Friday, August 31, 2007

Can you tell a story in just six lines?
Try! Not easy.

Also, that eternal day job versus the call of the muse debate, day job or writing all day. Just check the record six-hundred thousand plus comments. I’m still reading them.

No other updates till they're done.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It is not a language that I read aloud in, usually.
So the words jumble up in places, speed up at will, and come to a sudden halt.
Much like the train that runs to my village back home, stop, move, stop.
It is quite funny once it stops being irritating.
That was on the first day.
The second day is surprisingly smooth. Jet smooth.
A transference of the goodness and strength from the book? I’m still surprised.

The hill in the distance is covered in darkest green, veiled over with whiffs of cloud , you draw a sharp breath and remind yourself, yes, this is Mumbai.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yesterday L, a colleague, handed me a book, memoirs with Vimala Thaker.
Profound, he said.
It was written in high caliber gujarati that had me asleep in ten minutes.

Totally profound.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Quite muddled about floor raises, square feet, carpet area, super built up, broker run-ins, and weird weird wayward cell counts, strange how everything has to happen together, but ok otherwise. I thought I was clueless, but seems like no one quite knows, not even the top man in India…These days I wake up super-early and fret.
Will catch my breath in a while.

But ok, am doing what can be done.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It is better that he remain nameless, this Mr Shah from Parla W.
Read this morning in yesterday’s Mumbai Mirror (which is appropriate to read only in that mad morning rush), about a motorist samaritan. He commutes from Parle to town, yes all that distance, everyday.
And while he drives into town in the morning he hands traffic police constables on duty, chocolate bars.
When he returns home in the evening, he hands out snack packets.
Each signal, each man on the way. As a gesture for keeping the city safe, snarl free.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It’s Raksha Bandhan on Tuesday.
I sent out letters wishing sundry cousins and cousin-brother-in laws, just in time.
Used to be a time we’d use hand made paper to make cards, and carefully trace out the words with a nib dipped in red paint, on uneven fibrous background in cream, deck it up with a border and a mirror-sequin or two.
Was tempted to send a cryptic typed note, refrained.
We’d wait for the celebratory lunch at my uncle’s, the family gettogether with everyone in their festive best, and all the talk and teasing. I still have some books I was gifted then. This used to be “entertainment”.
The best thing about sepia is the feel-good factor.
The shops are lovely, decorated with lights and strands of rakhis displayed on poles, in so many colors, designer rakhis with beads, decorations. A tree outside a shop is strung with lights, glamorous against the still black of the night, and you forget the jostling crowds and traffic.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Nothing remarkable happened yesterday. Words, Casablanca and a food experiment with palak paratha and mint coriander chutney.
Yes, the movie was from a flimsy street-bought CD someone had given me a long time back. I had not expected it to work at all, so it was a surprise. How the brain craves these “oh really!” upticks.

The sea glitters as you soar past the flyover that just touches marine lines when it ends.
A solitary boat bobs in the shimmering peach and blue waters off Haji Ali. A bird, perchance a seagull flies off the oriental pergola of sagar mahal, which stands sharply etched against the colored waves and the far horizon. Ah life!

For long, you’ve been uneasy, watching the weight whittle even as you ply him with simple, nutritious home cooked food and soups. For every drop in the levels, you’ve added on kilos, fretting. Should know one way or another by the weekend. Is knowing better? I don’t know. The doc is the absolute best in this area, about 60 people from distant towns were waiting in the consulting room. So many people, so many problems, one life!

Friday, August 17, 2007

The mail is addressed to Austere. Seeker.
(Another austere)
It has three tickets from Delta. Return tickets to the US.
Mumbai- NY- SF- NY-Mumbai.
Someone is all set for a three-month vacation.
I spend all evening trying to find out a person with my name in Bellaire, Tx.
End up finding 2 more Austere. Seekers. But not the right one, not yet.Suddenly makes you wonder about parallel universes and lifelines.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thank you, Portia!
* thinking up Oscar style speech*
This Writer's blog is where it all began.
Independence day

Beyond the jargon. Beyond the paper supplement. Beyond the expressway that is blissfully empty. Beyond the PM’s broadcast from the Red Fort. The colors saffron, white and green. What is it? Can’t answer.

