Wednesday, October 18, 2006


The security guys were shocked to hear me ask, isn’t there a shortcut that ways down the hill? Turn a corner and it seems quieter, away from the hum of the industrial area. No road exists, just a frequently trodden path of sorts on empty scrubland, past a gate set in a rock-hewn wall, probably from the time that the rest of that (no doubt) heavily forested hill existed, past a well where a kid was valiantly trying to fly a kite. Jump over an open water line, looking askance at the bleached rickety boards placed across. Briskly march at the double through a village where the walls are painted blue and homes, shops tailoring establishments, sheds with lathes and vegetable vendors all exist cheek by jowl, where there is just enough space for one not too broad vehicle to pass else there’d be a traffic jam. Edge past the shed with the placid buffaloes, and you wonder at the price of this patch of real estate abutting the highway, and then voila! , the stream of unending traffic and glee at avoiding traffic jams at four signals.


the kindness of strangers
A one line request to someone whom you’ve long admired, oohing and aahing over comfort with words and turn of phrase, the dancing lines inducing you to read, merrily leading you on to an end that closes just right, with a punch. So much done for a stranger, just on request. I’m left speechless and I must admit- a little teary.



abbagirl74 said...

I have missed you so. I can see myself in your words. Thank you for the visual.

PipeTobacco said...


Are things going ok with you? I am a little worried because your posting has become far more sporadic than usual. I have grown to really appreciate your insights and writings!


austere said...

abbagirl.. its great to be back- missed being here and missed you-see the flickr link :))

sir! Things are better now. thank you. yes, had lost the words a while. :)

AmitL said...

Hello there...hope u had a great Diwali,and here's wishing u the best for a great New Year,too.The second part of the post was quite touching...'So much done for a stranger,just on request'..who was it?Let me guess,a Mumbaiwaasi,naturally.:)

austere said...

nako not a mumbaikar, but someone on zoetrope- she is an awesome gawk quality writer.

Saal mubarak and a great year to you too!

Cherie! said...


Aashish said...

Hello - Thank you for checking my site so often. Wishing you a very Happy belated Diwali!

Well my hiatus from the blog world has surely been a very long one. I dont see that changing anytime soon, for a variety of reasons.

Good to see however that you are going strong on Blogger now.

- Aashish of Ashification fame (?)

Anonymous said...

flickering posts and celebrities!! :)

austere said...

AASHISH! This is just wonderful! How ARE you? So! life has been good and all? So TREMENDOUS hearing from you, yes though i keep wishing you from time to time.. kaheen aur likh rahein hain aap? likho na! baki jo theek lage..

cherie :)

manuji- pls pls pls visit my flickr account na, nobody goes there!