The Boogoo-Boogoo man

Uncle can you take me home?

I must have been 6, I think. We lived in Colaba, in the South of Mumbai. About 30 years ago, give or take.

Often I’d hear or see the Boogoo-Boogoo man.

He would have long dirty hair down to his waist and a thick beard. He’d be wearing a long colourful skirt and bells/ghungroos around his feet. And he’d be carrying a whip. A HUGE, menacing looking whip, even longer than his body.

It wasn’t the fact that his face would be covered in some sort of war-paint or that he’d have a manic expression as he walked around. It was the sound of the drum the woman played. A quiet woman, wearing an old saree, in stark contrast to the rather flamboyant and dangerous looking man.

And as they walked together she would play a drum. One hand would strike the drum repeatedly as the other rubbed a stick on the other end, creating a sound like a boogoo-boogoo-boogoo-boogoo.

It wasn’t a beat, just a strange hypnotic sound played in rhythm creating a sort of trance-like atmosphere. The flamboyant, menacing man would dance to this rhythm in a strange repetitive manner, causing the bells on his feet to add to the strange percussion. He’d be twirling in his war-paint and flaring skirt, stomping his feet to make those bell-noises as she’d play the boogoo drum…


And then it would happen. He’d do a full twist with his tanned sinewy body, raise his arm and..


He’d whip himself so hard that it would make your eyes water. I’m talking about a whip about 2 metres long. You’d hear the sound of the whip 2 blocks away. And he’d continue his strange rhythmic dancing trance, moving his feet around as the lady looked at him impassively.


No it wasn’t a show, they weren’t static. They’d keep walking and in between whipping himself and the frenzied dancing often accompanied by whooping and weird sounds, he would stretch out his hand begging for money. I didn’t realize what he was doing then, I was only six, see? Each time I saw him I’d stare, wide-eyed and terrified, I didn’t understand, I just wanted it to stop.

I used to think it was always the same guy. I was too young then. They looked the same to me, wild-eyed and long-haired. The drum had a peculiar sound and it was always one man and a woman. As I grew I realized there were many of these men that did the same thing. Strange ways to make a living I guess.

I cannot remember completely what it was that frightened me. Often I’d even have nightmares of the wild man whipping me as I stood close by. And that sound would send a chill through my little heart. Luckily I always had my mum or dad around to make me feel safe.

It doesn’t hurt him, the whip just makes this sound said my Dad. I didn’t believe him, I had eyes, didn’t I?

And there I was one day, all of 6. Went down to the shop to buy something and was walking home and at the entrance to my lane I heard it and saw it together.

Boogoo-boogoo-boogoo-boogoo… CRACK!

I remember being frozen stiff. I couldn’t bear to walk past them and go home. I couldn’t think straight. I could simply not walk past them and go home. After waiting a short while I mustered up all my courage and went up to a complete stranger.

Uncle can you take me home?

You’re lost?

No, I know where I live. I’m afraid of… him.


The Boogoo-Boogoo man. I pointed.

He smiled, held my hand and walked me home. As I walked I peeped out of the corner of my eye at the wild man whipping himself. He was asking for money. And the woman had a veil over her head and a drum over her shoulders and she was effortlessly building the rhythm. I thanked the man and ran straight into my mum’s arms.


India is a strange land, full of strange customs. Much as I like to understand them all, I’ve never understood this tribe of people that walk the streets whipping themselves to this strange sound. It was a common occurrence then in Mumbai and as I grew older, I realized that the frequency of this event reduced.

Sometimes I’d hear the sound and feel the chill in my heart. And I’d see the plain looking veiled woman in a saree playing her boogoo rhythm. But she’d be walking with a bull with painted horns.  No man whipping himself there. Just a woman and a bull. Asking for money. What were you supposed to pay her for… uhm?

And then I never saw them again. For some reason, this strange custom/ method of begging/ whatever in God’s name it was, stopped. In fact I put the whole thing out of my mind completely.

Until this morning.

Jenny come here, come to the window now!

I live on the 9th floor of an apartment building with a birds eye view of things in general. There I was, on Christmas Day, drinking my coffee when I heard it. Could it be?


Really? I run to the window and peep out. I see her, plain old saree, veil over her head, drum hanging loosely like an extension of her body, one arm striking the drum and the other making the boogoo.

I continue to stare, fascinated and…

…And then I see him. In a blood red skirt down to the floor. Bare-chested. Thick hair oiled back and tied into a large bun over his head. Scraggly beard. Dark yellow facepaint. He yells something incomprehensible, sounding like a banshee. His body is orange-brown from the sun. He stomps his feet in some sort of a dance.

He flexes and turned.


His whip is over 2 metres long and he dances to the rhythm.


Jenny come here NOW!

As my wife runs to the window I explain what the boogoo man does.

Really? But WHY?

I hesitate. Usually I play my part as an Indian cultural guide well, however I have no clue why they do that. Warding off evil spirits? Some tribal custom? I realize that I have never asked myself or anyone else that question. I think of the simplest answer.

For money.

For money? she asks incredulously.

As I open my mouth to reply, I pause. I see two children. The little girl is plainly dressed and walks close to the lady with the boogoo drum. She’s walking and playing with what appears to be an old doll of sorts. It’s a family outing.

The little boy, however is wearing facepaint and a long green skirt down to his knees. No shirt. Tanned little body. He carries a whip that is longer than his body and he drags it along the floor as he walks behind his father.

The boy looks like he is learning. He stands close, looking intently at his father who screams hysterically in a frenzy — whipping himself hard, over and over again before he unexpectedly moves very quickly towards two unsuspecting ladies with outstretched hands.

They shriek and walk quickly away from him, cringing.

The little boy takes all of that in, twirling his whip around as he watches the scene in its entirety. He looks like he’s ready to learn the ropes. So to speak.

In fact, the boy looks like he is all of 6 years old.


The End.


Before I wrote this little memoir, I tried to research into this culture and understand where it comes from. I was unsuccessful. If a reader is able to offer me some insight or light into this strange culture, I would appreciate you leaving me a comment.

Thank you for reading this story.

The Yeti®

Posted in Memories | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

YetiBlog® – A story on two wheels revisited: Near Death

Saturday, 1996.

Whacko is back from the US, on a holiday. It’s just the 2 of us. We’re at Bandstand, smoking cigars and drinking.

Hey Sam, let’s go to Poona.
Drinking Sound. Why?
For old times sake man.
What old time haha. That was last year.
I KNOW. Let’s go man.
What do you want to do?
Just ride to Pune and ride back!
OK, just the 2 of us then.
Whose bike do you want to go on?
Let’s take both the bikes!
OK. Chalo.

It’s 7.30 am. I meet whacko downstairs. His KB still has that super hard seat and uncomfortable handle. His engine had seized soon after that trip last year. Since then he has had his engine redone and broken it in. New tyres since then. He is raring to go. My RX is still stock, more or less.
We leave, deciding to fill up on the way there.

