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12 May 2012

Yeh Hai Bambai Meri Jaan

Bombay. The city of dreams. The city that never sleeps. The city of hope. Call it what you will, it is well nigh impossible to find another Indian city that embodies all that Bombay has stood for, and continues to stand for. As I have mentioned before, I spent my childhood never really 'settling' anywhere. In fact, in all my wanderings, it is perhaps Bangalore of which I had the fondest memories. It is the closest to what I felt to be home. However, nothing prepared me for the impact that Bombay would have on me. I had visited the teeming metropolis twice before, and had then compared it unfavourably to Bangalore, my Bangalore. My quarter-of-an-inch nose up in the air, I had proclaimed that if I were ever to live the rest of my life in one city, it would be Bangalore. I hadn't begun my lifelong affair with poetry then, or I would definitely have transposed Emperor Jehangir's remark about Kashmir ("If ever there's a heaven on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this") to the garden city. The poor emperor is more to be pitied than censured, surely; he mustn't have seen Bangalore at all. 
But I must sorrowfully confess that Shakespeare had it right after all. 'Frailty, thy name is woman.' No sooner had I moved to Bombay than the city began to work its insidious charm on me. Soon, very soon, much sooner than I would have thought possible, and I blush to confess it, Bangalore became a distant memory. Nice, but it paled in comparison to the vibrant, pulsating, often vulgar city that I had made my home. Bangalore evoked memories of lazy afternoons, afternoon tea and cucumber sandwiches, cricket on the cantonment grounds - she, for I thought of Bangalore as female, was a great lady, slightly weary, but still oh-so-polite.  

Bombay, on the other hand, had no time or inclination for such niceties. There was no time for dainty sandwiches, you could get vada-pao if you wanted; and 'afternoon tea' - what was that? 'Cutting chai' was there, strong and sweet. She, for Bombay too was a 'she', was openly sensual, very in-your-face, and had no patience with laziness. She was on the go all the time; if I wanted a mental image, she was exactly like the machchiwaalis with whom I often shared my journey back home in the wee hours of the night. Foul-mouthed, straightforward, street-smart, hardworking, forthright. And beautiful. Don't forget beautiful. There was something about the city that called to me, and Bangalore, genteel, ladylike Bangalore was soon consigned to the ashes of things-not-regretted.  

I have gone back every year, and rued the fact that I could never spend more than three or four days in Bombay before duty called me to visit relatives who really couldn't care less if I visited or not, but would of course be offended if I didn't. This year, for the first time, I had the good fortune of being in Bombay for two whole weeks. It was the beginning of summer, and the temperatures had already risen to an unbearable 40+ (for me, going from what I considered a balmy 9 degrees Celsius). The metropolis, like every other place in India seems to be in the middle of everlasting construction. And the heat, and dust, and crowds just added to the mess.

I felt drained, and began to realise what a grape must go through to become a raisin. Like every proper Bombayite, I gasped my protest at the heat, and drank gallons of water, buttermilk, and curds to keep me from spontaneously bursting into flames. Amul's Elaichi milk and Cool CafĂ© became lifesavers, as did tender coconut water and sugarcane juice - my corner juicewallah learnt soon enough that he had to bring me two glasses - the first one vanished too quickly down my gullet to be tasted. 

It. Was. Amazing! I walked miles in order to get my job done. In fact, I quite literally wore out my shoes. I would come home dead tired by the evening. Shower, sit under a tired fan that merely circulated hot air around the room, and then go out for another walk 'just for fun' at eight in the night. I would end up having two, three showers everyday in a bid to feel fresh.

I lost myself among the teeming crowds in the marketplace, and did not even pause to wonder why, of all the places I might walk, I would choose to go to the impossibly crowded vegetable market. I would grab a plate of sev batata puri, or a 'fruit plate' and then walk some more. I even walked out at half past midnight looking for an adaptor for my laptop, only to find the roads full of people. It was a nice feeling.

And I loved it. 
If home is where the heart is, then Bombay has my heart. 
To celebrate the city that I love, the only city that I will ever truly call 'home', the city that will continue to change but always remain the same, here are some songs, in no particular order, that show off the city with love and affection, while being accepting of its flaws.

