The Best of Chatty Divas on Lassi with Lavina
Kirti Mukherjee and Sulekha Rawat are the two bloggers behind Chatty Divas. They tell stories of ordinary people, of family love and angst and of lives lived in India and America. Here are some of the highlights of the blogs posted in 2014…
Flying the Friendly Indian Skies
In India, traveling by air is no longer a monopoly of the elite, but has instead become an affordable and convenient way to travel for all. When we were younger only the rich and famous could afford air travel. The average, middle-class Indian citizen had only one option: the train, and that too either the sleeper class or the third AC. During an emergency one could shell out a little extra for a ticket in second AC, period. Thanks to the low cost airlines in India, now everybody makes a beeline for the airport, and many have forgotten the way to the railway station – including me.
More at Flying the Friendly Indian Skies
Bombay: A Train to Nowhere
This is a true story that happened more than 30 years ago.
It was a rainy day in Mumbai, the kind that lured students out of their classes and incited them to bunk college and I was no exception. I was born and brought up in this wonderful city and I love Bombay rains. My city’s new name, Mumbai, is yet to stick in my mind, and at times when I am excited or emotional I still refer to it as Bombay. I didn’t need to think twice before stepping out of my college in Vile Parle, and hailing an auto rickshaw to go to Bandra. My two friends in crime were equally game.
Since this was my first digression from upright behavior, I had to be penalized. The movie was good but what we saw when we came out of the theater wasn’t. There were people milling about, the buses were overcrowded, the cabs were frantically being hailed, it was chaos all around. We found out that the local trains had stopped running due to a massive power outage, and people were trying to get home any which way they could. I waved goodbye to my two friends who managed to get into a bus plying towards South Mumbai, in the opposite direction to my place as I lived in the suburban Malad.
Diwali on Two Continents…
There is the sound of one match strike in some remote corner, a murmur of an ardent prayer, a curve of lips and suddenly, like a revolution, my entire country is blanketed by little trembling flames.
It is the Festival of Lights – Deepavali or Diwali. It is magical, the only time I wish I had a photographic brain to flip over these images for the rest of the year. For nothing on this mortal earth can capture what we see on this night. Honestly for me, the minute Diwali starts, I dread that it will end, that we will be left in the darkness again, that life will return to the meager electric street lights.
Diwali is one holiday I sorely missed when I lived in the US. I remember visiting the Indian stores in the neighborhood to buy my earthen ‘diyas’ (lamps), calling my cleaning service to come and give our home a professionally cleaned look, buying sweetmeats from wherever it was possible. But I also remember being alone while performing these rituals. I would sheepishly light the diyas on my deck, the window ledges, and the house entrance, guilty that it was against the rules for being a fire hazard!
Sulekha Rawat and Kriti Mukherjee bring east and west insights into Chatty Divas, their blog on ‘Lassi with Lavina’
Check out Kriti and Sulekha’s site!