7.45 am: We reach the petrol station just outside Chembur. We have been going really, really quick. Am I getting older, or is this just too quick for me?

8.00 am: CHACK CHACK CHACK CHACK, something is horribly wrong with the chain of the RX.
I still have the original chain cover on it and I cannot see what the problem is. I know nothing about these things and I decide to take it to a mechanic.
We find a little motorcycle garage but it’s shut. It opens at 9.
Some coffee and cigarettes later, the guys open shop.

We’re in a hurry, we explain. We want to go to Poona. Can you please fix this sound?
He shrugs and pulls off the lower portion of the chain guard off. Chucks it to the side and says.
Jao, ab nahi aayega avaaz. (It won’t happen again)

9.15 am: We’re off. The sound has really gone and I am quite comfortable. It feels like the old days yes, only there is no truck strike so there is a fair amount of traffic.
Whacko’s snaking in and out. He’s on a mission. I realise while riding that he wants to reach pune quicker than 2.5 hours.
I cringe slightly and continue behind him, following his snaking pattern through the traffic.

9.45 am: We’ve crossed vashi. Still going full on. While I have a wary feeling in my heart about riding this quick, long distance, I am enjoying the adrenalin rush. We’re not being dangerous, we’re simply not slowing down for anything, cutting and rushing through the cars.
It seems quick, but I realise that we can’t really go much faster than 100kmph.

: We’re between New Bombay and Lonavala. The traffic has thinned and now there are hardly any cars on the road. We are somewhere. Unnamed unknown. The road is curving beautifully, to the left and right. Whacko is up ahead and I’m on his trail. We’re not racing.


I whirl around at the sound, but am unable to locate it. I felt something whack on my leg and I am sure something has broken off my bike, but I cannot figure out what.
I accelerate.

Nothing happens. The bike revs but does not lurch forward.

I change to a higher gear. The bike does not slow down. I’m confused.

I use the brakes and stop to the side. Whacko’s gone. I guess he will realise shortly.
I get off and look at the bike.

The chain is gone. It’s not on the bike, it must have snapped off. I can also see that the chain cover (the upper portion that was left) is twisted.

Not good.

I wait for whacko.

10.30 am: I see a worried whacks riding back on the other side of the road. He spots me and waves. I wave back. He finds the next U turn and joins me.

We analyze what has happened.

The chain had got entangled in the chain cover and snapped into two. It’s a good thing that it did not fly into the spokes of the wheel in motion.
We get onto his bike and ride backwards to get the chain. It is broken.

We need to decide which direction to go towards. We have no idea if there is a settlement up ahead or behind.
We flag down a car, but the driver has no idea.

11.00 am: We’re pushing the bike and talking to each other. Whacks is riding his KB slowly. We tried putting one foot and pushing and all that. We just couldn’t do it. So I’m pushing for 15 mins and then he will push for 15 mins.

11.30 am
: The sun is our worst enemy. It’s getting hot to a point of desperation. I am very very thirsty and soaked with sweat.

12.30 pm: We’ve reached a small village. We push to the only motorcycle spares shop. He has a Diamond brand chain for the Yamaha. While a little grease monkey puts it on (and removes the chain guard completely), we hunt for water. There is no bottled water in this settlement.
We are offered some water at the store and we accept it gladly.

1 pm: We’re back on the highway. This has not been a good beginning.


We’re back on the highway.

We decide not to tell anyone about the chain snap.

Whacko is back to being the super fast express. I am keeping up with him.

1.15pm: We’re making brilliant time and it is really smooth. We’ve crossed a couple of trucks and some buses on our way. I am in a strange way, entranced by the rear wheels of the KB.

I am keeping my wheels exactly on the imaginary line made by the rear wheel of the KB. Every turn, every curve, every swerve.
I’m not looking at the road, or the vehicles on it.

I am hypnotised and transfixed to the rear wheel of the KB. I go where he goes, When he goes, overtake when he does, turn in when he does.

There’s a truck ahead of whacko. Horn OK please. I am still not looking at the road or the left turn up ahead.
He swerves out to overtake the truck, I quickly follow.

He swerves back in almost immediately. I am startled and look up.

A ST bus is hurtling round the turn and I am on the wrong side of the road.
I panic, turning in and hitting the brakes at the same time.

The RX fishtails.

I am now turned fully sideways, but the momentum is still carrying me in the same direction. I’m going to have a direct collision with the ST bus.
I can hear the bus driver heaving and screeching at the brake. Nope he won’t be able to stop either.

Suddenly everything is going in slow motion. I am very, very alert. I am completely conscious that the face of the bus now a few feet away from me, approaching me.
The bike is fishtailing wildly and so my right side is approaching the red bus.

I’m not going to make it.


As I’m hurtling sideways towards the bus, there is a strange ease and calm in my head. I turn and stare at the bus.

I decide to jump.

Mustering up all my courage, I leap forward, towards the front wheel, jumping as hard as I can. My eyes are clenched tightly shut. I’m brave but not that brave. I just want to live. I hear the thud of my helmet banging against the road. There are a variety of sounds, screaming metal, hot fumes and much more.
I am also conscious that I am hurt in a few places.

I open my eyes and look up. I am staring up at a horrified bus driver who has opened his door and is staring down at me. He looks really scared and shocked.
I turn towards my outstretched right arm, to my horror it is a few centimeters away from the largest tyre I have seen in my life. I snatch my arm up reflexively.

Meanwhile Whacko is staring at the scene with horror in his mirror. He has already slammed on his brakes and come to a halt right there, a few meters away.

I sit up. I feel faint. My knee and ankle are throbbing very badly. My hands are shaking and I cannot get my helmet off.
Whacko is in shock. He has parked his KB on its side stand and is walking around in circles. I am watching him and I suppress an urge to smile.


He cannot hear me. I am yelling from inside my helmet.

Suddenly a lot of people help me up. I am confused and am trying to figure out where they came from. I then realise they are the passengers from the ST.

Whacko snaps to and helps the others lift me up and take me to the side of the road. it is a bridge typr crossing so there is a little wall on both sides. They leave me sitting on the wall and Whacko helps me get my helmet off.

My hands are badly scraped and bleeding. My jeans have a lot of blood up front.

People have collected around us in a semi circle.
I can hear someone tell the driver
Gaadi peeche karo, motorcyle neeche phus gaya hai. (Reverse please, the motorcycle is stuck under the wheels)

Through the crowd I peer, only to realise that my bike is completely mangled, twisted and stuck under the chassis of the bus.
The bus is reversed and the bike is pulled out.

The handle is completely flattened. The clutch has met the front brake.

The crowd is now murmuring and some people are trying to yell at us “Kaisa chalata hai” (How badly you drive!)

