Shuchir Suri likes girls with neatly manicured nails and good food. I think in that order.
But we’re going to focus on the latter. There are very few people who don’t like food, and most of them are called Nicole Ritchie, but her aside, not too many do much about it except for whipping out their phones and instagramming everything they eat, all the time (There’s a special place in hell for this lot).
My point is, Shuchir has managed to, despite his tight schedule (He works as an event manager and is always on the go), start an online community on food. With over 2000 members, Food Talk India as a page on facebook has become the go to place for anyone with an inquiry about what sort of food to eat, where to eat it and quick reviews. And it works like a charm. I’ve tried it a few times and have always got everything I needed to know in a matter of a few minutes. What’s nice about Food Talk India, aside from all the info as ammo, is that it makes it that much easier for anyone to be of help when it comes to food. You can even share recipes, numbers of private caterers, and the location of the best vada pao stall in Worli.
To be a part of this commune of food lovers you need to ask a friend who is already a member or write in to email@example.com.
Though I’ll have you know, Shuchir turned me into one of them food photographer zombies recently when I was in Bali. In my defense, I looked mildly embarrased and even checked both directions to see if anyone was watching. I consoled myself by thinking how much this noble act would help someone in the near future.
Here’s to food and so much more.
Shuchir, food and a whole lotta talk. May 7, 2013
Shuchir Suri likes girls with neatly manicured nails and good food. I think in that order.
Panic May 2, 2013
Deceptive little bastard.
I think I know exactly when it was that I stared at it in the face and got scared, because deep in it’s labyrinthian non eyes I saw the truth. As definite as an overturned hourglass. Grain by grain a picture got painted into a mound which held meaning only for me. I knew I had to be somewhere, and I had to be there at that very moment. If I didn’t make it, then everything would be futile. My heart would stop beating. My lungs would stop breathing.
This was the reality I wanted to choose to believe in. And I didn’t care about the flipside because I did not wait around to check it out. I chose a path because I felt an urgency. Unlike any that I had felt before.
I was 21.
I made it to where I had to be.
I met the people I had to meet.
And nothing exploded.
By the time I got back to breathing normally I realized two things. One: I had done this to myself.
Two: I was never going to be the same again.
And so began my relationship with time. We didn’t really talk or hold hands. But we both knew where the other was at any given point of time. I learnt to savour things more, I realized flying into rages was futile, I learnt the art of forgiveness and pride and how they walk with the same swagger, I learnt that panic wasn’t all that bad, and I learnt that too much wasn’t enough.
Time swirls and pirouettes all around you, with you ,and then decides to wrap itself around your ankles and beat lead at its own game. It lets you peep into eternity and makes you sense your frailty.
Hours, days, weeks, months, years, months, weeks, days, hours.
So relative. But completely in tune with how your heart feels.
And how your heart feels…. ah! isn’t that a mystery shrouded in beauty.
A favorite song, the smell of his neck, her touch, a word said peculiarly, your mothers voice, laughter at a windmill farm near the sea, his fingers dunking ice in his drink, that dance…
That’s when time takes off. Capeless.
Everything stands still.
A veneer of forever coats every cell all around.
Freeze dry and hold on tight.
Open your eyes and you’ve fast forwarded to a few years later.
It’s spectacular how it plays out.
And sometimes it is fun to take a step back and watch it happen, and then dive right back into the vortex.
Soma March 31, 2013
Of course we fought.
It’s what my father and I do before agreeing on anything.
This time it was about which restaurant to have my mothers surprise birthday brunch at.
One younger brother taking time out to buy some vile nutri-bars, then coming back to watch us argue while saying “Take a bite man, this shit is amazing”.
We all wanted something different.
Dhruv didn’t say anything.
My father and I said a lot.
Mostly to each other.
There was some glaring also.
Anyway, once we’d decided on a place, we found ourselves amicably chatting with each other while leaning against a car and thanking God that Soma had been delayed in coming back home.
