Monday, August 31, 2009

Marine Drive

When I left Hyderabad for Bombay, it marked the end of the first leg of my journey – the so-called Biryani Leg. The plan was simple: go to Lucknow, eat Biryani for three days, catch a train to Hyderabad, eat Biryani for three days, compare. This elegant and hedonistic plan was suggested by Priyanka, so I thought of naming it after her, but Priyanka’s Leg sounded vaguely suggestive; Priyanka’s Lap even more so.
Having Biryani for breakfast lunch and dinner for one straight week can have a deleterious effect on the system, so I thought I would only eat simple vegetarian food in Bombay. Fortunately, I know the perfect place to sit and ponder the deeper questions of life. The day I reached Bombay, I went to Marine Drive and seriously contemplated going veg for a week. Then I remembered the chicken patties of Kyani & Co – light as air, subtly flavoured, flaky to the touch. And I thought, ah well...
***

The other day, I was waiting for my friends to get out of office and gather at Marine Drive – an old custom, only back then we used to meet after internships; now they congregate after work. Said friends work at law firms and suchlike, so I was prepared for a long wait. I watched the sun go down behind Malabar Hill, the graceful curve of the bay, the twinkling golden-orange lights that fringe its dark waters – I would like to communicate to you the magic of Marine Drive, but I could use a hundred different adjectives and metaphors without thereby describing it, for in truth the magic of Marine Drive is ineffable.
This is my favourite place in the world. On some nights, when the tide is high and the waves are breaking against the tetrapods, if the wind is blowing in a certain way, you can feel the surf against your face. I was sitting there reading my book and feeling strangely peaceful and happy, when Lahiri turned up armed with a few small packets. “Let’s eat these before the others get here,” he said. He had bought doughnuts from the four best bakeries in the Fort area “for the purposes of comparison.” Just when you think things can’t get any better, whaddya know, they sometimes do.
***

Conversation on Marine Drive:
Lahiri: But what did you two do on Marine Drive for four hours?
Me: Well Shailja had the benefit of my edifying conversation... [Shaijla assumes long-suffering expression, I pretend not to notice] ...my edifying conversation, my effervescent wit, my irresistible charm and...
Lahiri: ...and incredible modesty.

12 comments:

arzkiya said...

While you're still there, could you please throttle Larry for me. Blasted poltroon has taken to spamming me on FB.

Indecision Personified said...

But ofcourse, "Priyanka's Plan" would not suggest itself to you.. now.. would it?

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

Ouf. What a life you have.

Abhiroop said...

I couldnt have guessed from the Arz Kiya, or the wordpress, but Blasted Poltroon gave it away.

Hottie! I miss you!

Priyanka said...

I second Indecision Personified. But then, I am now vicariously holidaying (or something), so I shall be all benign and accommodative and grin.

*grin*

Karthy said...

I am glad some things don't change :D

Pratiti said...

Lolz, Lahiri and, Quaker?

Anonymous said...

I am soooo jealous right now that I could murder you!!

PS: For future reference, where did you have the best biriyani? ;)

RC

Safdar. said...

hello.i am new to your blog.

but the marine drive Is the marine drive.

:-)

Sroyon said...

@Shrabasti: Do you say that out of envy at the second part of my post, or pity at the third?

@Pratiti: Spot on! :D

@RC: That will be the subject of a future post. You will have to bear the suspense till then. :)

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

Heh. Envy, all envy. I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself to be pitying anyone else. *cackle*

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