Thank you, abhi jaao tum.(Thank you, you may all leave now) I say. The bus driver looks at us.
Aur tum? (And you?)
Idhar theek hai, tum jao. (We’re fine here, go.)
Koi police case nahi karne ka hai. Chalo tum log jaao. Thank you. (No we don’t want to police. Go on then, thank you.)

The crowd is still around us, in an unsure semicircle. others have gotten off the bus to take a look. Of course. This is India, everyone must take a look.

Whacko reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out two Dominicans.

I wordlessly take one from him and bite off the tip.
He clicks the Zippo and I puff hard.
It holds.

Whacko is still staring at my face in a strange way.

I lived. Not bad.


Now what?

The bus has left.

Whacko and I are sitting by the side of the road. My bike is lying down wounded on the grass and his KB is parked to the side.
I’m inspecting myself.

I’m hurt and bruised in many places. Nothing broken.
A large portion of flesh is hanging through a torn sock. That accounts for the bloody jeans.
A shoulder is bruised, both palms are scratched and wounded. The damage is not bad.

Whacko is still in shock.

F**k. He says. Over and over, shaking his head. F**k. F**k.
I am silent. Just happy to be alive.

I know that there is a highway users club up ahead. I suggest to Whacko we go there.
And the bike? He points with his face.
Who’s going to touch it whacks? It’s all twisted.

2.45 PM: I’m sitting behind Whacko as he rides slowly towards the Highway Users’ club. Everything hurts.

On the way I decide it’s time to ask for help. We stop at an STD booth and I call the shop. My sister will be there for sure. Who else?
She answers the phone.
Is Dwayne there with you?
Yes. Why?
Just give him the phone will you?

Ah Sammy Boy, what’s up?
Whacks and I have had an accident.
Softly, maria will hear you.

Softer now. What?
We’re OK, actually only I had an accident. But I’m fine. A little bruised but fine.
We need help. Is Jhats around?
He’s here.
OK give him the phone.

Jhats was the only one amongst all of us who knew everything about cars and bikes. Hell, he could fix any bike.
Jhats I’ve crashed the RX. Don’t react. I am fine, I don’t want Maria to know, she will panic.
I see.
I’m serious, I’ve had a bad accident.

We cannot truck the bike across to Mumbai. I have no money for the truck and besides we might have to pay octroi. Plus I didn’t register the accident with the police.

I need you to come here and fix the bike.
Umm OK….



Yes, yes, I am thinking.
What are you thinking?
What parts will you need?
I dunno for God’s sake.
But tomorrow is a Sunday. All spare parts stores will be closed. We have to buy the stufff now. What do you think you’ll need.

I’m having a Beavis moment.

Uhhh.. A handle.
A handle?
Yeah a handle.
I dunno.
Why do you need a handle.
He’s being patient.
The clutch has met the front brake. It’s flattened. It came under the bus.
You’ll probably need a new accelerator cable and brake cable.
Yeah. Cool. Cables.
What else?
I dunno.
What else has happened to the bike?
It looks horrible Jhats.
He’s quiet. I know I’m not helping, but I’m feeling stupid and helpless.
Everything is spoiled jhats.
OK I’ll figure it out. Where are you guys?
Uhh.. I dunno. We need to get me patched up. I’ll call again. Don’t tell Maria.



3.15 pm: We’re at the club. They have a first aid/casualty section and when I hobble in with Whacko, 2 people rush to take care of me.
I am sitting on a chair and I am being cleaned up by 2 people.

My wounds are being disinfected and bandaged while Whacko explains what happened to the staff. They react with the appropriate oohs and aahs.

3.45 pm:
The guys have finished with me. Nothing serious, they assure me. I smile brightly. I’m really glad to be alive.
How about your bike? One asks.
I dunno, it’s about 10-15 kms away I guess.
On the road?
We should get it here. You can park it here.
That would be fantastic because my friends will come here to fix it tomorrow morning.
yes, that’s fine, you can leave it here overnight.
Does the bike work?
I don’t think so, it’s all uhh.. twisted.

Whacko and the staff are talking to the side.

He comes back.
Dude, we’re going to get your bike here.
In the ambulance.

I’m staring at him. I blink. I could have sworn he said ambulance.
In the ambulance. We will load the bike in their ambulance and bring it here.
Whose idea was that?

One of the staff come up to me and tell me that I will have to pay for the ambulance. About 25 bucks per kilometre.
I agree.
Soon they’re gone with Whacko.

About an hour later, the ambulance returns. No the siren is not on, lol.
They unload the bike out.

Now that it is vertical again, it looks a little mangled but not as bad as it did horizontal.

God, my poor bike.

5.30 pm: We wave our thanks and we’re off on the KB towards Bombay. There was no Mumbai then. I’m getting very hungry.

6.00 pm: We stop for a sandwich and coffee. As whacko bites into the sandwich a thought occurs to him.

Man you could have died.
I nod, eating hungrily.
Really man. You could have died.
What would I have told my Mom if you had died?
Shaking head.
I stop eating and stare at him.
Nevermind your mom. What would you have told my Dad?
says he. he didn’t think of that.
I need a drink.
So do I.
There’s that party at Pali Hill you know. The girlfriend’s sister’s birthday party. They aren’t expecting us. let’s surprise them.
OK but let’s buy a bottle of Vodka at chembur.


7.00pm: We stop at a payphone and call them again. They have a plan.

Here’s what we’re going to do. Tomorrow morning at 6, we will take the van.
(Note: I had a legendary Maruti Van. We were always using it for everything. This van once took 13 people up Lonavala for a picnic and much more. All without a single oil change for 4 years.)

The van. OK I see. Why?
The 4 of us will go to your bike in the Van. If I can fix it, great, otherwise we will load the bike into the van and drive across to Mumbai. Simple.
How will you get the bike into the van?
We will remove the sound system…

(Note: The Van had a HUGE box with 2 12″ woofers, 2 8 inch mid bass and 4 philips dome tweeters in the back)
...and remove the rear seat. Should be enough.

See you tomorrow at 6am at your house.

Whacks, they have a plan. It’s all done. Let’s go get drunk now.

9.00pm: Whacko, I and a bottle of Romanov (There was no Smirnoff then) enter the party. Everyone is surprised to see us. People are also surprised to see that we have brought Vodka and bandages.

Sunday,1.00 am: Whacko and I have polished off the bottle we brought with us and finished another half bottle that belonged to someone else who thought we needed it more than he.
Whacko has called his mom and told her he’s spending the night in Pune.
I’m waiting for my Dad to fall asleep.

We get home and crash. I was in some pain and various areas were inflamed.
The Vodka has killed all pain and we are both very very seriously drunk.

6am sounds fine haha, my father will have gone for his walk by then. No one needs to know what we will do next.

Sunday, 1996
We’ve only just hit our heads to the pillow when the doorbell rings. Huh? Who the hell would that be?

I rush to the door and it’s the boys. This makes no sense.

What are you doing here?
What do you think you drunk idiot? It’s 6!
It’s SIX!