1.Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan (C.I.D, 1956) Mohammed Rafi-Asha Bhonsle / OP Nayyar
This is the quintessential 'Bombay' song. There has never been such a visual ode to the city before, even if Johnny Walker is lamenting the city's heartlessness. Bombay is not heartless, it is not uncaring. But yes, it does not unnecessarily push its nose into your business. The Victoria, the walk along Marine Drive, the graceful old buildings in South Bombay, the Queen's necklace, all these and more still abound, underlining the charm of the great city. If you look very carefully, you can see the crowds following the Victoria during the shooting of this song. 

2. Bambai sheher ki (Piya ka Ghar, 1972) Kishore Kumar / Laxmikant-Pyarelal
If most songs about Bombay stick to the tried and tested venues - Marine Drive, Gateway of India, Colaba - Piya ka Ghar showed us a Bombay inhabited by aam aadmi. Seen through the eyes of its heroine, a small town girl who is at once enthralled and repelled by the great city, we got to see the little places - the crowded by-lanes, the double-decker buses, the beach, the airport, along with the more popular 'tourist' spots. And the song made perfect sense in the film, as the hero shows off 'his' city to his newly-wed bride. There is so much to see, after all. I will confess that this song was chosen more for its visuals than for its music.

3. Hum panchchi mastane (Dekh Kabira Roya, 1957) Lata Mangeshkar-Geeta Dutt / Madan Mohan
The song opens with a beautiful shot of the sea dashing against the rocks, and then you can see when low tide pulls the sea away leaving the rocks exposed. It does seem like the girls spent the entire day walking the same kilometre and a half stretch back and forth, but hey, they seemed to have fun doing it, and who am I to quibble I like the sea myself in all its myriad moods, and I can only think that the sea and Bombay are so alike, ever changing, yet constant. I also liked the fact that the mouth-organ interludes were played by Shubha Khote on screen - it brought in just that little bit of zaniness that the song required. Thanks to pacifist for introducing me to this song.  

4. Ee hai Bambai nagariya tu dekh babua (Don, 1978) Kishore Kumar / Kalyanji-Anandji
Amitabh Bachchan should perhaps get the credit of bringing Bombay alive in all its glory on screen. So many of his movies have been set in this great metropolis, but perhaps it is Don's Vijay, an itinerant singer from Benares, who completely symbolises what Bombay means to an immigrant. He calls Bombay the 'city of illusions', but credits it with accepting everyone who comes there seeking their fortune. He also expresses his frustration at the names of the various places - 'Koi bandar nahin hai phir bhi naam Bandra', he laments, 'Church ka gate hai, church hai la pata'. Yet, Sheheron mein sheher hai sheher Bambai wah! How true!

5. Yeh Bambai sheher ka bada naam hai (Kya Yeh Bombay Hai, 1959) Mohammed Rafi / Bipin Dutta
There is a reason this film is obscure, and it will soon be evident when you see the picturisation of this song. If there was a way I could have screened the 'actors' on whom this song was shot, and concentrated on the shots of Bombay - Worli, Dadar, Colaba - I would have. It was so nice to see trams on the roads of Bombay those days - so, yes, nostalgia wins over picturisation anyway. 

6. Sab janta ka hai (Parvarish, 1977 ) Lata Mangeshkar-Usha Mangeshkar /  Laxmikant-Pyarelal
For a change, we have Bombay in colour. Neetu Singh and Shabana Azmi seem to be taking pleasure looting people from Marine Drive to Chowpatty to Juhu Beach. Of course, they only loot the rich so they can help the poor, which latter class includes themselves. Apart from the ubiquitous shot of the walkway down Marine Drive, and a more unusual one of the Oberoi Sheraton (the area looks nothing like this anymore) I like that they move the shot to the residential areas of the suburbs without much ado. 

7. Aaj ki taaza khabar (Son of India, 1962) Shanti Mathur / Naushad
If the earlier clip showed the Oberoi, this one showcases the grand old lady herself - the Taj, Bombay. It also shows a Bombay skyline without skyscrapers, Malabar Hill with trees, and I don't think Nariman Point even existed! Much less traffic too. Only, I think young Sajid was too busy singing about the woes of society to actually sell any newspapers.  

