Tag Archives: yeh hai bombay meri jaan

Life’s like that!

14 Oct

It is time for the second installment of mindless ramblings of a hopeless soul. Hopeless enough to hibernate for almost two full days of the long weekend which was supposed to be the last long weekend before the winters set their foot in. Well, as I mentioned, hopelessness encompasses everything else!

Presenting before you – confessions of a demented mind:-

Yeh hai “Bombay” meri jaan!

Just like the local train network is the life line of Mumbai, Subway is the life line of New York. The characteristics of any mammoth metropolis can be seen even in New York. The never ebbing inimitable stench of the underground subway stations, the trains being weirdly scheduled to arrive at 12:32 and depart at 12:33 🙄 , the crowded compartments of the train, the silence and loneliness felt in the few square feet of area overpopulated by humans, the perspiring anxiety while running to catch the train which is going to be the last one and the inexplicable pace that life seems to have in this city that is trapped in all these people traveling in and out of the Subways.

But, what distinctly makes the Subway journeys memorable quite often are the street performers. The hoopla players, musicians, dancers, skaters and singers – such a conglomeration of creative abundance a few feet under, in a way enlivens the monotonous expressions of passengers, just about enough to get them back the next day with a bit more pluck than before.

I was at the Times Square a week back, doing my part time job of NY tourist guide (Its good to have an alternate profession in these times of recession you see 😉 ) for a friend. We were at our boisterous best when we got down at 42nd street. For those who don’t know me, I have a terrific appetite to speak endlessly without making much sense. Rather any sense at all 😛 . Our loud voices were suddenly muted by this flute player who was playing the hit song from the Hindi film CID – ‘Yeh hai Bombay Meri jaan’. I personally found it to be quite intriguing for him to play the song in the heart of New York City. But, there was surely nothing to complain about it!

What more, after playing the first stanza, a singer popped up from no where and started singing the song as well. From their accent, they seemed to be Turkish (He pronounced the ‘j’ in jaan as one would pronounce ‘z’ in zebra, and he had a very prominent ‘h’ sound after almost every word that ended with a vowel – Quite a peculiar trait of Arabic/Persian/Turkish folks.). They were soon surrounded by a noticeably big crowd and what followed the performance, was an encore.

We enjoyed the song thoroughly, we cheered, we clapped and we tipped. After spending the rest of the evening at Times Square relishing how electricity can be burnt/wasted in the most beautiful way, when I returned back home, I logged in to check my e-mails. As I don’t get to read the Indian news paper daily, I have subscribed to some news letters and feeds. The very first news headline I read was of the great Thackery cub doing his thing again – this time to the Johar khandaan’s not so shining sitara, Karan. I wondered at the irony of the situation still humming the song that I had enjoyed a few hours back. The song is immortal. There is no way that ‘Yeh hai Mumbai Meri Jaan’ can make one tap his/her feet the same way as he/she would upon listening to ‘Yeh hai Bombay Meri Jaan’. With everything being ‘Mumbai’ed from Bombay, there still are some things which sound right just the way they are. Wake up, Raj!

The Dunkin’ Encounter

I had never really eaten a donut before coming to Uncle Sam’s home. Dunkin’ donuts is apparently world’s largest chain of baked products and they are not exaggerating when they punch their tag line – ‘America runs on Dunkin’.  It is the staple breakfast/snack of the urban and the suave, the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the famous and the infamous – everyone!

There’s a DD store right across the street from my office building and being smitten by the fragrance, the taste and the feel good freshness of the store, I do land up visiting the store quite often. Just a few days back, when I went on one of my usual jaunts to DD, the old lady at the counter suddenly chirped –

DD: Good evening sir, how can I help you?

Me: Can I have a small coffee with milk and sugar and. (before I could finish)

DD (Volume increased, garnished with a smile): A Boston crème donut?  🙂

Me (Starry eyed, not knowing how to react): Yes indeed. You guessed it right! 😀

I just did not know how elated I was to see someone predict my mind just so perfectly right half a world away. I just didn’t know how to thank her enough. I just didn’t know how I could express the ‘tadaaaaa’ moment. Well, I thanked her once again and asked her if I could treat her with a donut to which she agreed. On my recent two visits, I haven’t really found the need to place my order, the moment I step in with a smile, I know there’s someone ready with it!

I happened to narrate this encounter to one of my close friends who quipped back – ‘Yeah right. Everyone below poverty line knows you and everyone above knows me!’

I was yet again speechless. A different kind of a ‘tadaaaaa’ moment!  😛

That’s the way it is! So long..  🙂

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