Tuesday, February 9, 2010

HANOI RETURNED!!

guys, i am warning you .... please don't crucify me if the typing, punctuation and other niceties go for a complete toss in this post. i am at BANGKOK AIRPORT, IN A BIZ LOUNGE WHERE THE COMPUTERS SEEM TO HAVE MINDS OF THEIR OWN. THE CAPS LOCK STAYS ON FOREVER, OR WEIRD STUFF STARTS TO HAPPEN IN AN ARBIT WAY. BUT THE TEMPTATION TO CONNECT IN THIS SPACE WAS SO OVERPOWERING, I TOOK IT FOR GRANTED YOU'D UNDERSTAND AND OVERLOOK. YOU DO AND WILL - RIGHT???
how unimportant news from and about india really is was driven home strongly on this trip. tv channels barely carry a 20 seconds clip every third day, and that too if the story has something to do with economic developments in this region or involves a bomb blast in KASHMIR. SINCE ENGLISH IS BARELY SPOKEN IN VIETNAM, THE FLIMSY local TABLOID ONE SEES IS DEVOTED TO EARTH SHAKING NEWS ABOUT THE NUMBER OF NEW 'TET' FLOWER MARKETS SET UP in the city TO ACCOMMODATE THE DEMAND FOR PEACH TREES OVER THE NEW YEAR (14th feb). it is impossible to make oneself understood even via sign lingo, since their signs seem to be very different from the rest of the world's. khair, i am not complaining - just feeling out of the loop and slightly confused. i did watch a fleeting news item which showed srk arriving at the mumbai airport and referring to the INDIAN constitution, with kaajol and karan walking away grimly and briskly to avoid newswallas. srk did ADD something about every word of his getting 'misconstrued'. HELLO! since when??? srk is a genius with his bon mots and immensely articulate AT ALL TIMES. he hasn't had any problems earlier while delivering off the cuff dialogues and dishing out quotes galore. ab kya ho gaya QUOTE- MACHINE KO ? IRONY! while i am attempting to key this in, there is a group of talkative PAKISTANI GUYS CLOSE BY - THE 'GOOD NEIGHBOURS' SRK WAS TALKING ABOUT. I AM SORELY TEMPTED TO ASK THEM WHAT THEY THINK IS THE REAL ISSUE HERE? is it the ipl imbroglio involving pakistani players or something else? but things in BANGKOK ARE TENSE ENOUGH. WHY ADD TO THE HEAT?
would i recommend VIETNAM AS A TRAVEL DESTINATION? without hesitation! there is nothing particularly pretty about HANOI ( and i certainly did not want to go into those scarey war time tunnels), but the people are warm, friendly, welcoming and the food's terrific. I THREW AWAY THE ANTI BIOTICS I HAD BEEN PRESCRIBED FOR A SINUS ATTACK AND CONCENTRATED ON PHO BO - THE TRADITIONAL BEEF BROTH WITH NOODLES. I SWEAR IT FIXED MY COLD AND CONGESTION. I slurped it up AT B'FAST TOO, AND IT KEPT ME GOING LIKE NOTHING ELSE COULD HAVE.
AAAH - I HAVE KEPT THE BEST FOR LAST - HALONG BAY! it is like being a part of 'Avatar' - MYSTERIOUS, MISTY,mystic ISLANDS - HUNDREDS OF THEM, entice you to explore the emerald green waters of the bay . WE TOOK A LANGUID CRUISE ON THE REPLICA OF AN OLD STEAMSHIP - 'EMERAUDE'. THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE was ETHEREAL AND DREAMLIKE. AT NIGHT, THE CAPTAIN SCREENED 'INDO-CHINE', THE 1993 MOVIE starring CATHERINE DENEUVE WHICH I BELIEVE HAD WON THE OSCAR IN THE BEST FOREIGN FILM CATEGORY. IT WAS SHOT IN AND AROUND HALONG BAY. AN EERIE LINE IN THE FILM GOES, " Those who get into the labyrinth of these islands are never seen alive again." WELL..... HERE I AM. LIVING PROOF! which only goes to underline something we OFTEN forget - a movie is just a movie. watch and forget!! that's what i said to the owner of one of the most comprehensive dvd stores i have ever been to. this was in the old quarter of hanoi, and we spent nearly two hours talking movies with thien. from rohmer to goddard to kurosawa, he had them all!! and we nearly bought them all!!

a few hours from now, i'll be back in aamchi mumbai. work awaits - aaaaargh. lots of it - double aaaaargh. but memories of my last supper in hanoi will linger. it was at BOBBY CHINN'S SUPER TRENDY RESTAURANT . BOBBY IS HALF VIETNAMESE AND HALF EGYPTIAN - A LEGENDARY CHEF OFTEN CALLED THE ENFANT TERRIBLE OF WORLD CUISINE. HE LOOKS AMAZING AND COOKS AMAZING.AUR KYA MANGTA???