8. Tumse jo dekhte hi (Patthar ke Phool, 1991) SP Balasubramaniam-Lata Mangeshkar / Ram-Laxman
Forget Lata screeching, forget the horrible fashions and hairstyles of the 90s, forget that musically - sigh, what 'musically'? So why is this song here? Because it's nostalgia hittling me big time. Apart from the fact that I have a soft spot for Salman Khan (so shoot me!), it is mainly listening to the old street names that have been changed willy-nilly because of the jingoistic nationalism that now masquerades as patriotism. I wonder if the people who do so really think they can rewrite 200 years of our past. Or whether changing the old British names will change the fact that our old colonial masters actually built those roads, those monuments, etc. Somehow, I do not think it even matters. 

So it is nice to hear Cadell Road (now Veer Savarkar Marg), Warden Road (now Bhulabhai Desai Road), Peddar Road (now renamed Dr G Deshmukh Marg), and other familiar names again. Bonus: you get a rollerskating tour of the city. (You know that Salman is actually rollerskating, and you know that Raveena is not.)

9. Yaaron sun lo zara (Rangeela, 1996) Udit Narayan-Chitra / AR Rehman
RGV either makes very good films or very bad films - he hasn't heard of moderation. Rangeela falls into the former category. One of the few films based on the film industry that actually succeeded, it cemented AR Rehman's place in the Hindi music industry. The songs were a huge success, side characters were lovingly and succinctly etched, the lower middle class settings actually looked like they were lower middle-class, the film was one of the biggest hits of the year, Urmila Matondkar's career took off, RGV ended up fighting with his hero, and Aamir Khan boycotted the Filmfare Awards. The songs in the film were shot in and around Bombay, and because it was shot by a maverick director, it eschewed the usual locales and shot in places like the Bandstand in Bandra, the beaches of Manori, and obscure roads in the residential areas of the suburbs. Nice. 

10. Rimjhim gire saawan (Manzil, 1979) Lata Mangeshkar / RD Burman
My favourite song in this series. There is something very clean and fresh-washed about the city soon after the rains. While I think the Kishore Kumar version of this song is much better song-wise, this song wins hands down for its picturisation of my Bombay. There are other reasons for liking this song, not the least because there are so many wonderful memories associated with it.

Many years ago, I was working at Nariman Point in Bombay, and my early morning journey included either a shared-cab, or a long walk from Churchgate. When I was training, I would leave home at 6 in the morning, walk to the station so I could catch the 6.15 train and reach Churchgate by 6.55. It was nice to walk then, and I would reach office between a quarter past seven and half past seven, just in time to see the vendors clean off their carts and set out freshly cut fruits. Inevitably, I was their boni -  their first sale of the day. 

That year was also my first Bombay monsoon, and I soon learnt to carry an extra change of clothes with me when I went to office. I love the sea in all her moods, and one day, I decided to walk the long route - alongside the ocean. Big mistake. My umbrella folded over itself, but not before trying to make itself a parachute and take me to meet the sea a little closer than I would have wanted to, and I was drenched within seconds of reaching the seaward side. I gave in to the inevitable. I folded my useless umbrella, and enjoyed the monsoons like I never had before.  

And if you think I was silly to get drenched in a cotton churidar kameez (thank heavens when I reached office finally, I managed to get to the restrooms without meeting anyone!), then three piece suits and saris are not exactly the best outfits for getting drenched in the rains. But they look like they are having so much fun too. Nice shots of Cross Maidan and the old Rajabhai Tower, along with the usual suspects.  

Sigh!  I know this is a long post, but I'm homesick! 

(And anyone who has problems with the post can blame Lalitha, one of my readers. She wanted to know when I would write a post on Bombay.) 


  1. (I detest the place, having once written "wannabe and wretched, like an aged crone wearing rouge"). Perhaps fitting that my contribution should be an assault on taste (yellow capris ? Orange too tight trousers ? All this and more!)


  2. :) :) :) What are you doing on my blog, AKM? Begone, all you Bombay-haters! :))

  3. We are quits!
    I had this theme in my mind for such a long time and wanted to do this post and you come and take it away from me like all immigrants do from the natives! ;-)
    I'm glad you did it!
    I could never have managed to write such an unabashed open declaration of love for Bombay!
    The fact that I was born there would have made me sound partial and since I was born there, I am too critical!
    Love you for writing this post!