Is a celebration. surprise at the flags and sweets distributed at work

Is hearing about Noakhali, about sacrifices, intrigue and betrayals so vivid they sound like they happened yesterday and not 60 years ago, hearing about how trains with the migrants were shunted off from the Pak,Punjab to Sindh, masterminded by the province CM, Sir Noon himself, avoiding future refugee issues.

Is suddenly standing to attention dinner time, mid morsel, as the Nightingale sisters render the national anthem.

Is singing along with S Balasubramaniam, and a sudden tear- no, not because you cannot hit the high notes

Is oohing and aahing at the property but stunned, putting your calculator away because there is just no way you can afford it, not on your salary, and anyway it is too big and too far away. Will keep looking, next please.

Is a day when you sit and think of the nation’s issues and problems, your issues and somewhat problems, the widening divide between the haves and the have-nots. The next day you get up and walk. We thrive in chaos, like this only we are.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Highly recommended: Dr Eric Maisel’s creativitynewsletter on
Read the archives.
I did. Spent an hour translating this morning, drawing an amazing sense of purpose from his words, even if they are a bit of a scold.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Every week start, I wonder why I load Sunday with so many things to do, way too many things.
A mental things to do list, to cross out.
And knowing this, I still do it, everytime.
Maybe I should pencil in some time to watch the world go by.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The kid we met this morning is totally enthusiastic, all charged about making a mark in this city, taking on this qualifying exam and that one, making a name in his line of work. Does me good to see such drive.
Envy that.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The last few weeks I have often idly thought about the need for structure and routine, its place in a day. Somewhat like a grid to hang the rest of your day on. A security blanket? A filler? Also to avoid having to do something else, which needs to be done. Or to avoid thinking. Which makes me wonder how people sit through ten days sitting still, of just watching their minds when they opt for vipassana meditation?

No, this post hasn't quite got written the way I wanted it to sound.

Monday, August 06, 2007

those red and blue lines, the markets...
And where will you go today m’love?
Last few months, I’ve watched you zip and zoom the blue line marching on, when, matter of fact, you ought to be dipping a tiny bit. Catching your breath a bit on every stratospheric increase. But on and on you went, adrenalin charged. A different beat.
A rumble in far away China, something to do with stamp paper? But no.
A trade built on a house of cards,energy whatchacallits, reminds me of playing with make-believe paper money as a kid, you print more as you go along. but no.
but subprime lending? Who in their right minds would lend on the back of nothing? Not the stodgy neighhourhood bank, not the flashy private one, the government wouldn’t allow it. Why didn’t they step in earlier? RBI would have, quick and early on, threatening blue murder and brimstone, so why didn’t the Fed? they were being nice because next year is election year? And for crying out aloud slicing debt into pieces like it was a salad you were making and marketing this to hedgies? Las Vegas, anyone? I scold myself- real men, good brains, real money. What the…
And a tanking $ that punishes performance. It was 46 to the dollar not so long ago, now it is 40. You do well internationally and it shows up as pathetic, just because you are now multiplying by a different number. Life’s not fair. Scott Peck said that first.
So where will you go today, m’love?

Friday, August 03, 2007

A recent Peopletech column in the Business Standard (last week, not so recent) speaks about the columnist’s utter confusion/ frustration/ irritation at having to wade through old-fashioned reading material, Proust, for a writing class. When he tries to read this later, at his own pace, he quite enjoys the work.
Now, Proust I haven’t read. Don’t think I shall, either. But couldn’t help free-thinking some of the likely reasons for this sudden change of heart:
-that the brain looks for patterns, and tries to fit new information within a preexisting grid, or linking however obtusely to existing nodes, if that takes longer than expected, impatience sets in.
-it was too late in the day to process new information even if you wanted to- fatigue
-a stage of life issue- you are not used to not learning things quickly and therefore have no patience with slowly unraveling something that’s different

What other reasons?