Blink. Where did the whole night go?
They aren’t joking. Jhats is standing there with his little tool bag full of tricks.
I must look pathetic, because they’re already looking irritated.

Where’s whacko?
He’s asleep. In my room.
Fine. Give me the keys to the van and we’ll remove the seats and stuff.
OK. here.

Whacks, get up.
Whacks get up. Whacko, get up. GET UP. Get up whacks. Get up. God.

He’s up. He’s still very drunk. So am I.
He sits up and lights a cigarette.
I’m thinking.

They’ve come?
Where are they?
Down, removing the seats.
Where are we going to sit?

I turn towards him. This is something I had not thought of.
On the floor?
Maybe we can sleep?
How about we spread a sheet on the floor of the van and go to sleep?

Drunk minds never think clearly. What an astoundingly stupid idea and it’s making perfect sense to both of us.

I pack up a bottle of water and a double bedsheet. I stare at the pillows for 5 seconds before deciding this might be too much and Jhats and Dwayne might get angry with us.

We go downstairs somehow. Jhats is at the wheel and Dwayne in the passenger seat. They appear to be a little pissed off with us. We must be very drunk and of no help.

I spread the sheet out on the floor of the Van and we try to lie down.

It is horrible. We’re rolling all over the place and on top of each other. The van is bouncing and we’re banging our heads repeatedly on the metal floor.

Forget sleep, we cannot even lie down.

In a few seconds we’re both sitting up and holding on to…
There is nothing to hold on to.

We’re hitting the walls and falling on each other like 2 drunk chickens on the floor of a poultry truck. The sheet has rolled up into a ball and it is bouncing all over the place along with us and some motorcycle parts.
The rescuers aren’t even turning around. They’re on a mission.

We’re just drunk. God, I think I want to throw up.

8.00 am: We’re on our way and have reached New Bombay. Part of what the sober two feel is irritation and it is mixed with mock anger. The drunk two feel horrible.
Not only have we had too much Vodka, but we have hardly slept at all. Top that with a terrible, bouncy ride on the metal floor of the van, just above the rear wheels, flying all over the place and a loud CLANK CLANK of motorcycle parts that are bouncing around with us.

I wish I was dead. My head is throbbing, the beginnings of a ‘orrible ‘eadache looming ominously over my uh.. ‘ead.

9.00 am: We’ve reached the Highway Users’ Club. I’ve never been so glad to be out of the van before.
We stand out of the way respectfully as Dwayne and Jhats survey the bike with their hands upon their hips.

9.30 am: Jhats has all but taken apart almost everything. The handle and the cables have already been changed. He is trying to straighten the wheel and it is reminding me of how I used to straighten the cycle wheel to the handle after a bad fall.
I am careful enough not to laugh though. This is serious business.

10.30 am:
He’s done all he can to get the bike looking like a bike again. It’s a bit warped, but this is fine.
Now to get to the engine.
Oh dear, the petrol tank is leaking. Not much can be done there. There is enough petrol in there though.
The engine has flooded or something like this. I watch him remove various kinds of parts and the spark plug (this I recognise) and put it all back.


… SIlence

… Silence

… Silence

11.00 am: Jhats is furiously looking through his bag of tricks. He needs a tiddlywink.
(Note: For us non technical people, all parts are tiddlywinks or other meaningful terms, don’t ask me what he really needed, please.)

What do you need?
A tiddlywink.
Ah. Don’t have one eh?

Still rummaging. Whish, crish, whish through the nuts, bolts and thingamabobs.
So now?
So now we need a tiddlywink.
Ah. Don’t have one eh?

He looks up from his nuts, bolts and thingamabobs and there is a little of that Zoroastrian fire in his eyes.
I quickly step back and stand next to whacko.
Dwayne and he have decided to go and hunt for parts.

Here? In this godforsaken place on a Sunday to boot?
Yes. Wait here. We will look for a tiddlywink.

I have a feeling that they’ve had enough of us and are going to leave us here in the Highway Users’ Club where I’ll have to wash dishes and clean floors and pay for our food for the rest of my life while Whacko stands like a watchman over my mangled motorcycle.

No. We’re also coming with you.

12.00 noon: We have found a motorcycle spares shop. It’s wonderful!

Wonder no. 1 – That it’s there.
Wonder No.2 – That it’s open.
Wonder No. 3 – They have tiddlywinks!


1.00 pm: Back at the club, Jhats is furiously modifying the tiddlywink.
(A highly technical explanation for you bikers: He was using a tiddlywink from a 3 stroke motorcycle, but the RX has only 2 strokes so now he had to cut the extra stroker off tiddlywink number 63.)
He is rubbing it on the ground repeatedly, banging it around and swearing at it. I’ve never understood these operations.


Jhats decides to stop kicking the tyres and growling at the motorbike and tries kick starting it instead.


It holds!! Eureka the motor is running!
They run it for about 5 minutes, shut it off and restart it. It seems to work fine.

1.30PM: We wave our goodbyes to the staff and I write a lovely comment in the guest book on my way out. I feel elated, but still a little sick.

Whacko is certainly not feeling well at all. Standing in the sun has not helped him one bit. He has taken his vest off and thrown it in the car somewhere.
I’m staring listlessly at the four-score-and-twenty brightly inked tattoos all over his body while Dwayne and Jhats are calculating the next move.

Now to get the RX into the Maruti Van.

Soon the 4 of us have loaded the Rx into the van and managed to put it on the centre stand.

It may not sound like much, but it was a very difficult task, especially to get the motorcycle up on the stnd, with little or no headroom in the car and a slippery metallic surface beneath.

The bike is in, but not comfortably. It is angled and there is just about enough place for one man to sit uncomfortably to the right of the front wheel and another to sit very uncomfortably to the left of the rear wheel.

It is hot (the van has no aircon) and I am covered with a mix of dirt, dust, grease and more. To make matters worse my head is pounding and whirring like a cement mixer on heat. Whacko is seated shirtless at the front wheel. The entire place smells strongly of petrol, because the tank is leaking fuel, drop by drop.

CLICK. The familiar sound of a Zippo being unclicked.

Dwayne turns around – You light that you f**king b***ard and I will KILL you. His eyes are raging with anger.
Whacko looks at him surprised and still drunk. What?

You moron! You are sitting next to a leaking fuel tank in a closed car. You want to get all of us blown up??!?


Click. He closes the Zippo.

We’re all silent again. Dammit, why is there no music in this van?

Jhats is driving home, but at a more sedate pace. Soon we’re at Vashi and now are actively discussing the octroi naka.

It’s no good, taking this thing across, they will stop us for sure.
So? Why would you have to pay octroi on a Bombay registered bike?
I dunno man, I’m not in the mood to stop and answer questions about how we got this way.
says Jhats, I’ll ride the bike.
Are you sure?

500m before the octroi naka, we unload the motorbike and jhats kickstarts. Smooth start.
He gets on and poses for effect.