21 comments:

Gajendra said...

THE 'GOOD NEIGHBOURS' SRK WAS TALKING ABOUT

haha.

anywayz.....totally enjoying huh? good for you..

goodluck said...

quote machine should become quiet machine or quit machine for sometime atleast. Atleast the tiger sewed the big and loud mouth for the time being raring to go and on.

ourman said...

"there is nothing particularly pretty about HANOI"

Are you kidding? It's gorgeous.

Latha said...

Halong Bay ! I've always wondered why our fillumwalas have not touched it. Wonderful place, isn't it ?
BTW, you & your bloggers seem cut off from the rest of the world (Ah, yes, world !).
90% of the netizens vie for the 'King Khan' & wants Shiv Sena to be banned. Foreign countries have criticised the outrageous remarks of Bal Thackeray (By the way, 'Tigers' are likely to become extinct in India)saying that it is very undemocratic, inciting violence & they are clearly a threat to the society. They cannot run a parallel govt in India taking into advantage the poor (read non-existing) law & order situation.
Now the Shiv Sena is divided in SRK's case after the vehement & incessant criticism of the print & electronic media. The senior leaders want to go soft on him. Even the BJP has condemned the Sena for its vandalism & the Sena is left isolated with no friend except Shobhaa De & blogdosts.
SRK was only responding to Home Minister Chidambaram's remarks that Pakisthani players should not be isolated because it is the Let (Hafiz sayeed) that we should target & not the sportsmen who have nothing to do with terrorism.
[My thought: They may chew the cricket ball for lunch(the hilarious Shahid Afridi episode). But that is a different matter.]
Already Dimple (Rahul) baba had cut their nose by travelling in a Mumbai local with the 'aam Jantha', chatting with them about their lives after the 'Tigers' issued a threat to him. (Uddhav T said in Times Now that even Nehru had to travel in a covered car after antoganising the Sena & the Sena is ready to go to the streets.)Rahul G ne sabko muh thod jawab de diya..balki muh kaala kar diya. Ab tera kya hoga...Uddhiya...& Baliya ?

Jeetu said...

hi,
I was expecting yr comments, on Rajiv Gandhi's Visit to mumbai...

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

SRK knows he acts well maybe.

Alex Engwete said...

A travelogue indeed... And don't you ever worry about syntax on this space, you're a published author after all! Those who complain about those "niceties" could sue you if they like. And I didn't find fault with your text anyway...

What strikes me as odd in your account is to be prescribed antibiotics for sinus congestion, which also afflicts me periodically! Simply put, that's medical malpractice! Especially in this era of mutating microorganisms developing all kinds of resistance to antibiotics...

Is Halong Bay on the famous Mekong River???

Would you grace us with one or two photos of your journey upon returning to Mumbai???

Lovely said...

Isn't it funny that the supposedly "computer with its own mind" turns Caps key on at all the interesting places!Huh? Caps on only for typing Quotes Machine in that sentence..not an alphabet before or after in that particular sentence!!! Well I must say that seems like that computer had a mind which fits SO well with your opinions!! Nice try!

Nirbhay said...

@latha,
"Foreign countries have criticised the outrageous remarks of Bal Thackeray "
WHAT A PILE of ####.
I live outsIDE iNDIA and nobody cares about this matter.

Sameer said...

Welcome back Shobhaa...looking forward for your expert comments on sena vs. SRK drama. Also, if possible do post some pics. from ur trip.

Theyoginme said...

Sounds like you had a swell time in Vietnam, and I would agree, PHO is amazing. Its my most favorite food item. We have many in Portland. Wrto SRK he is getting some attention via Tracy Ullman, comedienne on her showtime show called State of the Union. One of her characters is an Indian pharmacist in the midwest who does these Bollywood satires. Last one was one was all about SRK. check her out on http://www.sho.com/site/tracey/home.do

thumper9997 said...