  4. One song that comes to my mind as soon as I think of Bombay is the song, which you have included, is yeh hai bambai meri jaan. Right after that comes yeh bambai sheher hadson ka safar hai from Hadsa with the fourth of the Khan brothers

    Your link for kya yeh bambai hai lead me somewhere else. Try this one:
    thanks for this song. totally unknown to me!

    Even a letter coming from Bombay makes the jiya jhoom:

    The friends fromBombay are welcome everywhere (well, not really, but the envy is evident):

  5. ...and take it away from me like all immigrants do from the natives!

    Arre, don't talk like the Shiv Sena, yaar. :) Besides, you must

    write a post on this theme - maybe with scenes, instead of songs...

    Oh, I'm critical of Bombay, but, as with my loved ones, woh aapas ki baat hai.

    It is not for general edification. When I love, I love wholeheartedly, unconditionally, without reservations. :) 

    And you are a sweetheart. You never fail to make me smile. I was a bit depressed and your wholehearted appreciation of what I write made the day seem a bit brighter. Thank you.

  6. Is Akbar Khan the fourth of the Khan brothers or the third? AKM posted this song, informing me that since he hated Bombay, it was only just that he inflict this on me. :)

  7. Hello Anu,
    As soon as I started reading this post I wondered if you had included my favourite song Rimjhim, and sure enough, there it was, at the end, and your favourite too! I love this song, and I'm a witness one can feel nostalgia for a place without having ever been!

  8. Yves, I'm glad you liked this post, and Rimjhim gire saawan

    is very, very close to my heart. 

  9. Anu, You're back! :) I was travelling for almost two months, but read your blog religiously even though I could not comment. Then I come back, prepared to read and comment again and you aren't around for a month, so no new posts!

    Nice to have you back again. You should really come back to Bombay.  I think this is where you belong. :) I can assure you my father would love to have you so he can pick your brains about the old Hindi film songs. He's been complaining that you haven't posted any song lists for a long time. He has no patience with films now, and while he would appreciate the post, I do not think that he'll appreciate the songs. :)

  10. I'm not a Bombay-hater (just sort of ambivalent about it - I haven't lived in the city for more than a couple of weeks at a time, so can't comment)... but I like the way your love for the city shines through in your post. And while you had that Salman Khan song, I will forgive you for it because you included Hum panchhi mastaane. I love that song, and simply adore the movie. :-)

    Harvey's posted a link to one song that immediately came to my mind (besides Ae dil hai mushkil) when I saw the title of your post: Yeh Bambai shehar haadson ka shehar hai.

  11. Oh, how I adore Bombay. And yeah, I never call her 'Mumbai,' snob that I am when it comes to my favorite city. But I have to admit that the city is changing so fast that even I cannot keep pace. And how she tries my patience every trip I make across the Atlantic! Everything seems so "shiny" in B'bay these days - the a/c malls, the overpriced yet bad food in upscale restaurants, the expensive shopping outlets... Bombay makes me feel old these days, sigh. I suppose that's the truth - the city's changed with the times whereas I am the nostalgic dinosaur. Yearning for the long-gone days of my youth spent in Bombay... buying secondhand books in Churchgate, eating dhansak at Mondegar and chaat at Gupta's, walking along the sea at Marine Drive, waking up to the brilliant sunrise at Janfest (St. Xavier's).

    Reminds me of a favorite poem by Ruskin Bond, titled "It Isn't Time That's Passing," - http://wonderingminstrels.blogspot.com/2003/10/it-isn-time-that-passing-ruskin-bond.html.

  12. That's some welcome :) Thank you! And you're right, I should come back to Bombay.
    Please apologise to your father for  me - I really haven't the time to listen to those songs other than as background music for some time.

  13. Thank you, Madhu. I forgive you for being ambivalent about Bombay - you are a Delhiite. :)

    What can I say about the Salman song  - it brought back such lovely memories of walking along those very roads!  

  14. Lakshmi, I refuse to call her 'Mumbai' too. It's horrible, much the same issue I have with suddenly saying 'Bengaluru' when I'm talking in English. (I always called it Bengaluru when I spoke in Kannada anyway!)

