Monthly Archives: February 2013

Return to Bombay!

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky


A short trip (what was truly a “flying visit”) back to Bombay/Mumbai a couple of weeks ago and it was like I had never left…

As soon as the plane lands, the familiar smell of Bombay rushes past all barriers towards you.

For whatever reason, there is a heavy layer of smoky haze across the city. And it stays that way for my entire stay (a whole two days!).


The noise, the crowds, the traffic, the dirt, the chaos…I had lived without all of this for six whole weeks!

These days no one stays unconnected for long, no matter where in the world they live. But it was certainly wonderful to re-connect with my friends there, in person.  

But what did I really feel about going back?

Two thoughts were uppermost in my mind –

First, I am so very glad to be back in the US, to be home and living where I have spent most of my life. It took no time at all to get acclimated once I returned. In fact, I have a new appreciation for all that the country offers.

Second, I wouldn’t change my (almost) two years of living in Mumbai for anything! It was an incredible experience in “Incredible India” – yes, the good, bad and ugly, all together. The yin and the yang.  

Some of you may not agree but I sincerely consider myself a lucky one – just thrilled to have had that adventure! It was eye-opening on so many fronts and will forever be an experience that is impossible to replicate. 

Now, I am equally thrilled to start my new/old adventure – one where my connection to India is still strong, even if I’m not actually living there.

It’s actually kind of eerie the way things just fell into place…

“Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy, thank you for loving me and receiving my love in return. Thank you for the memories I will cherish forever. But most of all, thank you for showing me that there will come a time when I can eventually let you go. ”

― Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle



Photo credit:

Smoky Mumbai – By Satish Krishnamurthy [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

One word. Lincoln.

Holy cow! My wish was granted. I’m on my return journey and pen is to paper again. Given my travel schedule these days, in-flight may be the only time I will be able to blog anymore (has “blog” become a verb now?) .

This may be old news to you by now but as I am saving movies for my long haul flights (or vice versa), I am a bit late to the game with “new releases”.

After having recently read one of many biographies of Abraham Lincoln, I was looking forward to Spielberg’s production.

I figured there was not much that could go wrong.  What with Spielberg + Daniel Day Lewis + an awesome supporting cast including Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. [And when exactly did James Spader get so plump?].

Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln

Yep, it was as fabulous as expected.  And more. On two occasions, I found myself getting very emotional. Wanting to bawl but merely (surreptitiously) wiping copious tears.

The first was when the 13th amendment actually passed in the house. The second when Lincoln was assassinated. We all know the history. But still.

And frankly, although the genius of Spielberg/Day Lewis was what made me cry, I was in fact getting more affected by the real  history – the real man and legendary President.  

It was about that Abraham Lincoln and what he managed to accomplish for the country and its future generations (forever). Wow. And today, we are able to elect a black man to be President*. Pinch me.

So, if you haven’t got down to it yet. Go. Watch.

Get humbled once again by the greatness of Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln

* Here’s something funny. Or sad. Those “Democrats” of that time period, the ones especially from the South who fought so hard against the emancipation of slaves – want to bet I can find hundreds – no, thousands of them even today? Only today, they may be called by a different name. Ironical and sad, but true.



Well, after I watched this greatness, I switched gears completely.

And then I knew I was really watching a movie, not history. 🙂

When you spend 20+ hours on an airplane, twice in three days you’re allowed to pass time this way. Now this one – it could have been Hollywood or Bollywood, same difference. The hunk in question was (a very hot) Richard Gere (at sixty!!!) in a movie called Arbitrage, a masala movie if ever there was one, albeit one of the smarter ones.

This, you are allowed to skip. Of course, it depends on what you’re after. 😉



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