Monday, December 29, 2008

Peace. Abiding joy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

After hoping like hell that things would turn the corner, but knowing that they likely wont, one takes the next steps. Or lists the next steps .For whenever that is. There is relief, a lightness. I haven’t laughed so much in ages.

December has been tumultuous, a month of endings. Of turning points. Of cleaning up clutter. Also of learning to trust gut feel. Of honesty, of the most painful kind, with oneself.

And of learning that reality and imagination are two completely different lands.

Perhaps it was paradoxical to run into two ex-colleagues from work now doing other things in the land of greenbacks. Their excitement was startling. Stunning. Where did it all go, one wonders.

Dont feel like explaining any of this.

Monday, December 22, 2008

That outpouring of Silent Night ringing out which I heard from my balcony; and silently sang along not knowing the words, amazed at the crystal clear quality of the baritone on the different scale. I was suddenly happier.

That civics and sociology session with that wizened autofella, a Brahmin from the hinterlands who was vehement about not even considering a “ gujeratein” from a different caste for his college educated, bank-employed son, for whatever would the extended family and the tauji and babuji and the village back home say… I think I managed to convince him to at least interview the girl- “tanik chaal chalan dekhein aap”, though I did draw heavily on the scriptures and invoke Maharshi Valmiki and Lord Krishna's migration to Dwarka in the process. All’s fair.

Chocolate cake. Steamed. Thank you, Quaker Oats.

And the slight, if steady progress with both the Aunts. If its not bad, its good.

Slight hint of a chill in the air most mornings. Spectacular sunrises, etched palm leaves on gold.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunshine on the terrace, a 360 degrees view I’ve never seen in the year we’ve been here, the smile on your face when you listen to the first strands of a Kumar Gandharva recital, ah life.

The raw energy of the street play presented at the park, the roaring national anthem, and rapt attention with which a completely mixed audience watched the new binding factor, terror; the green gold of Kanheri and the determined buzz at Leopold’s,this and the all so important rest-all these have retreated to the backdrop, very much there, very much on the alert but not wide-eyed breaking news.

Been witness to some lovely pink edged clouds most dawn, and a hint of a nip in the air.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It is just as well one puts on a veneer with the years. It is just as well one learns resilience. Of sorts, of course. What I shall never understand is the disconnect between word and meaning, like a foreign language with familiar words that mean quite something else.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

There is a need for routine. For structure.
For discipline. No, the word does not sound ugly anymore.

More so, a need to ensure this does not become mindless, mind-numbing.

In the stories, in the twitter feeds, in the forwards and breaking news, one can get trapped.

For a day, one pondered over a withdrawal, recluse-style. For white, for space.

Prompted by the disgust of a gentle giant.

But corralling in is not the answer.

Retreat, repose, recoup. Return.

The rolling mists predawn and the delicate sunrise, will enthrall in due course.

No- I wont let them take that away.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What a thing to remember
The curve of the staircase, the statuette on the landing
The way the sunlight gleams off the water past plate glass
The sepia royals that stood their ground, now vanquished
Their final resting spot, the charred cream walls.
But I remember the strangest things.
The lights of the tonga are an impatient camera blur.
Never again.

They are not the them people.
Takes two reads of the victim list to realize. The victim list. Oh.
Who’s the victim? Who’s that lady, burkha clad, knocking doors?

I forgive. I don’t forget. My bad.
Read Ashwini Bapat, the parent says. Concerned.
In the eight minutes that I squeeze in
Chopping the raw tomatoes, rolling out the dough.
Eight minutes.
But that’s another world. A story. Don’t worry.
That’s not me.
Singed once by fire.
of pretence. false feet.
I forgive. I don’t forget. My bad.
But there’s just so much you tell an 85 year old.
Don’t worry. Never again.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I've spent most of the last two days following the twitter feed on #mumbai.
My head is spinning.
Its over, but such loss. A blogpal tells me of this young girl, the sole survivor from her 5-person family- they were celebrating a birthday. She is critical, in coma.
Read, too, about the disaster averted at the TOI.
Anger and then anguish and then...indifference? Until next time?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

View from the 16th floor, Oberoi.
(pics from Nov 3)

Every ten min today I’ve refreshed the Rediff page.
They’ve just reported grenade blasts outside the Taj.

I weep inside, thinking of the lovely lobby.. the mural by MF Hussain behind the reception counter, the waterfall, the intricate carved wall on one end, the marble inlay floor... all wrecked.
You go off the lobby, into the old taj, the lovely boutiques on one side, the displays on the other- the b&w photos of celebrities, Pt Nehru, Jackie Kennedy, Shobha De in her heydays...such a sense of history- all gone.

You go up the impressive curving iron staircase with the iron head of Dadabhai Naoroji at the landing.
The Sea lounge on the first floor. The Crystal Room, with its glorious chandeliers and ornate glass...The Princes Chamber, with the framed sepia portraits of the erstwhile rulers... all gone
And the layout of the old Taj? Almost like an old style Indian house, around a central courtyard…
I weep inside- remembering the lunch they’d serve on silver plates just a week ago, and how I’d asked for an empty dish so as to not waste food, no, it will never be the same again. That celebratory midnight dinner at the Chambers, and how the food didn’t seem so great, it will never be the same again.

