Monday, July 26, 2004

Newport Cigarettes:Duty free newport cigarettes shop at

Saturday July 24, 2004

Met my school friends at Ganga's place. Ganga is my friend since 1967 when I first came to Bombay at age 8. He is a big shot advertising copywriter and now creative director of Oxygen Communications. There were five of us including Sarasa, Geeta, Sanjeevan, Ganga and myself. Rest of our friends didn't turn up, maybe, because of the rain!

We sat and chatted in Ganga's spacious drawing room (he has a row house with 3 floors and a wide open terrace, lucky to find such a place in busy Chembur). His dog (or bitch) Julie was eagerly pottering around eating crumbs that we offered. Earlier we had gone to Lambah Tandoori Chicken and ordered tandoori chicken, pomfret fries and sheekh kabab to be eaten with our choice of poison — Rum and coke.

I am a slow drinker but Ganga and Sanjivan are tankers. Sanjivan is a senior manager in Times of India and we used to sit on the same desk in school. He is a very cool, unruffled and collected guy, which means he is a good manager. As the evening wore on (as they say!) Ganga was full of anecdotes... I cracked some jokes... Sarasa had come with her son Krishna... who is doing college....

Ganga's wife Anita was slightly unwell because their only son Akash was away in Pune for the first time, all by himself. I said not to worry, it is the "empty nest syndrome" that is destined for all of us.

Then Ganga came up with Karunanidhi's quotable quote that goes "Sindri mundhikerathu; mundhiri sindhikerathu..." which is him complaining that when Sindri town is getting cement and fertiliser plants and progressing, in the south, that is Tamil Nadu, mundhiri (grapes) are rotting for want of care.... How concise, rhyming and lucid are his words in Tamil... I couldn't but help wonder.... After all Karunanidhi was not a script writer for nothing....

Had a lovely time... I had only two pegs... my ususal limit... we talked about advertising... journalism... how Ganga wanted to be a journalist, but wasn't selected and how he got a break in Trikaya and rose and rose and rose.... He is considered one of the 10 or 20 best creative directors in India... I am proud to know him closely as a friend.

Geeta and Saras split early and we split around 12 in the night and it was lovely catching up with friends of my childhood...

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