Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mumbai and Vadodara

We returned from London on 2nd April. As I write it is 10th April. The return was rather uneventful. We arrived late at night or early in the morning, depending on whether you look at the glass as half full or half empty. It was a long walk, and I mean a long walk from the aircraft to the Immigration counter at the new T2 Terminal. As is our wont, in this desperate need to get to Immigration before anyone else, we set off at top speed. The walk never seemed to end. We arrived literally breathless at the Immigration Hall. The Hall was devoid of passengers, thankfully, and surprise surprise, had many unoccupied Immigration officers. We were thru in minutes.

Our hired car and dolt masquerading as driver were waiting for us. This is when the fun started. T2 has some 6 levels of parking. The dolt driver said `Mein parking mei hoon’ - `I am in the parking lot’. I asked him which level. Promptly comes the answer `seedha saamne aane, mein udhar hi hoon’ -`come straight ahead, I am right there’. No he was not. Many phone calls happened. I was rather cross, HRH the Queen of Kutch was in a right royal uproar.  Finally, 25 minutes later, many phone calls spoken in a terse voice later, much under the breath cursing later, the dolt and us were united. Frankly, the man is a king sized dolt. The parking bays have pillars, each pillar has in big bold letters the level number P3, P4, P5 and so on as well as the slot number so P5 31. T2 is not to blame in the least. Just the Dolt. Dolt did not read any of that. Dolt shall not be used again.

On our return I plunged headfirst into a transaction I have been advising on for a few months now. My clients are in Vadodara, a most famous city. It is from where our future Prime Minister has filed his nomination. The transaction was in the final stages of closing. So, in the course of the week I have spent 3 days in Vadodara. You may have read about my difficulties in getting a drink in Vadodara in this previous blog.

Here are two quotes to whet your imagination:

“Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer.” – W C Fields

"Drinking is a way of ending the day." - Ernest Hemingway

Well, this is that very same transaction that I keep going to Vadodara for. Finally on 8th April after many many hours of hard work the documents were signed. The ceremonial signatures were inked on the documents by the primary protagonists. Then it was time for celebrations. Watermelon Juice and non alcoholic Mojito were offered. It was totally weird. Drinking Watermelon Juice, a lurid red colour, was unthinkable. I settled for a virgin Mojito. It was ghastly, sweet and something a child drinks. I request a person present in the room to take a photograph of me and my opposing lawyer `toasting’ the closing. Let me assure you that no alcohol was drunk in the taking of this photograph.    

A closer shot of the virgin Mojito

Yes that is the document signed by the parties.


  1. The other options would have been kutchhi beer and desi wine (drakshasav).

    1. Is Kutchi beer lassi? I remember being served it many years ago at Aaram Kutchi Restaurant at the Mahim Bus Terminus.