Sunday, September 13, 2009

Greetings from Jo'Burg !

First the awful news - I had written a l-o-n-g post that is somewhere in cyber space! As all you super smart guys out there must know, the internet in South Africa is slower than a carrier pigeon!! I swear ! So, here i am, sitting in the sunny drawing room of a lovely villa, keying this in on a borrowed laptop. Fingers crossed, this time. My one big dream to meet my biggest hero, Nelson Mandela,will remain a dream. He lives one street away, but is frail and not allowed visitors by his minders. I dried my tears when I heard that and bought myself a Mandela locket and cushion cover - small consolations.
'Words on Water', the Lit Fest, kicked off on a high note. I was delighted to meet contemporary writers from this vast and intriguing country. Our dynamic Consul General Navdeep Singh, has been the driving force behind 'Shared Histories', now in its third year. Do locals love Indians? Not really. And I'm not surprised. It was the IPL that drew people's attention apna desh and that's where it remains. Sachin Tendulkar is God. And therefore the Mumbai Indians are the hot favourites. The diasporawallas are far, far removed from what is going on back in India. Their version of life in Bharat comes straight from Bollywood. I didn't want to disillusion them!
Aaaah - the khaana peena scene is outstanding. Very refined, international and imaginative.Of course, all wine lovers are aware of the exceptional wines of South Africa, it is the food that is a big surprise. But it is meant strictly for meat eaters. No ghaas phoos in sight. Imagine restaurants called 'Carnivore' and the 'Butcher's Shop'. Before, I run off ( I have a flight to catch to Durban), let me just say, South Africa ( my second visit) grows on you... and grows on you. Right now, I have a date with the lions. More in my next post. Possibly from Durban. If not, then from Capetown, for sure!!

31 comments:

kala said...

I read your sunday Asian Age article and it is superb. And your take on shivaji statue is worth and why not a pantheon of Maharashtra's heroes and heroines including Puthlibai? Before Mayawati becomes the prime minister and have a cabinet minister for statues of Mayawati and co.

The Panorama said...

Oh I hate when that happens and you lose all that you have written!
Sad to know that Nelson Mandela is so frail he can't have visitors...the world will wake up with eulogies when he is gone, I suppose.

Maddy said...

Enjoy!!!!!!!


Would you remove that word verification please!!

cmpershad said...

"the internet in South Africa is slower than a carrier pigeon!! I swear "

There is an old saying in hindi- nahi mamoo se nakta mamoo sahi. so, instead of nothing, slow internet is ok :)

bye- see your from Durban or capetown...

obssesor said...

U going to Kruger?

shafinaaz said...

Hi Ms De

Welcome to SA. Sadly, I missed the Johannesburg Fest as I am out of town; would have been great to meet you in person. Alas, I hope to catch the reviews in the next few hours.

Durban is stunning. Take in sights and hope you have a blast. You'll be sure to satiate your tastebuds with foods more to your liking, perhaps. Tell them to suss out Jaipur Palace, Little Gujerat (if you're adventurous!) and anything else your hosts can recommend.

Kind regards
Shafinaaz

mahatru said...

I agree Maddy

This word verification really sucks......

Enjoy your stay and do keep posting

Regards
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numerounity said...

Oh and I guess there is level 2 khatron ke khiladi getting shot at cape town...Wild card entry?

Will love to see you on show rather than some of those zinghy-binghys...any plans as such?

http://ektakhetan.blogspot.com

Jogeshwar said...

Do they really believe in the version of life in India that Bollywood portrays. I'm confused why didn't you want to disillusion them?

*Aham* said...

wow! nelson ki saamne waali khidki... thats such a wonderful place to be in. Im sure, you will shrink in disappointment if you dint get to meet him. Im praying. praying for you...

glad to hear trhat words on water kicked off well. :) I love the title of the fest "words on Water" so simple yet so thoughtful.

ohh Maasahaaari giri is fine. But Butchers shop and carnivore sounds scary.

Tendlya is playing quite good i hear, I wonder what excites people so much in cricket. people make orgasmic sounds when tendlya plays.

The Ball-in -hood is more famous than Bollywood.

Sidhusaaheb said...

Writing offline and then posting the text online can be an option.

:)

Ketaki... said...

Sigh! Some people have all the fun.. :P

maglomaniac said...

Oh dear,it is such a pain to see your hard written words visibly lost in oblivion.
Sad you couldn't meet the Gandhi still alive.
And hey butcher's shop seems wonderful to me.
M out with my canines(and incisors tooo:) ...