And the Oberoi. Or the Trident or the Hilton. Whichever name its being called by. So often one has trooped from the old to the new, not sure where the meeting was. Memories of walking into the lobby a novice so unsure, overawed by the large glass windows, the piano in the atrium, the sight of so many people. Slowly how one got used to it. Freezing at the conf room in the business center because the AC was too efficient, gawking at the baubles on display at the boutiques. Looking all day at the sea from the 16th floor, watching her change moods, envy at the distant apartments the views they’d have…

How dare they.

How dare they.
Am ok.
Anyone talks of secularism, I'll break your teeth.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The heady scent of ground cinnamon, cardamom, cloves. Tej patta, coriander, pepper, and then some spices I don’t quite know the names of, but the notes fit in some place in the memory lingers, though I cut it fine this morning.

Sunday evening, at the wedding function. The father died a few months back, a heart attack, a shock for all. The mother shook off her grief, insisted life go on, and then his best friends took over, taking the function to a state of flawless execution. A crisp salute.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why do I seek complexities? In the bookstore in the hometown (where I do my book shopping, far better than making funny faces at the suburb traffic), I head past the prettily arranged bestsellers, for the books in a language that continues to surprise; memories of Mrs. Arora in Class 7 patiently deciphering, unscrambling my stab-attempts at the language. Yes, another AP it is, ये कागज़, ये कलम, ये स्याही and I shall look at the words I don’t quite know, turn them over, seek connects with what it sort of sounds like; the strangest of interests for sure.

Returning from the bank the other day, we compete for a rick, yours truly and four pairs of tiny hands, shepherded by their mothers. Maybe I can give you a lift? Bhuma- Bhumika, Vrusha, Lakshmi, all pretty red checked pinafore and red ribbons kindergarteners, thank you for those lovely smiles; the pleasure was entirely mine.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One is so used to projections, to outcomes, to cause and effect, mega scale 5 year plans. The busy-ness of it all.
Why does one resist- simply sitting back and enjoying the ride?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So you put your head down and get on with the day.

There is charm in a blatant peach sunset, in Calylilly green, in movies from Hyderbhai’s library.

There is a lightness. An incredible lightness of being.

There is laughter, in old friends teasing. In connecting.

In health tales from oldies-goldies, in the retelling of family yarns.

In lanes that turn and new shortcuts discovered-a pleasure not to be sniffed at.

At some level, one watches on, the spectator, the joker in the pack.

In all of this, what is there to write?

Friday, November 14, 2008

But I have no excuse.
After the meetings and conferences, after all the Nokia contacts were backed up, and after all the digital images were resized.

Will return to posting as usual now.

Thank you for coming back.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sometimes you get a week where you say, "That's enough already.."
Sometimes you get a week when you say that, and its only Tuesday.
Storm handled, for now.
Later is another day.

Sometimes even sunlight gleaming off perfect aquamarine can pall.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Delicate fronds of white-topped green nod with the dawn breeze. Paper lanterns at the street corner shimmer at the whisper of a draft. So strange the memories we retain.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Its Diwali. The festival of lights.
A gentle reminder of happier times ahead.
Even if it took the Lord twelve years in exile.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Too little, too late.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You go home singing O’my darlin Clementine (in your mind, but of course) , after you’ve seen stuff like this all day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The usual walk in the park, looking at the sky, the eucalyptus leaves outlined against a peach dawn, dew on the grass, the corner I call the bamboo grove…all routine till I overhear a conversation… “…santoor and the rendition was excellent..” Shock the parent by turning around and asking a complete stranger, “So which raga did he present?” keywords for the next few minutes- bilaskhani todi, bilawal, asavari ...Ah, life!. Then the discordant notes of the day don't hurt as much. Surprising, the things one does sometimes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

After the last strains of the jhinjhoti faded, and your fingers were still, that’s when the voices must have taken over, insidious and clamoring. Now only the good pieces remain, like rich embroidery on a kutchi shawl; a million lustrous, bright threads, a pattern that seems different every time you look at it- and there were so many- then the patchy, worn backdrop does not matter. It really is all about naav- nadi- sanjog. Peace, that’s all that remains.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

