Saturday, February 27, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The German Bakery in Koregaon Park - the place where a country bumpkin who had lived a life so sheltered that when asked to cuss in her language she looked blankly and said 'I don't know how to swear' in proper English - got one of her first classes in growing up....
I learnt there, while trying out their sinful pastries, how to distinguish the sweet smell of weed mixed with tobacco from normal nicotine cigarettes...The first time I realised I was among weed smoking foreigners and students, I wondered if that was crime enough to have me arrested...Little guilt pangs of a straitjacketed life, I tell you! But then the crazy student life that Pune offers gives you a masters degree in life too along with the subject you landed up in the city to pursue... The Osho Ashram that is like a stone's throw away remained a mystery behind gates that were almost always tightly shut....But the maroon robed inmates who frequented the bakery seemed a lot of fun...more approachable..Not that I was curious enough to walk up and strike a conversation...
It took me about a year in journalism to be desperately curious enough to start attempting that.. I wonder how Koregaon park will be without the German Bakery to be pointed out to as a landmark...I wonder where I can now sit watching the Osho chappal vendors sell those little light chappals that I see young girls still stuck in the psychedelic 60s era still spot in chilly Brighton winter..My friends have been posting on facebook how it was just a couple of months back that they too sat on a balmy morning in the Bakery digging in to burgers and fries and their ohh-so-awesome apple crumbles....
Some wonderful photographs of the time spent there are I think gathering dust in albums in my cupboard at home in Kochi...Its no great shake...I remember one of my friends, who had heard so much about the German Bakery before landing up there, exclaiming 'were you talking about this hole in the wall???' That's what it is...a Little Hole...Talking of which the Blast, I heard as I compulsively listened to live streaming of news from India, blew a 6x4 feet crater in German Bakery...The little kitschy 'hole in the wall' is scarred forever...marked by terror..
But this time around when I sat watching the Home Minister's press conference, for once i wasn't bothering about whether the graphics were firing right or the spellings were correct on the jackets running over Chidambaram's visuals.. I was watching it like any other viewer...feeling the sense of violation of a lovely memory left sullied by terror....that's irreparable, isn't it??
Valentine’s Day in
'I SPY MY HUSBAND'
'I SPY MY HUSBAND'
In Italy, there was a belief in the sixteenth century that if you rise before sunrise on Valentine's Day and perch by the window, the man you first spot walking by before you, could be the one who would end up becoming your husband within the year.
'HOW ABOUT A STUFFED HUMMING BIRD?'
In days long before online dating came into vogue, young men in nineteenth century
LOVE’S VICTORIAN SECRET
‘NO LUCKY DRAW FOR VALENTINES PLEASE’
The French thought they had hit upon an ingenious idea to pair off unmarried people. On Valentines Day, young men and women could go into houses facing each other and call out for the Valentine they fancied. If young women were spurned, they were given the freedom to light a bonfire and burn the images of the man and vent her ire at him. But it didn’t take long for the French government to realise that it wasn’t wise to encourage such bad blood and allow for public displays of such nastiness, as a result f which a government decree was passed banning such ‘calling out of Valentines’.