Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Finally - the World Book Fair 2015!

Sometimes it's hard to believe I've been writing for the last five years. Yes, that's how old my blog becomes on the 28th of this month. And to think I've been reading for more than 4 times as many years - it's surreal. The very sight, touch and smell of a book in my hand is like opium in the hands of an addict. I cannot imagine my life without books. I'd literally be lost. And yet, the most embarrassing and unimaginable fact about this whole lifetime of reading and writing is that I haven't been to the World Book Fair even once. You read that right. Not once. I once visited the Delhi Book Fair, though, but that doesn't count, because it lacked the charm of an international book fair. The world book fair kept eluding me every year - most of the times I'd have exams, at other times I'd have to be somewhere else. But all that is in the past now. 

Because I finally got to pay my obeisance at the World Book Fair 2015 yesterday - the last day of the event, no less. There were books and only books everywhere I could see. A lot of book lovers and fellow fanatics like me too, which made it totally my kind of social gathering. And it was pure, unadulterated fun.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mumbai Magic - The one with all the Bling

Our favourite hangout throughout the holiday was the plush Colaba Market. Near one end of it was our hotel, while the other end was close to the fabled Taj Mahal Palace. Colaba market is known as much for its generous sprinkling of cafes and landmark restaurants, as it is for being a popular tourist hub. No wonder it was lined on both sides with shops and stalls selling typical touristy stuff - comfortable pajamas and baggy tops, purses and totes, boho-chick jewellery, bangles, trinkets and earrings. From little Eiffel towers, owlets and feathers to Greek-style anklets, printed tees and shorts, there were endless displays of charming stuff all around. But at really exorbitant prices too!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mumbai Magic - The one with the Acrobat

While roaming around Colaba market on foot one morning, I came across two street performers putting on an acrobatic show. I wasn't surprised considering I'd seen several of those back in Delhi. The show usually unfolds thus. One of the performers beats a drum, calling out to people to come and watch the spectacle, while another (usually a small child) climbs up the pole and walks on a tight rope, often holding props. A collecting bowl is set out on the ground and onlookers are expected to drop in some money if they like what they see. The little girl whose performance I witnessed that morning was balancing little lamps stacked over her head and carrying a long pole in her hands, even as she balanced her weight perfectly on a rope suspended mid-air. The sight of a small child successfully pulling off such difficult antics was fascinating. And at the same time, distressing.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mumbai Magic - The one with the Monkeys

On one of our days in Mumbai, we decided to take a one-hour ferry ride to the famed Elephanta Caves. I was quite eager to visit the caves, having read so much about them in my art and history classes and their being a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well. Interestingly, friends and family in Delhi had discouraged me from wasting an entire day at the caves since they were just "broken stone statues and ruins, nothing of much interest". I guess appreciation of art isn't as commonly found in people as one would think it ought to be.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mumbai Magic - Here we go again!

A very happy new year, everyone!

I know I've been away for far too long to make an easy comeback. In the last one year, I have lived an entire lifetime staying in a hostel, giving countless number of exams, watching a lot of good movies, doing copious amounts of freelance writing and traveling extensively. And unlike last year, I refused to pull myself back this time round and made it a point to do whatever made me happy without pressuring myself too much. It was a tough yet largely satisfying year. But if there's one thing I haven't been able to do so far - that one regret - it is of not having written anything meaningful on my blog this whole time. And that has saddened me more with every passing day for an entire year.