    I refuse to go to malls, and I don't eat in upscale restaurants anyway. Favourite places are a restaurant called Chetna at Kala Ghoda, and the ISKON restaurant at Juhu. Great food, reasonable prices, and lovely ambience. Of course, I'm vegetarian, so that makes a difference.

    You bought secondhand books between the Churchgate-Fountain stretch too > I went to town this time, and everytime I passed that stretch I felt sad. :( But I did visit Strand, and I did walk around the Fort area, and had sugarcane juice at the Gateway of India (Captain's - excellent stuff!), and established my street creds by travelling back and forth by the local train. Loved it!

  15. Thank you for writing so lovingly about the city of my birth. You have covered several of the wonderful aspects, and all the song choices are excellent. I will simply echo Harvey's "I could never have managed to write such an unabashed open declaration of love for Bombay!".

    I tried to find an appropriate local-train-machchiwali song, but had no luck. The closest I could find was probably one of the last good Dev Anand songs, Tina Munim is no fisherwoman, but has some of that same salty language.

    Who would not like Amitabh on a motorbike riding around Bombay, as it was still called back then, even my birth certificate says so :)

  16. The opening scene of "Mili"(1975) for me is typically Mumbai. Jaya Bachchan is showing walking seriously towards her apartment. No one knows what has happened to her.

  17. Yes, it is, actually, but I was limiting myself to songs. I half thought of adding scenes, including the car-race from Chalti ka Naam Gaadi - that showed the Juhu Flying Club, and the airport and stuff.

  18. Thank you, Samir. I'm glad the post resonated with you and Harvey. :)

    Thanks for the song from Man Pasand, is it not?

    I completely forgot that one. It's a great addition to this post because where would Bombay be without its trains?

    Thanks so much for adding the missing element.

    I did think of Rote hue - Amitabh, after all, what's not to like?

    But it seemed to me that it would be an Amitabh in Bombay post then. :) So I desisted. I'm so glad you put it in the comments!

  19. Thanks for the great tour of Bombay without leaving my home, Anu!  And I don't mind taking the blame for it any time. 
    While I have spent a good part of my life in cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore and Madras, as well as in smaller cities like Lucknow, Nagpur, Cochin, Trivandrum, Coimbatore and Madurai,  somehow Bombay turned out to be the shortest posting ever for my Dad - all of three months or maybe four!  My mother was ill with typhoid for part of that time, so my days were spent looking out through a bedroom window at a large SANDOZ sign and listening to the songs that were being played in the slum just beyond my window.  I guess the movie Phagun must have been released around that time, because I remember the words to the songs Ik Pardesi mera dil le gaya ... and Jaanu jaanu re ..., as well as Chand sa mukhda kyun sharmaayaa ..., to this day.  The Sandoz sign is still there, or at least, it was there when I went to Bombay in '02, but I couldn't find my old house.  We lived in Worli, and the street looked vaguely familiar, but that was all.  Marine Drive used to look much as it does in the song, Hum panchhi mastaane ..., and I still vividly remember the rocks in Worli (what is it called?  surely not a beach!), and we had trams in Bombay in those days, but most of all, I remember the rain!  I remember watching children going to school in yellow raincoats and gumboots (do they still wear them?) and wishing I could also be going with them, but my Dad had already received his next transfer orders, so he didn't get me admitted into any school. 
    I can tell you had fun writing this particular post, and I had fun reading it all, but I need more time to watch each song slowly and take in the sights, one by one!

  20. Chitrapatsangeet15 May 2012 at 16:10

    Lovely post Anu! Very well written.
    The most realistic and practical take on Bombay was taken by Sheheryaar, in Gaman. It is a city full of life, but lacking in heart. Sab kuch bikta hai. If in 1978, agar yeh haalat thi, I dont expect it to have improved. The silver lining certainly is that it constantly reminds you that only the fittest survive.


  21. Anu, thank you, thank you for this post! Literally got shivers reading about Bombay, travelling in the local trains, getting soaked in the rains... That's exactly how I picture Bombay: hardworking, straightforward, street-smart. And for once, I actually knew most of the songs you've written about!

