Monday, March 10, 2008

The Sea, Poetry and Bhel Puri!


Imagine this: the sea reflecting myriad rays of the setting sun, a terrace so beautifully adorned with flowers, bougainvilleas, the rays of the setting sun caressing your skin, the gentle wind on your face, lights coming on in the buildings (peopled by the privileged who can look at the sea from their houses). What could be more hedonistic than to share such a moment with writers, poets, and the gentle folks of Caferati yesterday at the tastefully done home of a member in Nepean Sea Road area, the very area that Rushdie immortalised in "Midnight's Children." (Yes, he used to live in this tony area, and we, the underprevileged from the suburbs such as Chembur, were called "invisible people" in his above novel.)

I read my poem The Platform (the latest version) which was, hmm, appreciated. Raamesh wanted me to read it flat without intonations, while some others liked my intonations, special effects you see. The Merchants are fine and gracious hosts and we had a wonderful time. Met Sunil Kadawala, whose family owns my favorite bhel puri joint Vittal Bhel. He tells me that his great-grandfather began it on the street, and there aren't any mention of bhel puri anywhere except with reference to the said gentleman's stall, which makes them the inventor of Bombay's most distinctive cuisine, something Bombayites are proud of. Was dropped by Sunil at Dockyard Station in the night, and from there took the local train to New Bombay.

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