The headlight is pointing at about 2 o’clock, the handle is at about 11 o’clock and the front wheel in the middle. We all burst out laughing, all standing there and at that moment I realize that I am very grateful for my friends.

We ride across the junction – now I am driving. Later we wave to Jhats asking him if he’d like to put the bike back into the van but with a friendly gesture he waves us on, he wants to ride like this all the way home.

5.00 pm: Home safe. Hugs all around and everyone is on their way to the showers in their respective homes.

5.10pm: I hobble into my front door. My father’s sitting in the living room.

What the… What happened to you?
Haan? Nothing, just had a small fall.
A small fall?
Yeah, this rickshaw banged in to me… I was just standing there minding my own business….

The End.


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The Yeti® writes a car story – (and review of Skoda Superb) – Checking the car at the yard.

From BBC news

All flights in and out of the UK and several other European countries have been suspended as ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland moves south.

And there I was. Dreaming of a white Superb. Stuck in Europe.

When I returned back home (and that is material for another story) I inquired about my car.

It’s in the yard. said my colleague.
Yeah, I told them not to register it until you inspect it first.
Ah. Cool idea. Where is the yard?

And so it was on that day that we were somewhere on the Nagpur highway, stuck in god-awful traffic, trying to reach the yard in a borrowed automatic Honda City. NC is with me, so everything is gonna be OK.

Yard? All I saw was a long line of dusty cars.

A long line of incredibly expensive cars covered in dust.

Gautam? Yeh kya hai?
Arrey aisa hi hota hai.
Aisa? Itna ganda??

Dashed were my visions of seeing a sparkling new car in an air conditioned factory-type shed. Here I am in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the middle of nowhere.

My chappals are turning brown with the loose mud. And I’m staring at my future car, which is thankfully cleaner than all its cousins.

It’s beautiful. Oh God it’s stunning.

While I stare, Gautam does the checking. Hey who knows better than NC about these things. He looks inside, underside, topside, underbonnet everything. All along talking on his mobile to his office, doing his work.
Many parts of the car are covered in some white sticker. Must be for protection I guess.

I walk around the car slowly, open the rear door and reach for the umbrella.

It’s there.

I grin.

Paisa vasool.

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The Yeti® writes a car story – (and review of Skoda Superb) – Chapter five – choosing the colour

The Skoda Superb is available in 5 colours.

What upsets me is this habit that automotive companies have to try and spruce up names of colours.

Sunshine gold yellow.
Dessicated apple red.
Midnight bright pink.
Well-off Sindhi Gold.
Thermometers-insides Silver.

You get my drift.

Nobody calls their car Black. Or Red.

Take the Skoda Superb for example. They have a colour they call Capuccino Beige. That would be alright, if the car wasn’t some shade of unidentifiable instead. I don’t like it.

Another choice that any nice car can look stately is black. I like black. However there were 3 problems with black.
1) It gets hotter than usual.
2) The paint is difficult to maintain. Scratches are obvious, swirls can be seen a mile away. Nothing looks worse than a dusty black car.
3) There are certain influential people in my life who are superstitious about the colour black on a car.
Black Magic was ruled out.

Rosso Brunello – Oh Mama look, a Czech car made in Germany with an Italian name. Wine red in colour, I liked it a lot until my European heart hated it.

Wine red?
Yes. It’s a beautiful typical European colour.
I say, lightly, in my best salesman voice.
Wine red?
Yes, it is beautiful. See?
I open the Skoda Superb page and there it is.
This?! she looks at me, a little shocked. A little amused. You like this?
In Germany this is a typical old man’s colour. My Grandpa also drove a car of this colour. Old men drive cars of this colour.

Especially today.

I was a little sceptical. But my assistant (she’s German too) confirmed this matter too. Strangely she said “My Grandfather had a car of this colour. He wore a hat and sat upright and drove it everywhere, holding the steering wheel with both hands tightly

Considering that she is not related to my better half, I can only come to the conclusion that all grandfathers drive a car of this colour.

I however, am no grandfather. Heck I’m not even a father!

That let me to Brilliant Silver. Considering that I was looking for a change from white, it seemed logical. I liked silver, everyone liked silver.

And so it was that before I left for Europe, I messaged my colleague to buy me a silver Superb – so I would have it on my return.
OK said he and it was done.

That evening as I was travelling home, I saw 2 Superbs.

As fate would have it, the first one was Brilliant Silver and the other was Candy White.

Candy White? What kind of white is Candy White? What LSD influenced mind came up with that?

I saw the Silver and I smiled. When I return, I’m going to be in that car said my mind.

10 minutes later I saw the white Superb. When I return, that’s the car I want to be in said my mind.

I reached for my Blackberry.

Forget the silver. Make that white.

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The Yeti® writes a car story – (and review of Skoda Superb) – Chapter four – the call to Skoda

My mind had been skewed totally by the negative Skoda threads on Team-BHP.
In fact the Skoda Superb had not even been an option.

I had visited the Skoda showroom, finding there 2 people I knew. The Accessory manager, who recognized me and a in-law relative of NC.
They were both very nice to me and even showed me a car. A wine red superb that i viewed very briefly.

It was a handsome car indeed and looked like a limo, owing to its length and shorter height.

I called NC again.

Class act hai Passat.
I told you.
It’s got some fancy engine.
Same engine as the Superb he said dryly.
A Volkswagen engine?
I asked all perked up now.
Same engine.
Did you know that the Passat has these fancy headlights that turn with the steering.
Adaptive headlights
he said. Still dry as ever. The Superb has them.
Those things that you put up and down on the windows. Cool. Like the BMW.
They’re also on the superb.
Boss the superb has all of this and more. Go and see the car for God’s sake.

Only thing is that the Passat has no automatic in my budget. The automatic costs much much more.
Yes, the DSG. You get it with the Superb.
Yes, same DSG.

That day I spent the whole day on Skoda Superb

It looked cool. Very cool. Then I went to the accessories and saw some pretty exciting things.

Then I saw this.

Shades of Rolls f’in Royce!

I’d lost S’ number. I pestered Gautam to give it to me and I called him.

Hello S?
It’s Sam. Gautam’s friend.
Ah, how are you?
I’m well, just a few questions, got the time?
Yeah sure.

So, this Superb. Does it have fancy headlights?
You mean adaptive mumble-mumble headlights?
Oh yes, they’re Xenophobic aloysius magna carta headlights that..
So like the Passat right?
I think even more advanced
More advanced?
The wonder creeps into my voice. Could that be possible?
What about the gears?
What about them?
DSG right?
I learn quickly.
Yes of course.

Does it have I breathe slowly sun-shades in the rear?
Yes! Of course on the rear windows.
What about the rear glass?
Yes there too!
No – manual.

-5 points to Skoda.

Is there a sunroof?

I am about to ask him if the sunroof stops and retracts if my hand is caught in it. I stop myself. This is no time to be frivolous.
So I can buy like a fully loaded, like fully loaded Superb?
Yes of course.

