Wednesday, May 16, 2007

bom bahia

bombay. now that's a cool city. we really only had two days to enjoy it, and the rest of the time was spent at shumona's grandmother-in-law's beach cottage in janjira. omg, it was lovely. living in such a loud city (and for the record, new york is not loud) really makes one appreciate the quiet spaces. and surprisingly, no crows! but the best part was spending time with shumona.

i think i saw a good chunk of bombay in two days. we were shifting apartments a lot, which meant i got to see much of the city by taxi. meeting surabhi's friends was wonderful, and she was a very thorough and patient tour guide. we walked around bandra, strolled on marine drive at night, had yummy maharashtran food (sabudhana kichidi = my new favorite dish!), shopped in colaba, and took a very nauseating ferry ride across the bay to get to janjira. here are things i loved about bombay:

* sabudhana kichidi
* the vibrant street life (reminiscent of new york city)
* the no rickshaw rule
* organization of traffic (i.e. wide, nicely-paved streets, traffic signals, etc.)
* sidewalks that people can walk on
* old, beautiful buildings
* museums, art galleries (will have to hit those next time)
* the bay/ocean
* great public transportation

and probably more that i'm not thinking of right now. i'd like to go back and soon. there's a conference happening in november called birth india (very excited about that). the woman who is organizing it is from bombay, so i'm hoping it will happen there.

i don't really understand what people mean when they say things like, "bombay is craaaaazy," or "i'm scared to go to bombay." i mean, i guess i haven't read maximum city, which might have made me nervous to go, but it actually seemed a lot more chilled out in some ways than bangalore.

every time i saw tailors, i remembered ishvar and omprakash from a fine balance. and of course many of shantaram's descriptions of bombay appeared in my memory when passing places like the thieves' market or leopold's. and every time we got in a cab, i thought of prabhakar, el pobrecito. am i too attached to fictional characters?

in other news, i had a funny experience yesterday auditioning for voiceover work. i had to read high school text book entries for an interactive curriculum which requires american accents for the audio component. i read two scripts: the inner ear and the reflex action. it was actually pretty difficult. after being told by the sound engineer that i had a "sleepy voice," i tried my hardest to channel russ leatherman (the moviefone guy), raising my eybrows and bobbing my head and talking with my hands, looking absoulutely ridiculous but hoping to sound as animated as humanly possible. blake, you would have been on the ground...

the bummer is that the studio is over an hour by rickshaw each way, and i think that alone would make me miserable. if anyone knows of other voiceover work opportunities closer to the center of town, please let me know.

click here for bombay pics.


Laura said...

Heyyy! I was sitting around austin recollecting bits of bangalore (missing it lots!) and dropped by your blog - it was bittersweet to recall all the frustrating times I've attempted voice overs myself!

A few friends who were good at faking dynamic speech did that text book one too, but grew bored after talking about elementary school concepts and enduring that commute to the studio. If you're interested in going to Electronics City for a few V/O's, I could get you a few Infosys gigs...

I hope you guys are thriving in bangalore!! hope to see you in the bay area soon :)

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