Man! oops..lady! GOD i feel so jealous of u!! damn i wanna travel like hell..world over. One helluva lucky dame you are..lolz..well that was on a lighter side. Really great following your blog. keep it ticking, and ya..been reading SUPERSTAR INDIA..will surely give a honest feedback once i am thru with it..This one is the first one of urs that im reading. like your style of writing.

anupamaa said...

It is so sad that people all over the world bend backwards when they see hear or smell anything "American". How can they forget atrocities carried out by America in the Vietnam war just to try to save face and cover up their shameful defeat? Have they forgotten the naplam attack by those self appointed saviours of the world. Shame. Forgive, but never ever forget.

*Aham* said...

aiyyo! so much nautanki happening here De.. you missing so much of paisa vasool entertainment...

the quiet reticent endangered tiger is now roaring for survival... they said they will not disrupt the film... and ishhhhh... uiii maaaa... galti se mishhtake ho gaya.. they did just that...

tiger is bajaaoing khatre ki ghanti...

but audience ko GHANTAA koi faraq nahi padtha...
we might anyways get sadly bombed in a crowded train... we might as well get beaten and die in our mother land - killed by a true son of the maratha soil... while watching a movie...

Wallah... dream death... entertainment filled.

Karan Khan could make a sequeal then.. "my name is maratha..."

mast naa... ?

i am not angry at peoples views.. no one is sacrosanct and pious here... dimple's party is no sati savitri. just that... i am against violence... and slutty-fying politics with violence.

goodluck said...

Yawn. Rome is burning and our poet actor is reciting. SRK is saying so many things except a simple apology. If he says it, he will look like a darpok. If he does not, the fires will continue burning. He is media savvy and the media loves his quotes. And one day he was carried away. We all love our khans and Bachchans, but they should not think that their world is different from the common man's of India. The common man of India does not trust Pakistan anymore and if bollywoodians persist in loving Pakistan and Pakistanis indiscriminately, then they are bound to face criticism. To sell their films, they will sell their country is the feeling among the common people. Shatrughan Sinha praised the late Zia ul huk. Advani praised Jinnah and suffered. The Khans, Bachchans, Bhatts are always overtly nice to those across the border due to selfish reasons of getting money from gullible pakistanis who throng to watch Indian movies. It is all business, not holy intentions. And Sena is roaring due to other reasons as well. An injured tiger is most dangerous. The congress government must act with care and tact. Arts and sports cannot be separated from the country's foreign policy. You just cannot shake hands with one finger.

Pooja said...

Ma de,
If possible read , The Times of India ( 10 feb 2010 Bangalore times) The rhetoric of change - Extraordinary issue by Pritish Nandy he has written well on the issue - SRK , Shiva sena and Rahul.
Good to know that you are back.

shrikant kumawat said...

well i liked the writing experiment. really a nice one.

BK Chowla, said...

It is a war between cong and shiv sena.It has nothing to do with mnik.
But,withh 40000 cops protecting me ,I can take a walk in Kabul and come back safe.

Sidhusaaheb said...

It seems to me that local news from South East Asian countries gets pretty much the same treatment in India.

In fact, non-political, non-Bollywood and non-cricket news from India seems to get little importance from the electronic media in India. If I may take the liberty to do so, I would like to suggest that you simultaneously monitor news from and about India on Indian English news-channels and BBC World News.

How many of the Indian channels have covered the Vedanta Alumina fiasco OR the UN reports about the need for investment in the provision of basic hygiene facilities in the country to prevent the outbreak of epidemics OR the plight of those being displaced as a part of efforts to 'manage' Jharkhand's underground coal-fires OR the extinction of some languages, which were thousands of years old, from the Andamans (simply because not many of us cared)?

john said...

Shobha de I have a suggestion to make...Instead of travelling abroad all round the year and flaunting about your journey and experiences, curb your travel and donate that money to the poor in india instead ...This worthless publicity and showbaazi is not going to be beneficial in anyway

poulami said...

Send your good taste to celebration by delivering our mouthwatering cakes to Delhi and exotic flowers to Delhi and leave a cherished memory with them. Add zing to the special occasions of your acquaintances in Delhi by sending our fantastic flowers and tasty cakes.

Please visit:
www.delhiflowersgifts.com