Does it have… dare I ask.
Uhh.. does it have the umbrella in the rear door.
He hesitates. He’s questioning my sanity.
Boss, it has everything. Like everything.
The umbrella, it’s there na?

OK thanks. I hang up. My mind is almost made up now.

Dare I think it?

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The Yeti® writes a car story – (and review of Skoda Superb) – Chapter four – The VW Passat

I had been told the Passat cost 30L. Unaffordable, lol.

I’d read Gogi’s review on the Jetta. I’d sat in somebody’s Jetta. I didn’t like the Jetta.
I had read something about someone’s comment about an all new reduced price Passat.

A VW (say it with me, German style, say fau-vay) a real VW! One that I could take about with my colleagues anywhere in the world.

So what do you drive back home?
Oh a Passat.
A Passat CC?
No just the regular Passat.

I called downtown VW. Seems it belongs to the same guys that showed me the Honda Accord down the road.

Asked them if there was a new Passat that cost a lot less.
Oh yes, said the salesman happily. You’re talking about the new 8.83 XtSKLi, right?
Uhh right. That one. What does it cost.
23L on road.

Ah. The world stopped turning. A real life genuine Volkswagen for the same money as a Honda.

What time does the showroom close? I wanted to be there in time.
But first, call NC.

Main Passat lene ka soch raha hoon.
Class car hai. Black Interior le.

Finished with Gautam and went over to the VW showroom.

I love going to these expensive car showrooms. Me in my chappals and short pants. It’s great to see the reaction, sometimes from the salespersons and sometimes from the super high-flying executive class of customer also considering buying the car.

That, however is another story.

There. I see it. Hello! Is this the cheap passat? pointing
Sorry? The cheap Passat?
Yeah I mean the new lower priced one.

Sir this is the 9.434 Fctxi.
Is this the car that costs 23lacs?
he replies giving me a funny look.
Thanks. I get in.

Ooh. Did I just hear that door close with a nice thunk. Nice. I’m in the seat now. But it feels weird.
This seat has a curved lip on both sides. Like a Recaro ka racing seat. I know that seat from the Evil Twins.

Luckily I have a small bottom. But not everyone has a small bottom, especially the ladies. I wonder how they will sit on this Recaro type seat.

Driving position is top notch. Let me adjust the seat.
A head appears through the window.

Sir this has got 7-way adjustable electric seats with a 3 position memory. You can even adjust the lumbar…
I cut him off. What about that seat? Pointing towards the passenger seat.
That one also, fully electric.
Excellent! He looks at me a bit puzzled and then smiles.

It’s got adaptive something bla blah headlamps!
The lights turn along with the steering wheel.
Oh really?
I’m genuinely impressed. He’s doing well.
Yeah. And if your hand gets stuck in the sunroof it opens up again.

OK now he’s fallen a few notches in my impression.

I stare at him.

What am I going to do? Yawn and stretch with the sunroof open and accidentally press the close button? Stand on the seat and wave out from the sunroof to my millions of admirers while I accidentally press the guillotine button?

Get to the point man. Tell me the good stuff.

Climate control, nice head unit for audio... he fades away as I start looking.

It’s a nice car. I like the dashboard shape. It’s got good understated displays, not the kind of displays you need to wear sunglasses to read. Lots of buttons around the steering. Nice.

….Bluetooth…..blah blah

Can I get black interiors?
He stops talking.
Volkswagen has stopped customizing the interiors of the Passat.
He pronounced Volkswagen wrong. -5 points.

Sir earlier we had 3 options for the interiors. Beige, grey and black. Now all cars are light beige, except the black passat. That comes with a grey and black interior.
So why can’t you sell me a white car with a grey/black interior?
No Sir we can’t.
Well if you sell me a white car with a black interior I’ll buy the car.
He stops. Let me talk to my supervisor.
OK, I’m gonna sit in the back seat for a while.

I smile at him and get into the back seat.


This is not comfortable at all.

I am surrounded by FRP and leather. I’m tucked into a place where I should be sitting. Sure it’s comfortable, but I’m so snug in that I cannot even scratch myself anymore.

In comparison to the Honda Accord, I feel like I moved into a matchbox.

Not cool.

The interior is a light beige. No yellow undertones here. It’s a healthy cream-beige that I could like and will get dirty if not taken care of.

As I sit inside, alone, a couple open up the doors and the guy is a bit astonished to see me sitting by myself in the rear.
Do you mind if we.. he points into the car.
No go ahead, says I. Just pretend I’m not here.

Oh I really like this car says the wife. But the seat’s a little uncomfortable.
I nod silently in the back. Just what I thought.
Oh it’s a lovely car honey, let’s get it.
But we’ll have to sell the Accord then.
Something about his tone makes me think he’s talking differently because I’m watching them.

Excuse me, says I. He turns. Do you already have an Accord?
Well what is your opinion on the car, because I’m choosing between this and an accord.
Oh I have the old-shape Accord. Excellent car but we’ve had it for 3 or 4 years now.
Oh thanks then.

I raise the sun-shade on the window. +10 – I like this sun-shade thing. It feels sexy, like a movie star. Don’t look at me, but I’ll look at you.

The salesman comes back and he is looking for me. He sees the other couple in the back and doesn’t see me because of the sun-shade thing in the rear. Oh I like.

I’m here. I open the door laughing.
Oh I didn’t see you. I’m sorry my supervisor says it is totally impossible. The only way for you to get a black interior is to buy a black car.
I see. Well that’s a bit inconvenient isn’t it?

He nods and shrugs.

I like this sun-shade.
Zip zip. I raise and drop it a few times. Feels like a BMW this sun-shade. I like it.
Oh we have it in the back too!

Yeah and he presses a button and it zooms up motorized.
Ooooh. +30 points.
Do it again!
He obliges. I hold my mouth closed for fear of squealing.

Thanks a lot. I run out of the showroom shaking. I can’t believe the motorized sun-shade on the rear glass.
I call ajmat who listens to my inane ramblings and recommends I buy the VW because I like it so much.

I go home, convinced that I’ve found the car.

So it’s perfect then right? says the better half.
Yeah it’s got everything and more.

I pause.

I’m uncomfortable in the car. It has no buttons in the rear. No unnecessary displays and gidgety gadgets. No remote buttons for the sound system.

And WORST of all, manual transmission. Back to the jerking and engine rattling.

Well, no. It’s not perfect, I reply.

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The Yeti® writes a car story – (and review of Skoda Superb) – Chapter three – Honda

I went to the Honda Showroom. Here’s my POV on the Honda Accord.

What variant of trim would you like?
Do you want the Elegance or the something else?

I don’t like questions like this. I don’t know all this TDi, VDSi, LXGPCi business. Show me a car in the showroom and I’ll sit in it quietly and look around me. Breathe the air a bit.