How the mind loves a tidy story, all ends tied up, no grief, anguish or loose threads; so amusing to see all the tough tales prettied up, closure- it must be in our DNA. For the IWW practice stub this week, even Red Riding Hood and Madame Bovary were tonied up.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I’d forgotten how hot October can be, dry heat scorching three layers of skin, the wind burning your eyes and grit that sticks to the skin; it didn’t seem to affect a pair of pigeons playing about in a puddle, though.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Don’t want to forget this from the inauguration on Thurs.; past the glare reflected off the pristine white-gray factory amidst scrubland, thinking that the creation of wealth, jobs from practically nothing, is GOOD, even sacred.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Please pray for Mr AB.
If only I had a copy, if only the Gods that rule the Post Office had been kind.
Apparently I have a translated story in print. Finally finally.
A translation of Pravinsinh Chavda’s Sudamacharitra.
From Gujarati into English.
In Indian Literature, which is published by Sahitya Academi, N Delhi.
Sahitya Academy is India’s National Academy of Letters.
This is the first acceptance of a translation in five years.
Feels good. But also distanced.
Which I can’t explain.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Market headlines: Panic returns. Carnage.
I guess that’s it. For the next five years. Or so.
When the index touched 18 k -One didn’t dance on the table or spew cash like confetti.
So one shuts the eff up.
And gets on with it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Relativity,with a different spin.
“Go to a proper doctor. Go now!” I say, staring at the funny prescription from a doc with a string of funny degrees.
The girl sitting quietly in the corner nods, changes into her uniform, spends the next two hours tidying up the salon, wiping spotlessly clean surfaces.
Money trouble. Such a relative term. No cribbing.
Worst case, the sky wont fall down.

Garvi Gujarat.

added Oct 9: That girl is doing quite ok. Checked t'day.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Whirr a sparrow swooped, picked up a rice grain, and then she flew away
Age 3. That frock with smocking and “I love you Mommy” embroidered. Wiping your grubby tears. I know you want Ma and Dadaji, but you’ll have to stay here. This is your home. And this is your tricycle, see how shiny bright the bell is.

Whirr a sparrow swooped, picked up a rice grain, and then she flew away
Anand Balwadi. Balwadi ni bus, chaley dhas mas. Ek biladi jadi. Bari maan Babli baithi ti and the monkey on the roof.
All the rhymes I remember but will never sing.

Whirr a sparrow swooped, picked up a rice grain, and then she flew away
School. School’s boring. Miss has a shrill voice. She makes you cry.
You prefer my class, specy, pigtailed, drawing in your notebook while I struggle with seventh standard math.

Whirr a sparrow swooped, picked up a rice grain, and then she flew away
You hit back at anyone being nasty to me. Later you shout back. The things we learn. A special language only we know. Let it be. Doesn’t matter.
Your bus is late. Again. Where do these children go! Nupur’s mom and I, so many times.
Scour, find. The afternoon sun burns up the road.

Whirr a sparrow swooped, picked up a rice grain, and then she flew away
Kathak. The starter class. The cyclone outside. Dancing, two left feet and me, so you wouldn’t cry, Papa’s not back as yet.
Kathak, your visharad.
Kathak, the green dress with lots of pleats from my first ever salary.

Whirr a sparrow swooped, picked up a rice grain, and then she flew away
Your swirling skirts. Nine nights, Navratri. Three steps, six steps, nine steps, fifteen.
I watch aghast. So many steps! I’d rather sit and sing, thank you.

Whirr a sparrow swooped, picked up a rice grain, and then she flew away
Doing your punishment homework, with the swirl in the S and the loopy g’s.
Uniforms. Brown paper covers for your notebook. Nine nines are…

Whirr a sparrow swooped, picked up a rice grain, and then she flew away.
The queen of taans. Outdoing, showoff.
You signal the sam even when its hidden in a flurry of beats.All the taals like a pulse-beat, because of your dance riyaz.
Fights over who’s bringing the tanpura. Who’s taking it back. Why I only must do it everytime, what will you do…
Scowling, making funny faces.
Covering up, singing. One voice blends into another, reaches for the skies.
Barsey meha boond boond

Whirr a sparrow swooped, picked up a rice grain, and then she flew away.
Flying kites for Utran, dark glasses and cap inscribed with “Friend” perched. Kite fights. Mogambo khush hua…You win.

Whirr a sparrow swooped, picked up a rice grain, and then she flew away.
The punch-in-the-gut end. The skintight jeans. The off shoulder T. Charity.

Whirr a sparrow swooped, picked up a rice grain, and then she flew away.
Another Oct 4.
We let you down.
Maybe you always knew.
I return to the words- samdrashti ney kapat rahit chey.
One lifetime to live one word.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A day of uncomfortable surprises.
Arm twisting over a mugshot.
A classmate from 1989 chances upon the blog. And identifies.
Here was I, writing about sunsets and blue skies.
Wonder what next, trouble comes in threes.
The bailout?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another 29th Sept.
A year older. Now forty-four.
A nice, round number. No hard edges, unlike 43.
43 is brash-angular, with sharp edges. Wannabe. Defiant.
Drama. Screeching violins. Thunder storms.
Sums up the last year. The last decade.
Now the housekeepin’s done.

44? I’ll figure out. By and by.
Stillness. Peace.
An equipoise kind of peace, know that one?
That’s the mantra. Next ten years.

The fine wrinkles, the silver, the laugh lines- a toast.
Peach-orange tint to a morning.
A solitary star pinned to the night sky.

Shushing greens.
A dog that rushes to greet.

