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Swades - a bulb's tale and Kairali escapades

Here I am finally, in Mumbai, after what seems like ages.

The endterms got over on the 18th with a quick OB-II paper (bless PDC) and we hurriedly packed our bags so that we could squeeze in the movie Swades before boarding Nethravathi Express for our trip home. An entire rigmarole led by Baba and Ravi later, we reached the Crown theatre just in the nick of time and, entrusting the jeep driver with all our luggage, settled down to what turned out to be one long lecture on patriotism, moral science, values, and of course physics, with special emphasis on the workings of the humble electric bulb. Not since Thomas Alva Edison invented the damn thing, has anyone lavished so much attention to the bulb as was heaped in this movie.

Imagine a scientist from NASA, working on something as corny-sounding as Global Precipitation Management (GPM), quits his job to.. well his boss, named John, put it aptly when he said "Go light your bulb". I must admit, though, that the movie was not without its moments of sparkling humour and poignant moments, especially Melaram's attempts at convincing Shahrukh to open a Dhaba along US freeways.

The movie was worth the 30 odd bucks that we paid for it but I simply cannot imagine it running to packed houses for long like Shahrukh's previous two releases. And Ashutosh Gowariker can forget about any oscar nominations for this one either. Much more inspiring stuff has been churned out in regional cinema this year like Shwaas in Marathi.

Movie over, we piled into the jeep to move on towards the station when Manish decided to pick some souveniers for his family from a shop called, what else but, Kairali, located God only knew where. 15 minutes of roaming about later, during which three of us managed to grab a quick bite at a restaurant which certainly wasnt worth the gushing eulogies that Manish spouted about it,Manish managed to find the shop in question.

Souvenier hunting completed, We piled into the jeeps and reached the station only to find that the train was late by quite some time, whereupon Baba trotted off to a Rajasthani diner located nearby for a quick and dirty dinner while the rest of us, we were quite a motley crew by now, waited at the station, munching chips and talking garbage with Raul leading the pack.

The train journey to Mumbai was largely uneventful apart from the sudden excitement shown by the gang when they were informed that the bogie next to the one neighbouring theirs was full of females of all shapes and sizes and stray incidents of Mr. Pranay Harish Rao's lunacy expressing itself in random acts of incomprehensible quirkiness. Did he take CAT? Are there quotas for all kinds of handicaps?

Arrival at Kurla brought its own quandary of what to do with the time that Baba had till 10:15 when his train was scheduled to leave for Buxar. We decided to go to Galleria at the Hiranandani Gardens for a dinner of Parathas and not much else. And suffice to say that the decision was a deliciously sumptously good one.

It was after reaching Kurla again to see Baba off that both of us realised that we had left our bedsheets in Nethravathi itself. Now that wouldn't have been cause for much concern but for the fact that Baba was not really clad in anything warm and mid-December sees the eastern UP and Bihar region in temperatures hovering below the 7 degree mark.

A fine pickle to be in indeed. We said our farewells and I sent up a silent prayer for his wellbeing as well.

The next 4 days promise to be as fun-filled as ever in Mumbai.

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