Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Beer and Loafing in Bombay

Life has gotten relatively better in the past month or so. Work alternates between “Holy Shit!!!! I don’t know jack about this” and “Piece of bloody Five Spice Mudcake!”. Speaking of cakes the phrase that totally takes it is at the workplace is ‘Delegate’. And after a hard day’s work (for those who do!) I get into the first public vehicle I find and say “Pali Naka”. This place is such a great stress buster that just uttering these two words brings back the taste of Old Monk and coke. Or as Prem (for the traditional minded- benevolent ann data, for the modern- bartender) delicately puts it ‘Just Coke’. Pali Naka, the ubiquitious, unassuming, untarnished (OK Shameek enough of the alliteration!) street that houses the only two watering holes in Bombay that feel like home.
Unfortunately the Shack (Hawaiian stupid!!) passed away sometime this year. Dont know whether it was the loss of the deejay or the Air India airhostesses that precipitated this most unfortunate demise but the carcass is a most painful sight. Gone are the funky coconut grove stamps or the good ol Macs who could find place to jive when there was barely enough to plant both your feet. Instead it is full of PYTs (Argggghhh I HATE PYTs) and wierd men who think wild hip movement to Fifty Cents makes them the next Tupac (Yawwww Bro Anyone??). And then theres that .. that..abomination called Zenzi, but we shall leave Zenzi for a later date.
Fortunately though Pali’s flag flies high thanks to Mr Totlani (God bless his soul and more importantly his ‘Totlani Investments’). A place where waiters know your name, where you can tell the next song that will play just by the day of the week. It has small, its full of tyres, cramped on weekends and just like home its doors NEVER shut for you (except for post 1:30 and dry days) Its TOTOS! Totos also has this wierd quality of inspiring people to say the darndest things. Here are a few samples:
1. Prem: Sir, you will be looking good today
Sir (I have noo idea who): (Looking at the watch) At what time?

2. Alcoholic 1: (After he has pointed out 5th cheezy Bryan Adams song for the night) You know, the scary part isn’t that Totos is playing so much Adams but that I seem to recognize all the songs
Alcoholic 2 (Again noo idea who): No, the REAL scary part is I seem to know the words!

3. Dumbfuck Stranger 1: Hey you reading a book at a bar.
Angry Wierd Loner(Lets leave his name out): Excuse me!! (Frowns)
DS 2: Looks like you came straight from work. What do you do?
AWL: I work in the Strategy team at___ P
DS1: So what do you do in Marketing?
AWL: Its Strategy (Spells it out slow while saying Dumbfuck!!! In his head)
DS1: Aahhh so you are in Finance! Must be an MBA no! I did my MBA from IIPM
AWL: Aaaaaaaaahhhh (In his head finally puts 2 and 2 together)

4. Feminist Girl1: Argghhhh this place is a sausage fest. It is only full of Mac men drinking beer. And I am so hungry
Feminist Girl2: So what do we get?
Smartass Loner (for the last time I really don’t know who!): Here have these really nice juicy ‘Goa Sausages’

5. This one takes the cake
Drunk Girl 1: (Hugging drunk girl two!) I am sooo glad my friend is getting married
Drunk Girl 2: (Looking sheepishly at the men she has been hitting on and then at her fiancé) You don’t need to say it all the time. Its not like we are getting married tomorrow.

Aaahhhh Totos! Bandra! Good times. God!!! It feels great to be back in Bombay. I daresay things will look decidedly better as soon as I can figure out the one among the holy trinity of roti, kapda and makaan that I presently lack.

P.S: Just thought I’d drop in a huuuuge thank you note for the ‘Candies’ people for opening up a new one next to Teachers Academy. The upstairs is lovely, green, peaceful, perfect for reading a book. And apparently if you are 17 year old horney teens its the perfect place to make out. Just don’t mind the wierd old man reading his book.