Close my eyes and imagine travelling in it. I’ll turn the radio on, out of curiosity, to hear how bad it sounds.

I did just that with the Honda Accord. I sat in the drivers seat first.

Fancy dashboard. Like a helicopter dashboard. LOADS of little chrome buttons. 2 independent displays. Integrated audio system with a little slot for the cd changer.
USB? Yes.
iPod? Yes works through the USB and you can see the display of the song title here. He points to the second display that is higher up in the dashboard.

I look around. The leather is light in colour as in the interior. A slight pale yellow tone all around. Not my favourite.
Indians love wooden trim and light colours in the interiors of the car.

Perhaps a change from the dull drab grey interiors of cheap cars we’ve bought for years. Wooden trim hai. Light colour leather hai. Imported lagta hai.

The steering wheels feels ok. I look at the paddles for the sports shift. Ooh. Like a formula one car. Nice.

The seat is OK. Not perfect. I reach down and there are motorized adjustments. Back, back, angle angle. Better.

Sir this is the V6. You car will not have the patti on the outside of the body.

And it won’t have these courtesy plates near the footrest.
He points to some pattis with Honda written on them.
And no chrome on the accents either.

I see.
Rest the car is the same.
Oh and you won’t have any wooden trim on the dashboard.


I sit in the passenger seat. Oh, that’s not set at all. I reach for the buttons on the left side.
No sir this is normal adjustment. Not electric.

I reach for the crooked danda under my seat and pull it up and push back. I know how that works. Even my Maruti Van 20 years ago had that danda.

-10 points for Honda, I decide mentally. If I’m paying over 20lacs for a car, I don’t want the same danda.

I get into the back seat and ask the salesman to leave me alone in the car.

Holy crap. What a seat. What a back seat. Sofa-on-wheels this thing.

The back seat has a great angle. The length of the lower part is perfect, going almost up to my knees.
I reach forward and pull the danda of the front seat and push it all the way to the front.

I bend the seat over too, by pulling the danda on the side. I’m used to doing that in my Verna.
I can buy 3 Vernas for the price of this car and I’m still pulling dandas.

-20 points. Stupid people.


I look around. Lovely back seat. I could sleep here. I push my head back. Nice headrest in the back.
I pull the armrest down. Nice.

There are buttons in the armrest. One for volume and another to change the track.
+10 points.

I stare the the dashboard. You know what, it looks old-fashioned to me. Like it was designed too long ago. I don’t like it at all.

I look around. Down I see the AC vents for the rear. Yeah nice.

I step out and go home.


I won’t drive the car. My driver will. If Honda makes a 22lac car that doesn’t drive properly, they would be crazy.

And I want an automatic car. Akbar puts the car in any gear he likes at any time. If he hears some rattling (which he doesn’t often) he goes one gear higher.
I get annoyed. I don’t want to get annoyed.

I don’t want gears and I don’t want a clutch. Buss.

Yes sir the Accord AT is excellent blah blah blah…

I drift off. Looks like I’ll be buying a Honda Accord, if I follow everyone’s advice. Good company, reliable car and all that jazz.
I call a few friends who work in the Automotive industry.

Why don’t you buy a second hand E class?
Na na. I want a new car buss.
Have you tried the Skoda Superb boss? It is freaking incredible. It’s mad. I love that car.
No, Skoda as very bad after-sales service. I don’t want it.
OK…So what do you want?
How is the Honda Accord?
Oh it’s HUGE!
Yeah, I know
I say grinning. I like that.
Well the rear seat is very very comfortable. It’s a moving sofa boss.
Yeah I know! The grin gets bigger.

Well, you can’t go wrong with a Honda. Reliable, good resale and most importantly you’re happy.
What would you have bought?
A second hand e class.
No what new car would you have bought?
Skoda Superb. Eyes closed.
Yeah. Thanks.

Click. Am I happy? No I am not. I’m not in love with the Honda Accord.

I go home and speak to Jenny.
22 Lacs for a Japanese car!! A Honda!! Are you NUTS?

Trust ze Germans to say that.

No I’m not sure about this car anymore.
NC already is unhappy about me wanting to buy the accord. Now Jenny too. And I’m not convinced.

OK, I wait. I’ll use Meru cab for a few days and think about it.


My driver Akbar loves cars. I couldn’t stop him at the Honda Showroom. He inspected the car inside out.

He’s grinning. He loves the Honda Accord.

Kya dikhti hai MUSTT!!

Sir, apan double silencer wali lenge ke ek?

Huh? I realise he likes the V6. I realise that you can’t really say “Over my dead body” in Hindi.
Dekhte hai, I say.

Double silencer wala leneka. Must bhagti hai.

I start staring at all the Honda Accords on the road. And then it hits me. I don’t want to buy this car.

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The Yeti® writes a car story – (and review of Skoda Superb) – Chapter two

The first car I ever bought was a Mitsubishi Lancer. A beautiful red Mitsubishi Lancer that I loved.

See that’s the strange part. I’m not a car enthusiast, but I like keeping cars clean and beautiful.
I hate people who smoke in their cars, I like a polished dashboard, I like nice alloy wheels and love good tyres. No I don’t know anything about performance but like to see tyre sizes and treads.

I love good custom leather seats. Napa makes me feel all sexy inside. Hee hee hee.

I called a friend for my Lancer. He supplies leather seats to Italy. And I bought these seats at his cost for the Lancer. His cost in 2003 was like 30 grand.
Those who know me, knew how I loved that car. You can find a thread I wrote on a car-spa I put that Lancer through.

Here.…-birthday.html (Sam’s 4 year old Lancer gets spoiled for it’s Birthday!!)

My weekend drive is an old Land Rover Discovery. I love it very much.

We need 2 cars to go to work. My better half and I.

The decision was made to keep the Verna. It was her decision, it was. Because of this, I was forced to sell the Lancer.

And so I did, with a heavy heart. The 2 saving graces were

  • I asked for a higher price and got it.
  • I sold it to a car lover.

The Verna went to my better half. The Land Rover was for fun.

I needed a new car to get to work.

It was time to buy an expensive car. A good one.

It was time to buy an impossibly big car, one where I could wave out to the driver if needed, from my seat at the back.

Good morning Akbar, kaisa hai? Kya bole? Bahut door hai tum, aawaaz nahi aa rahi hai.

A car where my knees would touch nothing unless I wanted them to.

And I wanted buttons.

Buttons for all kinds of crap. All kinds of things happening around me. I like that. I want to know what the temperature of the dipstick is. Why? I don’t know. But I want to know what my engine is doing. And what the humidity level of the air is outside. I like to know that at all times.

I’m a person that likes cars with a high level of trim but understated.

That’s one reason why I’ve always preferred European stuff. There’s tons of technology, bordering on the over-engineered. But it’s not in your face.
They have this for everything.
Daily stuff, white goods, electric doors and washing machines.

Lights that switch on when you step out, doors that swing open when you come close. Stuff that goes off after 3 minutes of pressing the button. I love these things about Europe.

