Miscommunication.

Cheerful Monk’s post on the same topic reminded me of a hilarious incident from the late seventies.

My readers must recall those days of telephone switch boards with telephone operators cum receptionists with hundreds of calls to attend every day. In the office where I worked in Bombay as it was then called, the operator, a veteran of many telephone battles and personal friend to many of our customers who used to visit the office from various towns of Western India could speak very good English but only the street Hindustani of Bombay.

One day there was a great commotion as everyone in the office could hear her shouting repeatedly that there was nobody called Ghatkopar Saheb in the office and asking the caller to correctly mention the name of the person.

Ghatkopar is a suburb of Bombay and quite infamous even in those days. Finally, the top honcho of the office got involved in the matter and found out that the caller was a gentleman with some speech defect and was in fact asking for Rajgopaul Saheb!

For quite some time after that, I had to bear with being called Mr. Ghatkopar by that worthy who apart from being my boss was also a personal friend.

The Climate In My Hometown.

l live in Pune, a city located to the East of Mumbai the more famous city, in the state of Maharashtra, which is located on the Western part of India. It is situated 560 metres (1,837 feet) above median sea level on the Deccan Plateau.

The climate here was balmy enough for the British to locate their largest Command Headquarters of the then British empire here.  It continues to be Free India’s too.

Pune has a hot semi-arid climate (BSh) bordering with tropical wet and dry (Aw) with average temperatures ranging between 20 to 28 °C (68 to 82 °F).

Pune experiences three seasons: summer, monsoon, and winter.

Typical summer months are from March to May, with maximum temperatures ranging from 30 to 38 °C (86 to 100 °F). The warmest month in Pune is April; although summer doesn’t end until May, the city often receives heavy thundershowers in May (and humidity remains high). Even during the hottest months, the nights are usually cool due to Pune’s high altitude. The highest temperature ever recorded was 42.3 °C (108.1 °F) on 30 April 1897.

The monsoon lasts from June to October, with moderate rainfall and temperatures ranging from 22 to 28 °C (72 to 82 °F). Most of the 722 mm (28.43 in) of annual rainfall in the city falls between June and September, and July is the wettest month of the year. Hailstorms are also common in this region.

Winter begins in November; November in particular is referred to as the Rosy Cold (literal translation) (Marathi: गुलाबी थंडी). The daytime temperature hovers around 28 °C (82 °F) while night temperature is below 10 °C (50 °F) for most of December and January, often dropping to 5 to 6 °C (41 to 43 °F). The lowest temperature ever recorded was 1.7 °C (35 °F) on 17 January 1935.

I was born in what was then Bombay and  have many relatives and friends there. After marriage too, I was posted there on three separate occasions when living was much easier and less stressful than how it is now.

My late wife was from Hyderabad and we always drove to Hyderabad from Mumbai on holidays and had to pass through Pune and always admired the city and its laid back style besides its climate.  We wanted to retire to Pune as a compromise between Bombay and Hyderabad and that is exactly what we did eventually.

I have now lived in Pune for 25 years and would not like to live anywhere else and the single most important reason for it, is its climate.

This topic was also suggested by me, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently nine of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, Padmum, Pravin,  Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

Mumbai Fables.

Having finished reading the book Mumbai Fables which briefly appeared on my earlier post Doppelganger I want to share some information about the cover of the book that I found at the end of the book. I quote the author and reproduce an image of the original poster that inspired the self portrait.

Bombay-Bucaneer_250

“Consider the contemporary artist Atul Dodiya’s Bombay Buccaneer. The self portrait assembles multiple fragments that share no organic connection but depend on artifice and imagination. A poster of the Hindi film Baazigar (1993) is its formal inspiration.In the original, the images of two female protagonists are mirrored in the sunglasses worn by the film’s psychopathic antihero.

BAAZIGAR-POSTER-1000S

Bombay Buccaneer replaces them with the reflections of the painters David Hockney and Bhupen Khakhar. In place of the menacing antihero, there is an ordinary office worker, collar unbuttoned and tie askew, but armed with a gun, the fixtures of everyday urban life frame the portrait – the open doorway of a suburban train, a metalled roadway, and the ubiquitous yellow and black taxi, broken down. Dodiya intermeshes art and cinema, Indian and Western, pop culture and high art, to brilliantly capture Mumbai’s kaleidoscopic urban experience.

This books is an amazing piece of writing which can be truly appreciated only by some one who has lived in Mumbai and before that Bombay. I have lived there during both phases and have first hand experience of many insights that Gyan Prakash brings into the city’s history and present. It is a book that I will read again and most probably once again.

Anil, thank you for this wonderful gift.

Doppelgänger.

Since I was born in Bombay both of us have spent many years there and have fond memories of that place, my friend Anil thought that it would be a nice gift for me when he came across a book called Mumbai Fables. I am reading it and it is everything that Anil expected me to find in.
mumbai fables

The cover is a painting called Bombay Buccaneer by Atul Dodia that is the collection of the Peabody Essex Museum.
Bombay-Bucaneer_250

Now take a good look at this photograph.
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Do you think that I have got the older version of the model for Dodia’s painting? I most certainly do. Unless he is a doppelgänger.

I should know. The older version is my cousin Srinivasan. When he was younger and when he too was based in Bombay, he most certainly looked like the buccaneer, though he was a banker. I however cannot imagine my cousin ever holding a pistol in his hand, nor wear his wrist watch on his right hand. But the resemblance is uncanny. I wish I had access to a photograph taken during his younger days!

I wonder if he had a side business of modeling. What say cousin?