to rick it out

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As if we didn’t hear enough of Bambaiya-angrezi (English in Mumbai flavor), the other day I heard this new phrase: “Rick it out.” Stumped? Let me explain. ‘Rick’ is a common urban condensed form of the word ‘Auto Rickshaw’, which by the way is the preferred and most popular mode of transport (‘taxi’) in India. In Mumbai, the super fast…

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Muharram and Kurla

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Woke up today at 5 AM and geared up by 7 AM for another ordeal – commuting from home to office – Dombivli to Kurla by suburban local train. I had to go to the railway station early, since my quarterly ticket expired yesterday and I had to renew it. The ticket window for First class travelers does not have…

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Shrill !

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Mumbai is a cement jungle. Never is this fact more evident to you than the time of the festive season – Diwali. Diwali is the Hindu festival of Lights and is celebrated to mark the victory of light over darkness. Fireworks are essential part of this celebration. Uncopyrighted photos taken from internet, not clicked by me. Sound Energy ↔ Light…

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Demise of the book street

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Once upon a time, the pavements on the road from Flora Fountain to Churchgate station were lined up with a number of booksellers, treasuring thousands of books. The courts ordered their eviction some four months back, a thing I plainly dismissed as ‘unpractical’ and ‘unjust’. They couldn’t be doing this to Mumbai, and it would be a matter of days…

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Commuting every morning (Part 2)

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Sequel to previous post: 7:21 AM: As we see the arriving train from a distance, people start moving around, adjusting to their positions. Bags and purses are fastened, and dupattas are tucked in. I always take the third first class compartment (video coach) and pretty accustomed to all the regulars there. As the first two I class dabbas pass you…

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Commuting every morning (Part 1)

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Typical scene, daily- 6:55 AM: ‘Oh God, I’m late again’, I say, barely managing a shabby shave, washing the brush and engaging the razor back in place. I rush to the kitchen and greet mom ‘Good Morning’. My sister is peacefully busy doing her favorite activity- looking at the mirror. I try to find something to say and annoy her,…

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Video Coach

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Video Coach: (n); Gents First class compartment attached to the Ladies First class compartment and separated by low partition in the suburban local trains of Mumbai. The number of these coaches maybe two or three, depending on size of the local. Typical Characteristics: – It is the hottest place in the train – You stay in touch with the latest…

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