~Harsha

Madhu said...

Ms. De, I had been looking at your blog for some time now and every post of yours is great.

I have a request; I feel very strongly about woman's issues (and I believe you do too). I am wondering if you could write your opinions about Orgasm between men and women. A friend of mine says "Men Don't owe an orgasm to women" and of course to contradict that I wrote the reason why "men owe" an orgasm. I do understand that "owe" is too strong a word...but I am very interested in knowing your views about this.

An (A)mateur Beginner... said...

Yeah i agree with one of your commenters. Writing offline and then later on posting it online would have been a much better idea. Anyway, hope to see your post (completed one, though) in the near future.

And I must say some 'words on water' sounds so thoughful.

dayanand said...

Respected Ma'am,



I am Daya from okiedoks.com

We wanted to check if we can get an interview with you for our website. Even an email interview would be great.

Our website is www.okiedoks.com (riseinlife.com)

Daya Kudari

kala said...

I dont believe that USA does not know as to where its military and other aid is going. The name given is fight terrorism but the actual aim is to terrorise India. It is not a surprise to anyone. Now there will be hot denials and some more aid will flow to Pakistan.
And swiss government says there is no black money. Then why there is so much secrecy?

Madhu said...

Kala, what are you talking about?

sanjuayyar said...

Oh yes, Carnivore is a fantastic place. There's a tiny flag on your table and they keep serving you myriad varieties of meat until you give up. And to signal that you're done, you need to put the flag down which means 'I surrender'. Already salivating.

Balvinder Singh said...

Shobhaa thanks for taking us blokes along with you on your foriegn sojourns. How goose bumpy you would be feeling, staying next door to Nelson Mandela.

naina said...

Ms De, have you seen this?

http://www.highheelconfidential.com/zing-tv-plagiarising-high-heel-confidential/

Pretty shocking how mainstream media has plagiarized so relentlessly from a blog that you once declared "rocks".

Would love to hear your take on this.

N

kala said...

Congress suddenly discovered the virtues of cattle class. Tharoor felt he was not such a holy cow. Atleast a beginning is made. How about travel by bullock car(t)?
Australians or Melbournites are at it again bashing Indians. That seems to be their latest sport. Can we call them bashers?
A Gujarat lawyer decided drinking and smoking women have no fundamental rights. His name is prajapati. Can we call him prajapathetic.

abdul hai said...

well

tash said...

Greetings from South Africa.
My name is Natasha and I am a second generation South African Indian. My grandparents immigrated here from a little village in Gujarat. Like many other Indian immigrants, they assisted in the freedom struggle in this country.. And fought for those who were oppressed.

It is sad that the South African Indian people are so out of touch with India. I've noticed that the longer they've been in SA (i.e. the greater number of South African generations) the more out of touch they are - AND the more they view bollywood as India and Indian culture!! I must however point out, that each Indian area (in the apartheid era, racial groups were all give separate areas to live in) a mandir and a mosque exists. Extramural Tamils, Gujarati and Madressa classes are held.

I personally have Typical Indian grandparents :) I've travelled to India numerous times and stayed in our village. And yes, the first time i went, it was a cultural shock!

Even though I’ve been born and raised in South Africa. India will always hold a special place in my heart. My ancestors are from there, and my Guru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar resides there. I am grateful to have this background, and rich cultural heritage.

PS: I've never entered the butcher shop, or Carnivore resturant... all that meat makes me squirm.
Try out resturants like 'Wang Thai' or 'Moyo' or even 'Giovannis'... hmmm

Manav Desh said...

Always enjoyed your newspaper articles, above all I admire your 'don't-give-a-damn' attitude.... never knew you had a blog. I am glad I stumble upon it today.

And enjoy SA!

ms said...

mz de, such a relief to read your post, while we are upto our gills with chinese/pakistani/mayawati/naxalite/maoist threats. enjoy. what do you think about this tharwittergate? please tell.

Prasun Kulshrestha said...

SAVVY....

MAMi liked reading you in this month SAVVY MAGZINE...and yes, u looking pretty thr...ahem ahem

Latha said...

that was very nice of you tash. Nice to hear an SA born Indian talk her mind.
Why don't you write a book on your cultural shock like how many others do. Would be great reading.....
Love,

rupal said...

hello,
i am really suprised that african dont love indians,but,they do love cricket SPECIALLY SACHIN....I think we should change our country's name by INDIAN rather than INDIANS...India is only famous for cricket only????
Anyways,
enjoy,
have a good time.

maha said...

Enjoy the trip....

Work from home India

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