Because we feel she works for the Mossad.
Had she been home, there would have been no booking of restaurants.
There would have been no fights.
There would have been no surprise.
She’s a spy. She knows stuff.
Like the time Dhruv and I sneaked the car out and thought she didn’t know.
Like the time my father tried to surprise her with jewelry/a holiday/assorted gifts/coming back early from a flight.
She knows this stuff because “I use my brain. If you used yours, you’d know too.”
Unfortunately for us, she is that smart.
She also has eyes which she keeps open because she sees things the three of us can’t.
“I can’t find my sneakers.”
“Honey have you seen my wallet?”
“I left my pen on my desk, I think someone’s stolen it.”
She finds all of this in about under two minutes. “If you opened your eyes, maybe you’d find it too.”
I sometimes feel that she hides this stuff herself so she can find it and be the ruler of our souls forever.
Thing is, she is.
The three of us revolve around her like faithful planets. She binds us together with so much love that sometimes I feel I might burst.
She loves giving bear hugs.
She’s the first to make peace because she hates a fight.
She smiles. She smiles like no one else. And she’s sensitive and strong in the best extremes. She once started crying when she found out I’d fallen and got 3 stitches. She also told me to “Stop it, don’t whine, you can do this” when I was admitted in the hospital with something serious.
A perfect balance of MotherMelodrama and Superwoman.
She loves her toolkit as much as her stilettos. Saves bubble wrap for squishing later. Dresses like a million bucks all the time but has tshirts that are 15 years old, with holes, and enough color to give you epilepsy, loves Campari, can waltz like a dream and her favorite superhero is Superman.
She also used to have a look which could to freeze our blood, but she lost that a while ago.
Anyway, we winged the surprise. My father channeled his inner thespian, faked a phone call, he and I faked a fight (to make things seem normal), many winks and thumbs ups later …
I don’t think we’ve ever felt this this proud of ourselves at outwitting the mothership.
31st March has always meant the world to us because of our favorite fiery Aries.
We love you Soma
You’re our love, our life.
Bomb diggity February 14, 2013
Another ode to Bombay!?
I must be on drugs.
I woke up this morning to an article by Gordon Marino on Tenderness. He talks about how all the great philosophers have spoken volumes about love, lust and even erotica, but have always left tenderness aside, with its arms waving, at the back of the class, waiting to be noticed. And how it is so important for love. Of any kind. It’s the subtlety of tenderness, the fact that it props love up, that makes for it to seem not that important.
It was a beautifully written article which immediately snapped me into a terribly good headspace.
I started to think of all the people that I’ve managed to surround myself with. That it is a good life, if I get to share it with these fine people.
I’m sure it could happen anywhere. I’m sure there’s somebody sitting in another corner of the planet, thinking the same thing.
But it happened to me in Bombay.
And I could fly far away someday, be in another time, but look back at this city, and feel a kind of love that might remain unmatched.
Don’t get me wrong, most days I want to hold Bombay’s neck and choke it, while shaking it from side to side with rage till it learns how to behave (I’m going to make a GREAT mother).
But on the days when I don’t want to napalm this city, it’s beauty dazzles me enough to want to wear palmtree shades. At night. While hanging out at 24 hour Wellness Center Disco in Bandra. While eating no sugar (but lots of carcinogens!) ice cream. And comparing feet. To figure whose were the prettiest. I lost. And have the guard say “aage badho”, after an hour of our cackle had killed his mojo.
That’s what I’m going to remember.
And I’m going to Socrates my way out of this by leaving tenderness still sitting at the back of the class, making paper planes.
And for the record, peacocks have ugly feet too, but wow look at the rest of them.
Crank that Soulja boy January 25, 2013
I got really sick last week.
Sicker than I’ve ever been. Enough to get me into a hospital and get meds through an I.V.
Which was sort of cool.
My parents had to fly down and come fetch me. And I didn’t fight them.
I usually fight them over things like this.
“I can handle it.”
“Guys I’m not 4.”