  22. I think you are talking about the Promenade at the Worli Seaface, Lalitha. Yes, Bombay during the monsoons is something totally different. I hope I take you on a lovely trip. :)

  23. I wouldn't call it realistic or practical, Karthik. I would call this 'cynical'. Maybe I still believe in the Bombay I saw during the riots when it seemed like madness had taken over. And I saw the city's humanity come through.

    Every. Single. Time. Since then, each and every time that Bombay has been torn apart, its people have risen to the challenge of getting on their feet again. I am very possessive about the city. And having worked and lived through the worst of the time, I believe in that city. It is certainly *not* lacking in heart.

  24. Thanks, Umang. I'm glad that the post resonates with other people, and I'm not alone in what Harvey calls my 'unabashed love' for the city. :)

    Thanks for reading, and commenting.

  25. Yes Anu Bombay is the best! It is my native place literally for I was born here and when anyone asks me you are Bengali so you must be from Calcutta? I groan and reply ," No I am from Bombay, period".

  26. Shilpi, I wasn't born there, I didn't live there until I got married, and I have lived longer in the US now than I have ever done anywhere in India -but, 'I'm from Bombay.' :) I half-thought of contacting you to see if we could meet up while I was there. :)

  27. 7 years in Bombay and looking forward to move out of the city, maybe to a Bangalore or a Hyderabad. Definitely prefer a more quieter place without being subjected to millions of people crowding the city. Never shall I be able to afford to buy a house in this city - I feel claustrophobic here!!! 

    My rant below----http://epradeep98.blogspot.com/2009/07/minimum-city.html

  28. http://epradeep98.blogspot.com/2009/07/minimum-city.html
    No idea why the link did not come in full in the earlier comment!!!

  29. 'Quieter city' and 'Bangalore' are mutually exclusive! I don't know about Hyderabad not having lived there, but Bangalore didn't have the necessary infrastructure when I schooled there; it was worse when I went back in 2001, and even more horrible when I visited in 2008. At least in Bombay, even with the crowds, you know you can get to where you want in a reasonable amount of time - the local trains may be bursting but they still run like clockwork.

  30. 'Quieter city' and 'Bangalore' are mutually exclusive! I don't know about Hyderabad not having lived there, but Bangalore didn't have the necessary infrastructure when I schooled there; it was worse when I went back in 2001, and even more horrible when I visited in 2008. At least in Bombay, even with the crowds, you know you can get to where you want in a reasonable amount of time - the local trains may be bursting but they still run like clockwork.

  31. I went and read your rant :) Yes, space is limited. Yes, it can be claustrophobic especially for those of us who came from the larger spaces of the South - my room in my house in Kerala was as big as our flat in Bombay.

    *shrug* I would still much rather live among the hustle and bustle of Bombay than in Trichur any day. We will politely agree to disagree. :)

  32. Affordable housing? My house owner stays in the building next to me and he's paid 1 crore for a 2-BHK house in Dindoshi and I'm paying a rent of 17,000 for this small block - some value for money atleast!!!

  33. I didn't say anything about affordable housing! :) Besides, I'm seeing the prices go up for real estate in Bangalore as well. My nephew is renting a two BHK flat, along with a friend in B'lore - the cost is 11000 per head. What is the difference?

    It is only in housing space that Bangalore can compete - the cost of living is *much* higher in Bangalore than it is in Bombay. So, you pays your money, you takes your choice. I have lived in both places. I will still choose Bombay over Bangalore though I have very fond memories of the latter.

  34. I have a strange fascination for the song 'aaj ki taaza khabar'. It flows so smoothly, and I love the snippets of the headlines in the newspaper. And yes, Bombay in the background is well picturized.

    I have to land and pass through Bombay for almost every visit so cannot give opinion of how it would be to live there, but for a visit of a few days it is quite interesting. Don't know whether I would like to struggle through life there, though.

    My choice of a song. :)


  35. I think you have to be the type who likes the hustle-bustle; look at Pradeep and AKM who hate Bombay! :)

    I had thought of Leke pehla pehla pyaar and then forgot all about it when I made my final list :( Thank you for posting it!

