Mumbai is sucking the life out of me. Right now, it is neither my ideal place nor my dream destination. There might be nothing constant for me in this city — money, house or work! But the only constant thing about Mumbai is its people, who make my time spent here interesting, if not worthwhile. (Especially when it comes to writing about them!)
Two weeks ago, one early morning, I was on my way to a shoot and halted an auto — it turned out to be my lucky day. The young bhaiya driving the black bucket after a night shift, instead of being sleepy, was in a precariously, how shall I put it… Hero Hiralal mood. He tied a scarf around his neck, was swaying his neck as if he was doing a 90’s Anil Kapoor song and, for some reason, he was waving to every third person on the road as if he knew them. When I joined in his revelry, he had a story to tell.
Apparently, earlier that morning, he had an encounter with the great S Khan, who had rammed his car into a tree (again, I think) and was sitting beside it, drinking in the open, alone. He was in a remorseful mood and was talking about his ill-fated love life to the few auto-drivers that surrounded him, mine being one of them. Then he offered them a drink and they all had a good time downing the whiskey.
After that the driver couldn’t stop praising S Khan. Kya aadmi hai woh sir, kya uska style hai, maja aa gaya (What a man he is! He has great style.). Obviously some of the star’s style had brushed on to our snazzy rickshaw driver, which he embraced with open enthusiasm and was now flaunting it! I would have prodded more, but we reached my destination.
The same day, I also met someone, whom I never thought I would, because I didn’t know who he was in the first place. Let me explain. Duck Tales, dubbed in Hind, which aired on Zee on Sunday mornings, was famous while I was growing up. So much so that later on when they actually started the English version too, I never liked it because I was too used to watching it in Hindi. I always wondered who voiced these characters, especially Uncle Scrooge, as his voice was the very distinct.
That same day, I overheard an old uncle that his voice had been selected from 1,000 others in India by the global headquarters to voice Uncle Scrooge in Hindi. I couldn’t believe it. I continued eavesdropping, his voice still sounded the same and I suddenly realised what I couldn’t all these years. His voice had a slight Marathi touch to it. Later, I went up to him and told him like an excited child, “Sir I used to watch your show as a child and it was my favourite.” That made my day!
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