A handmade gift from someone precious.
That 5 am tea from the parent.
Gift me the eyes to see.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It is good to walk. To see the fluffy outline of a cloud, watch errant dust whirls. To be close to the ground, how the bumpy the roads are. To know which way the wind blows. As also the basics, of grain and greens. Not knowing, living in card castles can muck up the world and cost you $700 bill.

Monday, September 22, 2008

As I try pull myself out of a grumpy mood, I remind myself of the man selling that whirring helicopter toy at the traffic signal yesterday, the white cats curled asleep on the car hood this morning, and how despite all, dew glistens on about a fifty shades of green in the park.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

All of yesterday was spent in meetings in the bored room, and since we reached early we avoided the traffic and the deluge. Read a few stories from Urban Voice enroute, till I reached a tale that made my brain standstill, then I could only look out and watch the vintage art deco buildings blur past.

B&W photo-portraits of Rajahs, Maharajahs, Nawabs and sundry chieftains line the teak paneled wall; dressed in finery and baubles, with shining eyes and fierce moustaches. Twenty one gun salute, fifteen gun salute, rank, privilege and protocol bound; some wouldn’t even acknowledge the other out of cussed pride, and here we are, all these decades later, decoration on a wall. Ah time.

Met a friend in the city on the way back, for no fault he’s between a rock and a hard place, the firm he works for is on the hitlist, a trillion dollars can’t be prettied up by parking it; you can’t give home loans at 3.5 % and allow debt of 30 times, someday its payback time, the whole world suffers. Who is John Galt?

The glowing Hussain in the lobby. The rain swept sea and skies all the same color, the cascade in the portico. Still as lovely.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Not much seemed to have changed at the hotel in the capital- it was quite tranquil, life as usual, wheelers-dealers and sundry poltis ambled in quite unconcerned, the buzz just as loud, security just as lax. The image of alert security men at the check in counter for El Al, the Israeli Airline comes to mind. Just two days after the blasts, and where are we?

A stretch limo for the man who let the Kosi rage. Nice.

The trees. Almost like a forest. Branches unpruned, intertwined and growing any which way. That thick undergrowth. Right in the city. Envy that. WhycantwehavetreeslikethatinMumbai.

This market’s giving me the blues.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Too much drama for one day. I’m referring to the index seesaw which was better post afternoon, read govt pressure. Real jobs and real money gone in a blink of an eye. No Lehman. No Merrill. What happens to BRIC now?

Just when one had come to terms with the horror in Delhi. One more city, same strategy-bomb and fear- escalating anger, a dirty visceral anger. Keep that paperwork ready, already.

You recall the dancing crowds yesterday, escorting the Idols to the sea. They’re dressed in orange t-shirts, swaying not to a bollywood number or a prayer, but to an anthem praising a party’s might. Scary.

And you think of the gentle rain falling, the twinkling lights, how lush the grass is no matter what- and try to get on with your day.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I don’t think it is ever possible to know oneself completely.
Forget about anyone else.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blush. Duh. I have me an award.

Drumroll… or something.

In the spirit of graciousness that Manujee conferred this award, I bequeath-

Mago the magician, for opening up a pandora’s box of people and places

Quin’s fmd, for being what she is, just quin!

Babyisland, and the three leeetle ones on an island someplace

Supermom Crustybeef

Portia who grooves on, so she does, and the great art hidden someplace in the archives.

Amit scintillates (when he’s not copy-pasting, that is.)

Paulo the wise, for making me think.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This isn’t a nice post.
Look how quickly things get over.
Pieces of jute string and a diya at the gate.
A grieving family.
How suddenly things happen.
When she’s gone, what is left?
She had such a good heart, everybody says.
I pay my respects and go back. Sort of close family, but not quite.
We spend so much time and effort in acquiring things, striving- and its over in an instant.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Something the voice said.
Its only later that I berate myself for being so arrogant. Judgmental. That a box with a sandwich, a pack of wafers and cookies can mean a great deal to someone. So much so that they crowd, fishmarket style; and scream, niceties and five-star ambiance be damned. So often one transposes one’s value system, but the frames of reference are so darned different there is just no connect. Lazy thinking on my part.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Chants on the loudspeakers enroute to work. (later in the day, blaring movie songs as well). Marigold garlands. Strings of lights strung across the road. The roar of drumbeats- hypnotic. The cheers of the crowds taking the Ganpati idols for immersion.
Something glorious in the air.
TOI, for long a rule unto itself, has found a formidable opponent in twilight fairy.
Yes, she knows its a tough battle.

Read on:

Hey all,

Recently a picture of mine, under "all rights reserved" license was used by
TOI in one of its supplements, dated 18th July
without my permission and without giving me any form of credit or

I contacted the editor on phone as well as mail, politely asking for
compensation and credit and what I got was a "take this or sue me" attitude
and no concern for the fact that what they did was illegal, not to forget

Apart from other things that I'll do, as a blogger, the best I can do is
write about it and make sure that everyone knows that such a thing is being

If any journalist here is interested in publishing this as a story, please
do. I know of several such copyright violation cases now and a cumulative
would be even more powerful an article.