“Yes, I’ve eaten.”
“I’ll manage. Don’t worry.”
“Yes, I’ve eaten.”
“Yes, I slept enough.”
“No, I’m not sick.”
“It’s just a cold.”
“Yes, I’ve eaten.”
This time I just wanted them around. I came back to Bombay and went straight to theirs, to my old room, instead of my apartment. And I was home. Safe.
It’s been a perfect week. I’ve watched a ton of movies, eaten enough sugar to make myself sick again, slept at odd hours during the day, stayed in my pajamas for two days, not bathed for as many, haven’t looked at my phone much, kicked Dhruv a lot, pulled out my ‘I’m so sick, please lets change the channel’ card, pulled my ‘I’m so weak, get me a bottle of water/chocolates/keep my plate in the kitchen/let me sit on that chair/change the channel/cough poor me/’ card. And more than anything I realized that I hadn’t spent an entire week at home in 3 years, stayed in my old room with the disco ball, with a stereo system with enough flashing lights to give me epilepsy, or hung out with my folks every evening, giving them gossip, which they don’t really care about but will listen to intently nonetheless.
I knew I was better today because I decided to clear out some junk from the drawers and my desk. Three massive bags full of papers, cases, expired warranties, scratched cd’s, beads, so many beads, dried up nailpaint etcetra. Then I found this old box that had this twist ceramic soldier & castle thing. You know the ones which you twist and put down and they turn round & round and play music (There’s got to be a shorter way of explaining this. Miniature carousal toy?). Anyway, this toy was going to go with all the other junk, but since it didn’t fit in one bag, I set it down to look for another bag. As soon as I did that it went ‘ting!’. I stopped looking for a bag and just stared at the box. It was atleast 28 years old. There’s no way it could have worked after all these years. I picked it up and put it down with a little more force again. ‘ting ting!’
It was alive.
After all these years.
I was on my knees, just staring at the box now.
I opened it; inside, the toy was wrapped in a striped red and white shrug, which belonged to my mother. I unwrapped it and there it was! The little soldier boy and his little castle. Not a scratch. Nothing missing. I twisted it, wound it up and put it down. And there it was, the tune from a million years ago. My entire childhood came rushing back. It was fascinating to feel that.
I kept winding it and playing it throughout the cleaning process. When I was done, it was wrapped in its red and white shrug and put back in the drawer. I’ll give it another 28 years.
9 days ago when I was miserable in hospital greens, wondering when my fever would hit anything below 104, I had no idea that the following week would wipe out all my made up worries and give me 7 days of absolute peace with no unnecessary noise. All I needed was to be around three of my favorite people and be willing to go back to basics.
Face down sleeping with drool helps too.
Tricksters Automatic January 1, 2013
It was a rock honeycomb.
A honeycomb rock.
Depending on which side you looked at it.
Tiny little creatures hiding in the crevices.
Pointy caps, snub noses, blood stained teeth. Pretty girls in tutus. Boys in knickerbockers.
Red corneas and skeletal wings. Thieves and fiends.
Do gooders and haters. Shining brilliant, flamboyant haters.
They stood there, still, not a single twitch. Not one breath. Mid motion cryogen.
If you looked closer, if you looked harder, if you took all your attention, compacted it, squeezed it tight and took it to your eyes, your laser beam eyes, and
aimed at one face, one miniature body. In one elfin corner of the rock
Because in all that concentration everything happened. The part where time stood still, while moving incredibly fast. In the time it took a hummingbird to flap its wings.
Happening in a flurry of actions. They would do all they needed to in the blink of an eye and go back to the same position they were caught at.
You would have to slow your heartbeat down. Breathe deep, then breathe deeper, then hold…
till your lungs no longer heard your heart scream.
Till you were as still and as quick as them.
Till you could catch them at their tricks.
That’s when you’d know
That’s when they’d know.
And in that split second knowing they would change their game.
And start a new one.
And you’d have to wait…
To catch ‘em.