming that used to fill up the air as early as eight am on
Holi. I am missing oiling my hair and hands & legs before leaving home. I
am missing eating gujiyas to my tummy
and heart’s content. I am missing running fast, faster, fastest…to save myself
from insane friends. I am missing biting into bhang pakodas and then giggling incessantly. I am missing feeling
too tired to take a shower. I am missing spending hours getting the colour off
me. I am missing sleeping for hours to refresh. I am missing waking up in the
evening, and still feeling tired. I am missing attending work the next day and
smiling at colleagues with red & pink faces.
I am missing home.
And since I can’t really go out and play with colours I am playing with colours on paper. There's no point sulking! Right?
I’d say you bring in
a pop of colour to this day too – gorge on colourful candies, adorn the home with
a colourful posy, dress up the Govinda way & more! What say?
Here's wishing all you lovely people a day full of bright, brighter and brightest shades of life. Happy Holi!
P.S: If one more person asks me to celebrate Holi on a
Friday at some Holi Bash I will bash him/her up :)
When we, Indians, leave behind our homes to call a new land
our home we adapt ourselves. We start dressing up differently, we experiment
with spices of a new kind, we accept that water is a paid commodity, we learn
how to greet and be grateful in a foreign language and a lot more. In short, we
change. But one thing that we refuse to let go, one thing that remains the same
is how we dance. Place us on a dance floor in the cold Arctic or the hot Dubai
we refuse to give up on our ways of dancing!! Last Thursday was my first ‘Desi’
night in DXB. And while I came back humming ‘Desi Boys’ I also couldn’t stop
wondering & smiling at how ‘we’ danced in this foreign land!
So ‘Desi’ nights are apparently very big in DXB. In simple
words, Bollywood and Punjabi music rules the playlist and needless to say
Indians rule the guests list. We attended one at a club called Velvet Underground in Bur Dubai, for it
was a dear friend’s birthday and she is apparently a huge fan of all things desi And it goes without saying the DJ
was an Indian! We reached the club around midnight, which by the way is early
by DXB standards. The psychedelic lights welcomed us to the ‘Little India’.
The music was ear deafening loud and lovely. From Band Baja
Baraat to Angreji Beat and 47 Weight Kudi Da to Hookah Bar – they played it
all. And the crowd hopped, swirled, jumped, screamed and twirled in ways only
Indians can do. If you’ve ever attended a Punjabi wedding you would know how
the crowd dances – each with his individual style and big smiles. From a
distance it looked like the moves were synchronised in a way that no one was
copying the other yet looked alike! It was a leaf from the overdose of
enthusiasm and energy that I had last witnessed at a club in Delhi. There was
pulling the flush, swinging of hips, shoulder shrugs, beating the dhol and
more. The steps were familiar, as was the shrieking, singing and whistling. And
so was the discipline in the musical party chaos - courtesy the staff & bouncers.
The loud was being given company by the suave and quiet.
They just sat and clapped. Some shared jokes (screamed) in the noise. A few
perched themselves on lounge sofas and just watched. Many got ‘non-Indians’ to
swing to Honey Singh. Each one of them loved it. And almost everyone drank. We smiled at a few unknown faces too. Their
moves and smiles said they loved Bollywood as much as we did.
It was only at three am when I walked out of the club I
realised I was not home! The sight of cabs and that of luxury cars brought me
to the reality! But then as long as DXB’s hot & humid air is Bollywood rich,
I am not complaining! Right?
I miss it so bad that I think I am having withdrawal
I miss saying, “Bhaiya,
thoda toh kam kijeye (Reduce the price a bit).” I miss saying, “Bhaiya, hum pehli baari thodi na le rahe hain (This
is not the first time we are purchasing this item).”
I miss how we all used to compare notes on who got a better
deal. These deals depended on our skills, purely. I like the 10,001 online
deals but I like to put my Indian skill set to use.