If any lawyer would like to get in touch with me, please contact me at
twilightfairy at gmail dot com.

Here's her account :
http://blog. twilightfairy. in/2008/09/ 01/toi-believes- flickr-is- for-flicking/

Monday, September 01, 2008

A traffic jam on the over bridge, an hour from east to west; a gentle breeze touches the pipal canopy etched against the just-about orange sky as a truck trailer carries an oversized Ganpati home, escorted by a gleeful orange bandana and T contingent.

The Worli- Bandra bridge cuts across, a ribbon spanning the sea; just ahead in silhouette is a 34-storeyed apartment under construction, the arm of the crane juts out like a black palm holding a golden sky. “Three to five years, sorry,” I mumble, looking at the golden orb dip in the distant ocean.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Establishments right from rickety Happy Hair Cutting Salon to glass-fronted McDonalds have changed their signboards to the local script overnight. Would be amusing if the brawn show wasn’t scary.

Three days to the Ganpati festival.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A completely random happiness.
Channel surfing. Find, on UTV movies- A Hard Day’s Night.
Squeal, shout, cheer, sing along; every yeah yeah yeah, every wo ooo oo oou.
Every darn word. How the lines sound.
The parent looks on, bemused.
This is the first-ever record I’d seen as a 5 year old.
Shiny cover, the fab four, memories of jumping on the bed, monkey-style.
How does the brain remember?

Monday, August 25, 2008

A bed of lush weeds, a sprinkle of silver, a few periwinkle amidst riotous green.
I'm happy for the strangest reasons.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

THE Mr. AB replied to a comment I'd left on his blog.

Dazzled. Awe.

Friday, August 22, 2008

You stare at the mail eyebrows raised, nostril flared and lip half-stretched in disbelief, you’re hearing from someone you’d given up on, for something you’d given up on a long time back.
Sorry- this is cryptic.
For now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Greed, rapacious avarice, and dishonesty.
No, have never seen this magnitude before.
I watch it like a specimen on a slide.


Monday, August 18, 2008

It’s been a good three-day break. Glimpses remain.
-Realizing how light from incandescent bulbs can put one to sleep as early as ten in the night.

-Realizing that one will never quite fathom the sacrifices so many have made for us to live on free land, breathe free air and speak out. Looked through scribbled notes from the essay, to try and understand that mettle, wondered where it all disappeared.

-Connecting with family on raksha bandhan, now the email and phone way.

- Looking spellbound at the Silk and Spice route story on Discovery. So many have come and gone, the march of ages, et al, and one day so shall we. Lovely shots, but.

-Began reading White Oleander- beautiful words, its the kind of story that you think of when you wake up first thing in the morning.

-Tons of friends, long distance calls lasting an hour or more, a vision of the flat with the distant sea view and slums next door.

- tough sub, but I did it, 400 and done.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Med chem remember? Engineering drawing? Workshop? Swotting. Writing formulae, equations on the wall. Cology, cognosy, all the stuff we learnt, arcane measures like minims? Its been a neat twenty years since we toiled away at titrations. Since we used slips of butterpaper to steady those circa sixties balances, playing it so much by the ear, all POTA numbers. And yet when I talked to you the other day it was like you’d never left. Strange how some friendships last, some don’t.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Laughter, teasing, and when that young niece and nephew discuss vintage hindi films from the sixties and the latest music do you realize how time has sped by. A loved elder’s birthday, celebrations, family ties, everyone talking at the same time, an unspoken thought like the music in the air, next year who knows. Sunday evening, bits of Om shanti om with the remote on standby you realize even a standard, run of the mill story can be given a super treatment, that is art.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Grass tousled by spray rain. A drop falters bamboo leaf edge.
A mynah trots on wet paving stones.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

What is the color of closure? I don’t know. But it sure has a sweet smell. For reaching this close to insanity a year ago, for grief and for that laughable abject gratitude- let karma take its own dues. Maybe I owed, and I paid up- that too, is possible. I don’t even want to know which version is your truth.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A greeting fetches a cuss and an angry word volley, and then it hits home- what the Buddha meant by dispassionate active calm and how many trillion lifetimes you are away from it.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Without a rolldown screen or a sheet to project on, they cannot use the film. So many different Indias, from the six-screen multiplex to projection on a village wall.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Acknowledge the mess, action measures and dammit move on. The time for decision is at the beginning-not now. Done is done. My blunders are all life-size, ever lasting.
(Work related.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sometimes I think I’d be quite happy in a languid silence cocoon, stirring now and then, content to let the world merrily spin by - and I gently remind myself that I’m almost there.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The wind whistles a banshee wail, scatters rain spray, and bounds off the glass walls of this six-storeyed building on a hill.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Every time there is a bombing I think of Kandahar. Tolerate for how long?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The oversized mickey mouse that watches over the wet playswings wears a lopsided grin, the puddles by the pink and rainbow slide shine back at a blurry sky, its finally raining (after a long dry spell),oh yes a certain whatchacallit in the air.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Do you remember what 2000 was like? I do not. Scary, this grainy sense of days coalescing into each other like photographs you can't quite see the images on, nameless blobs of b&w with nothing to show for it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I coo at this chubby five-month charmer as he gurgles, shows off a toothless smile while his proud parents beam; yes, truly a miracle, a reminder for cynical-at-the-edges me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A puree of this, that and the other thrown together; you dipstick taste it but a vital something’s missing and it nags you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Part of the struggle in the act of changing the words over is keeping the meaning intact, part is admitting to oneself the thought-change any set of words causes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On the horizon the sunset an orange-red slash sandwiched by dense blue black ; a dramatic backdrop to reminisce about the school in a mango orchard, long-gone teachers whose admonitions still echo, and first sighs.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Two weddings, one condolence visit; the widow’s grief a shroud, in all enough social activity-chit chat to last me a month, and I step back into a quiet place.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Crimson, which is also on the older roughpad, is accepted for a poetry anthology.
Feels good.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yesterday this colleague from another department was someone you met in the lift, said good morning to. Today its not. Why is death so sudden?

