Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Singapore returned!!!

Made it there... and back... through the worst tubulence ever, seated in an antiquated Air India aircraft from another zamana. It shuddered and shook all the way to Singapore. That's five, non-stop hours of serious shuddering. Khair, once there, I stopped thinking about the Air France crash and nearly kissed the lovely lady who was there to assisit me through Custom's. Singapore looked glorious, but I had less than an hour to shower, change and make it to the 'Song of India' for an official lunch where the Maharashtrian star chef Milan Suvan frequently cooks up a version of the humble " kothmir vadi" and locals pounce on it like it is the most exotic starter on earth.
Well.... this is also where I got to meet the other invited writers - and loved each one of them, starting with Anita Jain ( " Marrying Anita..."), Loveleen Tandon ( script writer and co-director of 'Slumdog...")...et al. Our hosts were determined to work us to the bone and make us read for our supper later the same night. Strictly no rest. No leisure time. No issues. They were picking up the tab. So...
Anita's reading set the venue on fire ( The POD, on top of the National Library). It was sexually charged, intimate and hilarious. I took an instant shine to this spunky 36 -year-old author, a Harvard graduate and former financial journo. She is my new best friend. I don't know if I am hers, though!
That night we all ate the most delicious crab in white pepper, drank lots of Chilean Chardonnay and generally behaved atrociously. The three of us, then headed out to Clarke Quay and bonded over another glass of the good stuff. By the time we got back to our hotel, it was 4 a.m. And we had a ridiculously punishing day ahead of us. But hey - it was an occasion. I'd met two bright and beautiful women and we'd had the best time.... okay??? God! I'm sounding like a guilty school girl justifying a late night to her parents!!! Stop it, De!!!
You don't want every gory, minute-by-minute detail , right?? Let me just tell you, the panel discussion the next night at the stuffy old Tanglin Club was raised to another level by these very ladies. The Chardonnay must have been really good!! Must go back for more someday .
I went back to the 'No Signboard Restaurant' ( official name. Swear) in the red light district of Geyhlang and this time I stuck to an old favourite - the Singapore chilly crab. It was only after I'd finished the meal that I was shown the plump bull frogs waiting to be cooked. Don't throw up. There are worse 'delicacies' and you really don't want to know what those are in these parts.
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I was so very happy to read the response to Jayabrato's poem in my last post. I emailed him about it, and he was so uncharacteristically formal and modest! The good news is that there are more poems where that one came from, and he'll soon be publishing them in volume. If he decides to send me another one, I shall promptly share it with you. Meanwhile, my husband has discovered Ovid, and I am bombarded all day with his Bongified version of the Greek poet. I sense a closet poet Dilip. Pity, I am so bloody prosaic!!
Enough already. Tomorrow.... no, let me not spoil it for you. Wait.... and ye shall see...

16 comments:

ZiLliOnBiG said...

that sounds like a lovely trip. I am glad that you are back. And this was quite entertaining. Cheers:))

obssesor said...

the zing factor was missing from this blog...hope it was present in your trip.

Amish said...

Great! Sounds like you had a nice time. I do enjoy your blog... you should start a Huffington Post for India (I'm serious). Lemme know your thoughts on that..

NAT said...

Shobha,

Welcome back.

Hats off to you for calling a spade a spade, and saying it, like it is.
It is Socialites like you who could address such misconduct on the part of the filthy rich.
It's not that grapes are sour, but we know where most of these characters acquire their wealth to become No. 1 to 10. and how much of it is at the cost of the exchequer.
However it reflects, when they cannot even get along with their own siblings.

I am refering to the article in the TOI, wherein you along with three other women give their comments "SOCIETY SPEAK" on the Sheetal Mafatlal misadventure.
You were the only one who said and I quote "I REALLY DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING MUCH TO SAY REGARDING THE ISSUE...IF SHEETAL MAFATLAL INDEED DID WHAT SHE HAS BEEN ACUSED OF, THEN I WOULD SAY THAT SHE HAS ASKED FOR IT" Unquote.
Not worth mentioning what the others said, as they are birds of a feather....

Cheers.

Norman

thethoughtfultrain said...

The Shobaa De?? That's awesome... :-)Added you in my list already!

Theyoginme said...

Chilly Crab is my favorite. How can you not like the food in singapore. Welcome back!

kala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kala said...

Air France. I hoped that they had not crashed but were taken away to some remote island or some Bermuda Triangle thing happened. Planes are like unlucky lottery tickets. If our number comes, the plane will crash. We think that it will not happen to us but when it happens it is the others who will begin to think so. I wonder how I may react. First it will be fear, then confusion and then resignation and a wish for an early end all within a matter of seconds. And then we will be news, search for black boxes, postmortems etc. As for the closet poet, most of us are poets and have our own little poems. Bong without his or her poetry is rather unthinkable. I rather prefer straightforward poetry a la Tagore style. It speaks of an honest mind and thought.

krish said...

HY THR

Great to have you back truely missed you........wann hear your take on the mafatlal episode.....waiting....

anamika said...

So lady had good fun..I like your bindaas and care free attitude along with a humble child who feel guilty for smallest wrong thing done..Keep posting.

Love
Anamika

*Aham* said...

:) wow! majja you had solid in Singapore.

I wonder why...

men need a bottle to bond, and
women need just their tongues and eyes and ears to do the magic.

rt said...

was comtemplating the about buying the book by Anita Nair..thanks..now I can go and buy it...

rt said...

and I hope it wasnt loveleen's idea to spoil Q&A to the level slumdog was made to reach

sharad agarwal said...

Dear Shobhaji,
I would like to register very strong protest regarding calling Air India Aircraft on Mumbai-Singapore sector as ANTIQUATED AIRCRAFT FROM ANOTHER ZAMANA. Air India operates shining new Airbus 319 aircraft not more than one year old on Mumbai-Singapore sector. I do respect you as a writer who is followed by millions, KINDLY DONOT FORM AN ADVERSE PUBLIC OPINION THRU' SUCH UNWARRANTED COMMENTS REGARDING THE NATIONAL CARRIER.

Sharad Agarwal

harcharan bains said...

SONG OF THE FLAME
( Written about someone on her return from abroad when I was about twenty or so,
and that was about half a century ago!


She said my arms burn,
My heart aches, my bosom burns, my palms burn/
My head is in a swim, and legs burn, my thighs burn/
My belly is a furnace, and my lungs burn, my eyes burn./
My ears and my nape and my cheeks burn/
The desert in my soul and my oozing peaks burn./

Burn, burn, burn, burn,/
She said I burn./
Flames from her mouth leapt forth and curled,/
Round my legs and my groins and my waste,/
And in through my lips, tasted as the oceans taste./
And into my bottomless stomach were hurled,/
There for long to dance a dance/
As saints do or madmen in a trance./

The fire in her embrace drowned us in velvet dark,/
Fire extinguished fire, and all was over./
And we descended into a deathless sleep,/
That smoothed her curves and cooled her cheeks,/
And kissed the desert in her stomach and her oozing peaks./
And as we returned,
The cold corpse of the roaring flame,
Lies between us, indifferent to glory or shame.
I said “farewell” as we readied to go,
She mocked the corpse, turning to the door,
Her non-concern was a pendant in her neck.
As I gave her cheek a half-repenting peck.
In an all enveloping dark.
But the sun shot through the chinks of the door,
Flooded the room but washed us ashore.
"Oh, there was too much light, too much light./
I hid my face in her darkening hair,/
For light is what I cannot bear,/
And darkness what I cannot fight."/

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