Tuesday, July 25, 2006

big nectarines, big smiles and big apple

My weekend in New York City. Oh yes, I’m living the good life.

20th July

So we took a train from Stamford to Grand Central Station and it was and express, so we reached in about 45 minutes. (The fun about the trains’ here- they are air conditioned! If only the trains in India were as cool.)

Grand Central Station is gorgeous. It’s bustling with life. Tourists, commuters, people just hanging around (‘cause it’s air conditioned too!)
And the food is great there. There are stores and stands of all the cuisine one can imagine- Mexican, Italian, Middle Eastern and Chinese- oh and cheesecake!

We walked from the station to Bryant Park, where WLTW 106.7 LiteFM presented Broadway in Bryant Park. The original troupes from the actual Broadway plays performed four songs each live in the park! I saw Shout! The Mod Musical, The Phantom of the Opera, The Colour Puple and Wicked. All phenomenal performances and all absolutely free, as part of summer in New York City celebrations.

After we walked a little more and had some NY street food, a jumbo falafel and grape Snapple from Moshe’s. Yum!

We ate at a little park on one of the streets – there were tables and chairs, so several people stopped and were having their lunch their. Including a group of three girls who were having avocado sandwiches and salad – Ugh!

Before taking a cab to the station, I entered this shop – Build a Bear. It’s a kiddy store where you pick the kind of bear you want, then you follow the trail and pick a sound you want in it – like a song or a giggle – then you stuff it with fluff and choose it’s outfit. Once done, you make a birth certificate for your baby bear and go to the counter and pay for it. It was so fun to see all the little kids running about picking and choosing bears.

The cab ride was fun, only because I knew I was sitting in a New York City cab. I hailed it too! We went to the station and took a train to some station- can't remember which one - but it took us straight to the Staten Island ferry port. I went on the ferry, which is a free ride cause it is government transportation - and i saw the statue of liberty and the Manhattan sky line and Brooklyn bridge and all - for free!!

After our ferry back, we walked to South street sea port – Pier 17. There was a River to River festival going on presented by 98.7 KissFM. The Sugar Hill gang was performing. Apparently their song, Rappers Delight was the first rap song to ever hit the top 40 charts. And I saw ‘em live and again for free!

I love this city.

We heard a couple of cool songs, danced a bit on the Pier and then left. We took a train Grand Central and then went to the hotel room – Eastgate Tower on 39th and 3rd. On the 20th floor.

Changed and freshened up and made our way to Jaiya – a Thai restaurant known well for it’s food. And rightly so- the food was just awesome. After a nice leisurely stroll down the streets of New York and to our hotel – I was glad to see my bed.

21st July

Woke up nice and late to a hot cup of Starbucks’ best. Showered and dressed and made our way up town to the Guggenheim Museum (89th street, Fifth Avenue). Six floors with a mixture of modern and classical art. I saw paintings by Degas, Picasso, Gauguin, Pollock and Kandinsky. The work of Zaha Hadid – painter, artist and architect. As well as paintings by Harold Stevenson, Jim Dine and John Chamberlain.

It took about two hours to finish the entire museum after which we planned to walk in Central Park. As we exited the Guggenheim, we realized that it was pouring – it rained so much that there was a crowd outside the museum waiting for it to stop. A man, capitalizing on the unexpected change of weather was selling umbrellas at a premium. We hailed a cab and took it back to our hotel.

We only ventured out again at about 8pm. Libertto’s, a pizza place, typically Italian with a man making coal oven pizzas. I felt like a New Yorker as I sipped on a Bud Light, ate a piece of my Italian sausage pizza and watched the Mets play a game on the tele.

Good sleep again.

I was glad to be back in Stamford on Saturday. My brother in law was having a barbecue and he is the best cook ever. He invited a lot of friends and family and we had a blast. My niece welcomed me back home from my city excursions with a big smile and a little spit-up on my face. My brother in law welcomed me with the fruit I love but seldom have – nectarines. It’s good to be home. But I can’t wait to go back to the big city again next week.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

bon voyage

Alas the moment is upon us. I leave for my mystic travels to the west on a big flying machine. I have my documents in hand and baggage filled with treasures from the east for my kith and kin in the new world.

It is with a happy heart and an eager disposition that I make my way alone to the air base where the big flying machine takes off (at about 3:40am..Yawn). My stop over is the land of the Queen. But unfortunately I won’t be meeting with her.

I have made sacrifices and conceded that I will not watch the big match – viva Italia, no doubt. And Luca Toni, may your first child be a masculine child. France can pepe la poo-poo their way back home.

Good-bye my lovers. Good-bye my friends.
You have been the one; you have been the one for me…

(Isn’t James Blunt very melancholic?)