Second anniv. of July 11 commuter train bomb blasts.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stunning greens in the park. Shock still for a moment I reach out and clasp, drink thirstily this energy, exuberant life force, rooted yet reaching skywards; an instant. Whtchacallit.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A rustle wave through knee-high grass, a cat crouches- all white, black paw, amber eyed- but goblins and elves?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What kind of man does this?
In the dark, in the softly falling rain, a girl in a medicated daze, runs and is chased by a man with a camera while her father looks on, the OB van follows close behind, the live feed for national broadcast has supers reading “obsessed/jilted fan hounds celebrity” or similar.
What kind of man does this?
My response is unladylike and quite unprintable.

Monday, July 07, 2008

When it’s the harsh real-world grittiness and intriguing multiple-layer complexity of a Sarkar Raj that stays with you versus the few frames of a frothy chocolatey Dil to Pagal Hai that you force yourself to see “for old times sake”; that you really realize what the years do- you’ve changed.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Watching the machine instantly correct blemishes to make the images print-ready, one wonders what if this option were available in real life, an instant flowing mane, creamy skin or slender waist; but if something were too easy to access in no time it would lose value.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

That water finds its own level.
That water flows downhill.
Mostly. But if the path downhill is blocked, water floods.
And so it did.
Caged a lift marking a furrow in the said flood waters (memories of Cal), made it to work to learn I was the only person in my group, turned right around and went home.
The BMC commissioner more or less says “live with it”.
Was that in English?

Monday, June 30, 2008

Those projects did move on to micromanage.Salvaged nth minute, and now are out of the ICU but still in the general ward. J Which means the end is quite some distance away.
The third project, the really really big one, has yet to re-begin.

Must document the curious case of the burnt plastic and the lost tax filing sometime.
Luckily, both were retraced, retrieved after a lot of hand wringing.
Learning- follow up, always always. Also, that he is really getting old, despite his gung-ho attitude.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What bugs you?

That was the writing prompt this week. Interesting reactions, how they vary around the world.

Of course, as a country we tolerate entirely too much.

July 26, 2005 memories of the deluge.

So what bugs you?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

In the darkness of crowds trooping home, a woman in a sequined polyester saree worn too high, hands over cash from her rexin purse to a man who stands entirely too close for comfort-so many paths this story can take,what I see will be quite different from what you see, is it not?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Among a roomful of bejeweled women in rustling kanjeevarams and charming gray-haired men seated by white linen covered tables, a bullet from a silenced mauser smuggled through the service entrance of the luxury hotel ricochets off a chandelier. Another whizzes and reaches its target- the elderly statesman at the podium- just as he steps away for some water. Screams, shattering glass, running footsteps and darkness.

Disclaimer: Take one long commute. One bored woman, sitting at said table, twiddling thumbs. One rambling speech. Lots of clapping. Blend.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

And humpty dumpty had a great fall.
Silly shoes. Silly me.
Interesting work pace. Crazy, but fun.
Nothing profound. Emerging perspectives are intriguing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

387 words, and done. Unlike last week. There always is time, always. Time is a construct, someone said. A patli gali, a jugaad. Now for the crit deluge. Feels awful when I don’t.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I like to micromanage. On once-a-year projects, the big ones that well, matter. To see it through, each page/frame. Signing off ceremoniously, then its not in my hands anymore, right? This once I’m not doing that- boss’s orders, too much happening at the same time. Am tense and completely in knots. Am trying visual imagery, the annual visit to Mt Mary’s and putting the finished product at her feet like always. Not working too well.

And as always when I need to stop fretting, I cooked. Ground masalas too- garam masala and dhana-jeeru (coriander-cummin), heavenly that fragrance; understood why the aunts back home concoct their own blends instead of buying from the shops.