I miss how during college days my friends made me feel
little when they bought the entire wardrobe for a few bucks from Janpath. For the
uninitiated, Janpath is the heaven for bargain queens & kings in the
capital. From shoes to bags and clothes to artifacts you can bargain for it all
& take home a dozen & more of shopping bags!
I miss how we could bargain with not just the vegetable
vendor but with almost anyone/anything. Remember how as kids we used to bargain
with our mothers for an extra five minutes of sleep too?
On that note, I miss haggling with auto wallahs too! I like
the cab meters (not that we don’t have them back home) but the frustrating and
annoying conversation with the auto wallahs had their own charm!!
I think bargaining is therapeutic just like gossiping.
When I was in the primary school we had to appear for these
mental Math tests. I fared pretty well in the dodging of tables section and that’s
kind of what came in handy when I reached DXB. My Maths was put to test each
time I paid a cabbie, bought a carton of milk, et al. Ask me the table of 15
and I will shock you with my speed and accuracy!
Do you also suffer from the conversion disease? I know of a
lot of fellow Indians who can’t help but instantly multiply the AED by 15 and
get the INR amount! 1 AED = 14.82 INR!! So
we round that up and stick to 15 for convenience sake. It gets pretty annoying
at times, shocking at others, depressing mostly and insanely hard to stop doing
it. The currency converter on our mobiles is another friendly tool of course. I
wonder if I’ll ever stop doing that. I wonder if it is healthy at all!!
A wise man recently told me that my life here would be a
dream if I stopped converting the currency each time. The wise man could even multiply
217 X 15 within seconds! Not all wise men say all the wise things! :) :)
Once upon a time our daily dose of veggies & happiness were delivered at the door step. We would bargain, nitpick and chit-chat with the delivery man. They'd weigh the veggies for us, put it in a plastic bag & award us with a bunch of dhaniya & chillies absolutely free!! Miss those days?
Image: Personal Album
Now that's an image that would make you smile, nostalgic & thankful for little mercies!
Our mothers love him as much we do. No, I am not talking
about our dads. Am talking about ‘The Amitabh Bachchan’! No man wears his
wrinkles better than him. Period.
Ask an Indian to describe his life and he’d divide it into
two – Before/After he started watching Bachchan movies. Yes, such is the impact
of the syndrome. As a rule whenever I feel lonely in a foreign land (when
travelling for work or fun) Amitabh Bachchan comes to my rescue. Tell the tour
guide or the hotel staff or a fellow trekker that you are from India and watch
his/her face brighten up. The likelihood
of the individual saying ‘Amitabh Bachchan’ the very next second is extremely
high. And from there on the two of you will have enough to talk about.
Over my years of growing up in a home & country teeming
with Bachchan fans I have begun to identify them. Here’s how. They often act
melodramatic and force the following dialogues/references into almost every
The angry young man.
Vijay Deenanath Chauhan. If given a choice they would all
change their names to this!
The baritone voice! The umpteen efforts made to imitate
Billa no 786 is not just a number.
And now the white beard. Sexy personified. All the men want
to grow up with that kind of beard. Though I still feel that this man refuses
to get old. He even makes Saif’s ‘Kareena’ tattoo appear so lame & small in
front of his on-screen tattoo – Mera Baap
I sincerely feel a lot of issues could be addressed (if not solved)
if Big B was to act as the Pied Piper! Would we not all love to transform into
rats & follow him blindfolded?
We have two coffee table books on Big B at home! In addition
to books on the making of Deewar and Sholay. Do you have any Bachchan
paraphernalia at home?
Want to pep up a dull evening? Play the eternal Sholay game!
See who knows how many dialogues!
Is there a Big B fan following in DXB as well? Do people get
together on a Thursday evening to soak in the charisma of Bachchan. We do that.
We play our favourite Bachchan movie & sit down with a tub of popcorns
& our friends & family & get both nostalgic & weak in the