In Asia we have big highlighted buttons for everything. Things are light and break easily. They don’t have this solid industrial feel.
But I’m rambling again.

With my limited budget I was able to get only 2 cars. The Honda Accord Petrol and the Skoda Superb Petrol.
Why Petrol, you may ask.

Well, the price difference between a Petrol and Diesel car at this level is 4 to 5 lacs. I drive 30 to 40 kms a day. I figure the price difference between fuel cost will take me 8 to 9 years to recover.

Nah. I wanted to buy a BIG car that would smell great, feel great and I’d stretch out in the big seat with a big SIGH and be driven to work.

I like that.

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The Yeti® writes a car story – (and review of Skoda Superb) – Chapter One

Yes, it’s about caaaaars he said, rolling his eyes. I’m going to write about cars.

The Yeti® is no car enthusiast. If you’re looking for price vs performance or 0-100kmph in blah seconds and all that, stop reading. There are many sites bursting with knowledge about the performance of various cars. for example. You won’t find all that talk here. I don’t know much about cars.

This is just a story about cars in general. And about one car in particular.

Reasons for purchase decisions, ownership report, comparisons and more. But from a very ordinary, simple point of view, that’s all.

Call it a review for the non-petrolheads.

First – the reason for the car.


It is a basic question.

What do I need it for and what do I need from it.

I’m not pretentious and do not come from a family with a long lineage of fancy cars. I was raised without a car in the house and the last car my Dad bought for the family was a Fiat Uno, many years ago.

Driving to work is a huge hassle. I live in Bandra and my office is in South Mumbai. Until the sealink was inaugurated, this way was one of my life greatest hassles.
I’m not a good driver. I don’t enjoy driving. No in fact I usually hate driving.

I’m also one of those guys who has a back drenched with sweat, even if the air conditioning is turned all the way to the max.

No, for a few years I’ve had a driver now. I like that. I sit in the back with my ipod, my blackberry and sometimes my laptop.
I have a creative job and I like to dream. Also I like to play music in my car and watch the world go by.

I’m a tall man, I am. Almost 6 feet 4 inches. Usually I sit in the left rear of the car with the passenger seat pushed all the way to the front and the headrest knocked off.
With the headrest on I feel claustrophobic. I like a nice clear view of what’s happening around me. Especially in front of me.

Before the sealink, I’d spend about 3 hours of my daily life in the car. That’s a big part of my waking day.

Until recently, my daily drive was a Hyundai Verna Diesel. I liked this car a lot for the headroom. Ah, it’s nice to have a few extra inches above your head. This was a good daily drive, nice and solid.
The Engine was very powerful, something I enjoyed a LOT while driving.

Not while being driven.

The Hyundai Verna had soft suspension, but in the back seat, it would make a grown man sea-sick. I would refer to the car as my personal boat.
It was awful. A brake would have ripples and the car would sway for a few seconds before coming to a halt. Bah!

The clutch was sensitive. The car was easy to jerk, too easy. The rear headrest was uncomfortable. I got the car without the adjustable headrests.
I don’t know how I got that.

I think when I went to buy the diesel Verna there was no model with adjustable headrests and ABS etc.

But to be honest, except for a few initial hassles, this was a great car.

But I’m rambling.

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YetiBlog® – A funny experience at PVR-Phoenix-Mumbai – continued

I am still fuming. This is PVR cinemas for crying out loud. First they slap an interval on us unnecessarily. Then I’ve missed 10 minutes of details in the movie because they forgot to switch the house lights off.

The movie progresses.

Harry takes the Felix Felicus, the liquid luck potion, finishes Aragog’s funeral and Harry, Hagrid and Horace Slughorn are in Hagrid’s home.
Harry watches as Hagrid and Professor Slughorn drink themselves silly.

As Harry watches them drink, music plays in the background.

Dhup dhichik,
Dhup dhichik,
Dhup dhichik

I turn towards Jenny. They’ve used Indian music?
Is it?

The music still plays and it’s pretty loud. Horace Slughorn opens his mouth to speak.

Thoda resham lagta hai, thoda sheesha lagta hai
Heere moti chadte hain thoda…

The entire cinema is collectively stunned. It soon dawns on everyone that this is not part of the movie. Somebody has screwed up big time!
Peals of laughter ensue initially – especially since this is such a serious part of the movie.

After 2 minutes, people are whistling and howling, booing. I’m yelling too. It’s all no use.

There is no staff again in the cinema. Harry Potter is progressing and we’re listening to this ridiculous song while it’s going on.

The movie itself cannot be heard at all. We can see all the actors moving their lips.

Thoda sheesha lagta hai, thoda sona lagta hai….


The song is still going on. Not a staff member in sight.

This is really too much.

I storm down the stairs and push the door open. As I open the door I realise that the same song is playing outside.
Somehow the main music from the lobby of the theatre has been connected to inside the auditorium.

There is no usher there. Nobody,

There is a stupid pull-barrier there. I push it to the side and walk out into the popcorn lobby. There is NOBODY!

I see a guy with a mop in uniform. Out of desperation I yell at him.

Manager kidhar hai?
Kya hua
he says obligingly
Arrey andar music baj raha hai, picture ke badle. Band karo!

Nahi Sir,
he says smiling. Music sirf bahar hai. Aap jaaiye picture dekhiye.
My eyes are popping out with rage.
Tum andar aao I yell, opening the heavy padded door.

Heere moti lagte hai…

Yeh kya hai??

He looks more confused now. I turn to find someone else in uniform.

What is the problem Sir?

Now I am yelling.

What is the problem? What is the problem? You tell me what is the problem? Please come here, I say opening the door. Do you hear this?
He nods.

Dhup dhichik
Dhup dhichik
Dhup dhichik


He blinks. Reaches for his mobile and dials a number.
As I’m climbing the steps to go back in it occurs to me.

We’ve missed a good 5 minutes of the movie too!
He nods. Still talking into his phone.
Rewind it. Now.

I walk back in. A few people look in my direction questioningly. Before I can answer, the audio comes back.

Thank you! Thank you! Thanks!

I smile and nod in the dark.
He’s gonna rewind a bit, I say loudly to nobody in particular.

Everyone starts clapping unexpectedly. I sit down, feeling a bit triumphant.

Oh you love this crap don’t you?

What? I ask half smiling.

All this attention and this clapping for you and the bravos. You love it I can see it.

What? Are you nuts. I just did the right thing.

I’m grinning. Who am I kidding? Of course I love it.

The movie stops suddenly and the lights come on.
He’s gonna rewind it now, I say loudly from my seat to nobody in particular. Hey, I’m the hero. I can do that. Lol.

We’ve gone back extra time. We’re gonna see Harry consider taking liquid luck again.

I’m going to consider taking that potion too, the next time I’m at PVR Phoenix.

The end.

Thanks for enjoying my story. Have a great day.


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