Father’s day y’day. Baba and I laughed at the 85% discount we’d get if we shopped at Reliance Trends. (One got a discount equivalent to the parent’s age.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Because he is the King. Because there is only one King.
Because of Abhimaan. And Alaap. Kabhie Kabhie. Silsila. And Black. And Satte pe satta. Kala patthar. And weeping through Muqaddar ka Sikandar. Twice.
Just, because.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Recycling words. Fragments of phrases, half remembered. Reuse, renew. One could get quite good at this.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Walking home eating a just-roasted, lime and salt-chilli smeared bhutta (corn on the cob), watching reflections in the puddles... Ah,Life.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I turn my face to the sky. Gentle drops brush my skin. Lightening cuts to the ground, a temper tantrum. Rain: intent, pelting, insistent, driven falls like a sheet of steel. I draw the raincoat closer, all resistance futile, drenched in no time.

Another rain: bai’s shanty, mostly mud, tin and stone, has caved in. She runs around trying to find the money, knowing that she hasn’t what it’d take to build strong, 1.5 lacs. She knows and I know what she’s putting together is flimsy, temporary, just about there, but it’ll have to do. Like a lot of things, patchwork.

The city is a mess. Already. BMC, MMRDA officials should be made to stand on the expressway in a downpour, swirling water rising waist high. A first witness check on the so-called disaster management. My first and last crib on this issue.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Last night I saw a red-black night sky with scattered lines of fluffy clouds, lightning cackled like an artist’s highlights, a strange electric unease filled the air. Later, a shower washed leaves clean of grime, that just-about-wet earth smell. Relief.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Abhilasha Ojha/ Business Standard/ How the Jawahar Knowledge Center initiative by the Govt of Andhra Pradesh is changing trajectories for several below-poverty-line families.

Does the soul good to read about hope.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A sprig of red- tipped neem flowers dance against a sea of green, for a day or two- but so beautiful.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


you say whattheeff.

what a day. aint over yet.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A no-word tribute to Dadaji, my grandfather, whose 108th b’day anniv was on the 24th.
It was his stubborn will that pushed the family out of the village else I’d still be there, waiting to fill water at a well in a hot dusty hopeless place.

Its beyond clammy, this ugly sweat at 85% humidity, by afternoon a scorching sun-a strange restlessness waiting for the first monsoon. Its going to be a thundering raging one, this season, an ole woman can feel it in her bones.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Like a child with colors and an outline drawing, I’ve gleefully filled in the missing sentences. The story’s from real life, can’t get any better, and if it shocks more than it politely ought to, ach, what can I do?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Only sometimes. You see something that leaves you numb.
Hazaaron Khwaishein aisi/ A thousand dreams such as these/ Sudhir Mishra.
I’m glad I saw it only now. Four years ago I was too raw.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cut out sunset. Still a beautiful world.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Had written this yesterday, but not posted:
Storms rage overhead. I watch horrified. Somewhat relieved. Not me/mine. Anxious too. This monsoon the skies will pour, like crazy. Chengdu. Xian. Schoolchildren. ohwhatcanyousay. Its raining in Myanmar, furious pelting rain, after the cyclone. Storms that eclipse personal catastrophes. What a tiny speck of insignificance man is, completely useless for all the posturing and shoo-shaa.

Now its me/ mine.

You can go to buy vegetables and be blown apart. Or miss a limb.
The authorities will make the usual noises. Then the case will fizzle out. Like the commuter train blasts.
When do we hit back at the terror-sponsors? When will the US stop mollycoddling Pakistan?

Friday, May 09, 2008

That there are just x plus 1 themes, that a story has a prime of 7 characters; that all editing is iteration- you clean up till the incremental effort is no longer worth your time; that is Manil Suri’s take on the connect in writing and maths. (Mumbai Mirror, May 7)

Somehow one has viewed tales as patterns, aberrations or breaks in pattern really, a delta on the normal, the expected, and the liberty to spin a yarn on the reasons thereof. Is there a connect between biology and writing?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

When I’m busy tense, the sort that’s all prickly nerves but not much work, I cook. Hence the hunt last night for my grandmother’s cookbook, succor, order and who knows what in its tattered pages and just-about-there spine. Looking for spices I can ground to an obedient powder to add signature flavor and body to the routine. Just about there cardamom and a dash of clove… As I peer at the strange measures, all zero’s and ones, tola, adha and pa, measures long since discarded, I wonder what exactly I’m looking for, and what stops me from reaching for the store-bought stuff sitting pretty in its container.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

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The concert on Saturday morning was held at the park. As the first notes of Ahir Bhairav spun out, a cuckoo responded with a cascade of golden notes. Nat bhairav, a Kabir bhajan and a Bhairavi piece created magic for the ten- odd listeners amongst a sea of chairs. The regular walkers kept intent on their ten-minute-stride-and-done.
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Friday, May 02, 2008

5 things that surprised:

-the handmade patchwork quilt in crazy colors airing on the fence of that enviable slice of real estate, a buffalo shed, squat by the express highway with the shiny cars; right next to the marble tiled apartment that costs 1.5cr

- the trees alit with purple blooms by the Santacruz flyover. The flyovers were a delight, traffic free.

-jamming with the kid on the synthesizer, he played a passably good kal ho na ho. And the beat in Khaikey paan. The child is so naïve for a baniya’s son.