  36. "Salman Khan (so shoot me!)" :O -shoots you- No, I'm just kidding. Sorry for vanishing so long, Anu. You were in Bombay for two weeks, then I... I... um... forgot to check your blog. SORRY. -hides under table-

    Anyway, great post! Awesome post! I don't mind the length, I make huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge rants about Dev's movies. My friends get fed up. Lovely list - I've listened to most of them, but the scenery really seems new every time. How I wish I could go to Bombay! (Oh fine, maybe I won't be able to sit in a horse carriage and sing "Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan" (Don't shoot me; I actually wanted to do that), but, Bombay is Bombay! I want to see the film studios.)

    Oh, did you see that walk of fame thingy with the handprints? Is it there? I saw Kareena unveiling the Raj Kapoor statue, but that's it. I also saw Jhuk Gaya Aasman. And. I. Loved. It. Rajendra Kumar is so dreamy. :D -collapses-

    Uh. Well. Don't mind that.

  37. Mere hi blog mein aake mujhe shoot karti ho? Ah, Sasha, how cruel. And you forgot all about me and my blog. Now I shall join you under the table where you are hiding and cry at you.

    You can still go in a horse drawn carriage in Bombay. :) The Victorias are still there, though they are not as common. I'm afraid I didn't go to see the Walk of Fame - somehow, it leaves me cold. I suppose it is nice in its own way, but I don't know...  so many of our stalwarts are gone. How are they going to honour them? And what about the technicians who are the unsung heroes of our films? Or the character actors who are the backbone? I'd much rather they organised a fund to help the older actors who are living in penury now.

  38. AIEE! -runs away from table and goes to hug Dev-

    I hope I can! Will you come with me? :D Maybe I'll go to see the Walk of Fame, but it's just... blatantly copying Hollywood. BUT IT HAS DEV'S HANDPRINTS ON IT WOOOOOO -DANCE- But you're right. And what about all those other actors/actresses who didn't have their handprints taken all the way back then? T_T

    And. Uh. Uh. Fine. -puts away pistol- (whispers) It was Dev's gun anyway. And I'm doing this only cause Rajendra Kumar is cuuuute! :DDDDDDD -faints again-

  39. "Arre, don't talk like the Shiv Sena, yaar. :)"
    So you understood the wink to Shiv Sena! BTW, i can talk like that because my whole family history is that of migration, my great grand parents migrated, my grand parents (both sides) migrated, my parents migrated and so did I.

    "And you are a sweetheart."
    So are you!

  40. When I speak/write English, I use Bombay and in Hindi I use Bambai and in Marathi I use Mumbai. Why should we let go of the diversity?

    Long live diversity!

  41. Of course I understood that reference! One cannot live in Bombay for any length of time without learning that, and quick! :) 

  42. Ah, Harvey, definitely. Bombay and Bambai are both familiar to me. I do not speak Marathi, unfortunately, and I have *no* issues with people speaking Marathi saying 'Mumbai". After all, that is how it's been for so long. I think my issue is that they are trying to erase our Colonial past. And that is just so wrong on so many counts.

    And it is not just 'Mumbai' I have an issue with; 'Bengaluru' (though I have always said it that way when I speak Kannada) or 'Chennai' (which is even worse, because not even the Tamilians called it 'Chennai in the earlier days') or 'Kozhikode' ('Cochin') elicit the same response.

  43. We have gujarati film song , which translates like this:
    "This is Bombay, where there are more ladies than men." The song was concieved and picturised as atonga ride on Marine Drive, for the period of early 60s.
    I have been visiting Bombay since 1971. I do appreciate the value of time to a Bombayite, but have never been able to reconcile with its speed and crowds. So to me, 'Yeh hai Bombay Meri Jaan' song remains the quintessential picture of Mumbai.

  44. It's very difficult for a non-Bombayite to like Bombay, I think. :)

  45. Bombay,now christened mumbai, is a city where the rich and the poor can live without depression or loneliness.I come from Pune and used to visit bombay atleast once a month for two days and I used to be in AWE of the GREATEST CITY on earth.The crowded trains,the massive crowds,I used to wonder how all the people manage to live so happily.Now that I am married to someone from mumbai,I spend most of my time in this fascinating and no doubt bursting megalopolis.If ever you felt down or sad,you can just take a alk outside and the massive energy o fthe crowds will jump on you.Its sheer bliss.

  46.  I'm glad you 've learnt to love Bombay. :) It is my sasural too, and I love it dearly.


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