I know I promised you a ‘the-more-things-change-the-more-they-remain-the-same-in-Bollywood’ piece, but am going to switch the mood a little. It’s a Sunday morning and I’m getting kind of nostalgic about what its meant for me over the years. So here goes.
I’ll start from my childhood:
Springing out of bed at 6.30 for a cricket match at Azad Maidan not having slept a wink, having dreamt all night of how I am going to bowl at Kunal, the tenth standard opening batsman. Knotted, excited, fatigued, run down to catch the 122 bus to Flora Fountain.
shopping for the house with my dad.
We’d start with the mutton, fish (clearly remember fish being chopped, cleaned, without the slightest bit of squeamishness), move onto the vegetables (snap the ends of a bhindi to test its freshness), then the groceries —
, next the household bits —Surf, Rin, Lux, Cinthol, Pond’s Dreamflower talc, and finally the fun stuff — biscuits, cakes, cream puffs. Remember holding onto my father’s index finger through the bazaar. It felt as secure as a tree trunk. Playing tennis on the deserted Bombay Gymkhana courts with Nasir, my childhood buddy.
Years went by. Now Sunday mornings meant:
Waking up with the bedsheet stuck to all the places my badly grazed skin had peeled off in the rugby game the previous night. The leaking plasma would glue the bedsheet to my skin in an enthusiastic attempt at coagulation. I’d cut around the bedsheet. On three occasions, waking up in hospital with a broken nose from the previous evening’s match. Waking up hungover from the revelry after our latest play’s shows at Prithvi.
Reading the sports section of the papers to smells of Bengali food being cooked — Sunday was my dad's cooking day. Making pre-planned ‘casual’ calls to the girl-to-be-wooed-that-week to watch a movie. Having been rejected, making hastily-planned calls to the next-in-line-to-be-wooed.
The last few years Sunday mornings have veered wildly from one extreme to another:
Morning show at Inox followed by Chinese/Pizza with my sister and niece. Taking a day off in the middle of relief/rehabilitation work in the Andamans and working my way through the south Indian brunch at the Bay Island hotel. (It held its standards for two and a half years.) Brunch at Pete’s diner in Gramercy Park with (the same) Nasir, my childhood buddy. And yes, still waking up hurting and hungover after a bruising night of rugby and beer.
Now finally, Sunday mornings have almost one exclusive memory:
Shooting all day on the roads of Mumbai because that’s the only day you get permission.