Monday, May 21, 2012

Talking to a stranger!

Last night after dinner we decided to take a long drive - and a long drive in the dead of the night means a good 50 KMS drive around town - passing thru the usual SRK's Bungalow (as my daughter and wifey both are a big big fan) - passing thru Sallu's flat on the way to Sea Link - Hit the marine drive and reach home :).

The moment we take a U turn from SRK's bungalow, wifey noticed that one of the lights of his huge building was ON - hence we had to sit on the band stand curb for about good 20 minutes - so she could see if SRK is coming to wave her or something :). We waited and waited and waited but the dude did not come to window hence we moved on and right 200 mtrs from his house is Farhan Akhtar's bungalow - now there were like 30 odd High End cars parked on either side of the road and some kind of party is going on - on the open terrace which was barely visible from the road - what we noticed was - there were atleast good 200+ people scattered on road - shouting - cheering - waving at whoever is visible - wifey quickly jumped out of the car and joined the mob and I was supposed to find a parking spot and join her in the mob :) - I kept going forward and after good 100-150 mtrs - I found a spot and parked the car. The moment I got down - I realize that my kiddo was comfortably sleeping on the back seat :) and to my horror I noticed that both the cell phones were lying on the dash board :D. Wifey lost in mob, cell phones with me, kiddo sleeping on the back seat - what was I supposed to do? enjoy the breeze on bandstand and sit on the bonnet of the car :)

So, as I sat on the bonnet and enjoyed the breeze with "Dire Straits" playing on my car audio - a black and yellow taxi pulls over right behind my car - almost blocking my exit and the guy gets down and comes over to stand right next to my car - enjoying the breeze. I dont mind his parking as I knew that wifey aint coming back for good an hour atleast till she locates some good 5-8 celebrities and with those number of Land Rovers, Porsches, BMWs and Mercs on sight - I knew - its a big party and lots of her favorites would be there.

So, my stranger friend starts very casually as we knew each other for years "Are you seeing what I am seeing?' pointing at those couples cosying on the bandstand benches, some sitting on the shore near water, some hardly visible, a couple of them hiding behind umbrellas as if its going to rain any moment. and I reply "yeah Man! this is a big problem in Mumbai, In Delhi this kindda scene is next to impossible, Cops would have picked them up in no time", noticing his pure hindi with some choicest north Indian cuss words - I added some fuel to fire :). And I realized - its true - this kind of a scene what we see these days in Bandra Reclamation, Joggers Park and in Bandstand is Impossible in Delhi. If I remember correctly I was in Delhi for good 8 years from 1996 till 2004. And I, as well as some of my friends, have been picked up by cops, at least once with our respective girl friends and Cops bloody will call our parents and verify our locations. It was so embarassing getting caught that we decided - its better to hang out in a restaurant or a friends place rather than roaming around on road - driving and getting picked up. THAT - I guess never happens in Mumbai.

And my new friend - starts telling me his horror stories which he goes through everyday on the backseat of his car :) - Amazing were the stories - how these young guns of modern India board a cab and try to do whatever they can in as much time they have to reach the destination. My friend usually screeches his car to a halt and after giving them some peace of their minds - lets them go after taking the fare - he was like "This is my bread and butter and I don't allow people to bloody get cozy in my car, I don't care what they do in other taxis or autos, Not in my car at least". Right then, a radio cab guy parks besides us and a hot chick gets down from the car, as her friend / colleague / whosoever guy, was getting down from the other side of the car - she almost shouts "Do you have a match box? take it from the driver otherwise". My friend is furious now with her attitude and says "I would have slapped that bitch - If I was that guy" and we both laugh out loud on his reaction and them walking over to the water - hand in hand. And another discussion starts - this time the topic of debate is "North Indian Girls Respect their partners more than the Mumbai girls". In flat 20 minutes the couple appears again, board the car, go off. I could see my friends eyes shining ;) - he actually says "I guess they are done, so fast, now they must be gone for some drinks and food before they hit their respective houses". We spoke of almost everything under the sun for good an hour and half, right from the difference in culture, to his driving his cab bare feet, to Indian politics, Marathi Manoos beating north Indians to the changing times, World is ending, Inflation etc etc.

Suddenly, I see my all excited wifey running towards me to tell who all she saw, "Arre, you dont know who all you missed, I saw Shah Rukh, Farhan, Shahid kapoor, Arjun Rampal, and there is this guy with long hair - I guess he was Sajid Khan, Hirhik too is inside but I cudnt see him and I think I saw Priyanka Chopra too". She checks in the car's back seat and finds the kiddo asleep - realizes why I didnt join her and asks me again "What were you doing here sitting alone?" and as I point towards my friend, I realize - he is gone - in no time he vanished - even his car was gone. I don't even know who he was - what was his name - and him leaving us alone politely yet again touched me. The guy just went off.

 We too get in the car and as I hear her exciting voice to find and see so many of her favorite celebrities - we pass thru Sallu's flat and without stopping since the lights were out - we drove over to home and its almost 2.30 AM. A Sunday well spent.

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