I hope I have a safe trip. I hope I have fun and though I will post from the Americas,

I hope ya’ll miss me.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

home sick

It’s raining non-stop.

I woke up this morning, my cell phone alarm ringing loudly next to my right ear. I put it on snooze. Fifteen minutes later it rings again. Snooze.

Fifteen minutes.



This happened 6 times till about ten in the morning when I dragged my self out of bed.

Nat calls, asks if we should even venture out to work. She has been watching the news for half an hour and she things it’s ‘not wise’ to go anywhere in this rain. I agree whole-heartedly.

I call my over enthu art partner, with whom I don’t quite get along much. I ask him if he is going to work and he says yes.
Crap, if he goes I gotta go cause I need to mail him the line.
I try to convince him to stay at home, else he gets stranded. No luck. Stupid enthu.

I call the Grinch (my boss) and tell him that my road is flooded with knee-deep water and it seems pointless. He tells me to chill. Stay at home. Don’t worry. It’s all good.

He has had a morning drink. I’m sure.

After about an hour of calling the office, calling bosses, calling art partners and calling secretaries, it was decided by someone that the office shall remain closed today. Yay! I get back into bed and start reading my book.

It’s almost lunchtime now. And I have a mouth-watering craving.

My dad’s chicken biryani.

I rarely stay at home from work, so when I do my dad cooks what I love. And the one thing he knows I love is his chicken biryani. On rainy days when there is just no way I can leave home and reach office in one piece, I sit in my room and read. And at about lunchtime there is this wonderful aroma wafting in from the kitchen. It’s chicken biryani in the making.

He makes it in a pressure cooker and when the lid is removed, you just see steam for ten seconds. There is a layer of rice, slightly coloured with red food colour. Then a big steel spoon digs into it and reveals more steam and a layer of succulent meat and perfectly cooked rice. Not to mushy, not too grainy, just melt-in-your-mouth good. And because the meat is pressure cooked, it is so soft, so delicious.

My dad serves it with a salad (chopped cucumber, tomato, onion and chilly in a light vinegar dressing) homemade pickle and roasted papad.


I want that biryani. I need it. I miss my dad.

I’m going for lunch now. I’m sure it’s not anything like what I am dreaming of. But it will have to do.
‘Cause I’m frikkin’ hungry right now.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

in love with kaka

30andhappy has written a fascinating blog, or shall I say a ‘thesis on faeces’. After which my blog seems rather gross.

I really am in love with Kaka, but not the kind she speaks of, this kind is the tall, dark and yummy kind. Ok that doesn’t sound too appetising, does it? This is not going well.

Let me just show you who I’m talking about.

Lets meet Kaka, a 24-year-old mid fielder for his country Brazil and his club, AC Milan. His real name is Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, which is a nice name, but for some reason, his little brother, Rodrigo couldn’t, or wouldn’t pronounce it properly. So he called him Kaka, which, in native Portuguese is a shortened form of Ricardo. Little did either of them know that in some parts of the world ‘kaka’ means defecation. Ugh.

This beautiful piece of human flesh once suffered a serious accident when he jumped of a diving board and had a fractured vertebra. This could have meant him never playing football again. But Ricardo, as I fondly call him, believes that Jesus got him through it.

Yes, Jesus. He is a devout Catholic. Every time he scores a goal he points his fingers to the sky as a sign of thanks (It’s better than Crouch’s robot dance by miles) In 2004, when AC Milan won the Serie A title, Kaka sported a t-shirt saying, ‘I belong to Jesus’. Unfortunately for me, in 2005, he sported a wedding ring that probably said ‘ I belong to Caroline’

Yes, Kaka is married. Which is the reason for this post and my acute depression. I found out too late. The love of my life and the fire in my loins is gone. He is the one that got away.
Sure, I like Freddy Ljungberg. Sure he is hot as hell. But did I want to know him, talk to him and have coffee and cake with him? Not really.

There was a cosmic connection with Ricardo. I got a number 8 jersey thinking I was going to support Freddy. Freddy turned out to wear 9 for international games. Who do you think came running onto the field, making the sign of the cross and wearing 8?


When I did find out about his marriage I almost cried. No wait. I think I did a little. There were tears. Then I saw a picture of him kissing his wife and there was a giant barbed wire that tightened around my heart. The pictures I had of him and me walking on the beaches of Rio, hand in hand, vanished.

I had had an imaginary relationship in my head. And seeing that picture on the net was like finding out he was cheating on me. For about a year now. It was like I had to stop answering his calls, miss his matches, and give him dirty looks through the television. Just out of spite.

I think I was certifiable for a while there.

I’m still a little depressed. And I still don’t like Caroline.

I still love Kaka.

He is the one that got away.