That’s three. The rest didn’t.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fabulous lines from Tashan’s signature song-Dil hara- rasta bola, garaj ke aandhi hogi, baras ki tufaan hoga yaheen ruk ja..Lovely, the energy, the syncing with drums- just this one single para, and the turn the line takes after, superb!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I begin to hum, just hearing the fluid notes the hero outlines, words of an age-old composition pulled out of a twenty-five year and rusting memory, of long afternoons spent rehearsing, out-doing yadayadayada. I trip on the name of the raga- Neer Bharan Kaisey jaaon from Khuda Key Liye is in Tilak Kamod, not Piloo. But not bad.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A year since Baba’s operation. A year since I watched, sleepless, the pale wash of colors that filtered beam-like from the AC, a vigil moist-eyed till the colors blurred to a stunning clarity. Some lessons you never forget.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A flock of green-black parrots dots an orange-peach sky, a tiny speck of a chopper whirs past, oblivious of the birds, haze, or matchbox-like cars in busy lines on the highway.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sandalwood, and the scent lingers long after. Medimix, a bad brand name for a soap so delightfully herb-fresh.

“Because the mother-in-law was once the daughter-in-law” heads the list of Indian soaps that the Afghan government has banned. We should ban them serials too.

Promises to be a scorching summer.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I LIKE crime, the financial sort, nothing messy; also sci-fi, with six moons orbiting an airless earth, to WRITE about, of course, but most of all I like the way it gives you the freedom to Dali-like, stretch ho hum reality way past the escalating price of greens, grain and fruit.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

In the few minutes that I scrounged after the meeting, I reached the garden back home, where the first thing I saw was the badam, broken, snapped into two, twig-like, by lightening and the windstorm or so they say; but the asopalav were all right, they could bend to the force of the gale.

The lady in the seat behind mine was traveling with her young sons, all the way to Toronto, this evidently was her first flight ever, she was moving bag and baggage, on permanent resident visa to a land she’d never seen, a language she didn’t know, new people and a new life, and I wonder what is it in our genes that makes us pack up and move, and makes some stay put, come hell or high water.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We’re eighty-five today. Everyday a new day, touchwood. So lukkha he won’t even treat me to peanuts, nah you can’t, he cackles.

Watching the golden orb rise beyond the horizon-line, past the few straggly trees on dusty scrub and the huge pipe that runs to the distant reservoir, one can just imagine onceuponatime, itwaslikethis packed lush green, bird calls to a crescendo, insects buzz, suddenly a rustle in the undergrowth and …silence.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

6S, Volume One, publishes today.
Congratulations to all my friends- Crusty, Quin, Babyisland, who've written; this calls for a toast!
For book details, pls visit

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Two sticky learnings. Someone’s long due salute to a writing class teacher who sent her back-“live life, get bruised, then write”; elsewhere a child with cancer celebrates a rare day in school, then sends in her homework.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Nothing newsworthy. Life is even-keel.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sometimes the shortest way west is to first go east and take the bridge over; you never quite know what particular brand of surprise you’ll find, like that cut-rate second hand bookshop with man-height tall stacks of books, but you buy a train ticket to cross, much to the horror of the auto driver who drops you there.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Blame it on a Mercury retrograde. Two trips into town for one pair of specs, because the opticians forgot one minor measure. Its rather hot already, even with the fast trains the commute is one hour minimum including a fifteen minute trudge through shortcut lanes, but ok, if that’s on the cards, so it is. Did find a new way to reach Crawford market though, a walk that involved some nifty turns past old shops and derelict heritage buildings. Later learnt some personal history- I’d trudged past the now dilapidated office where an uncle once started out in life with shared table space only-law practice; yes, this is the city where anything can happen, anytime.

And for once I have shoes that are not Bata relics.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

After all the social chit chat over dinner, after asking about the health of second cousins whose names one can’t remember, you talked about your work with the salt-pan workers in rural Kutch, teaching them micro-finance, helping them source loans to buy bicycles with, and streamlining age-old work processes; this is REAL WORK, not sitting on a chair in an air-conditioned office, or so I think.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ah glee! A patli gali, new shortcut, traffic-free- a road that twists and turns, goes up hill and down, mocks the flashy expressway that it briefly runs past but that one’s traffic-heavy, past buildings that perch higgledy-piggeldy on what used to be a hill, tumble-down shanties, a track that goes past areas that are not so nice, repair shops for trucks and tempos, take a left, take a right on to smooth concrete and then viola! home…

Monday, March 31, 2008

Rahman rocks! What a show- tremendous, pulsating energy that holds that thousand-strong crowd mesmerized, clapping and singing along; stupendous wizardry, that variation on the notes. Each time he renders Dil se, its flawless, soul-gripping, different. Only on the telly, alas.

Different rocks too, on the lovely ladies who do dinner; showroom-quality rocks that outshone the strings of lights at the reception last night, lights that shone and glittered with the sea breeze and the quite chatter on an impeccable lawn. I lasted there for half an hour, I’m getting better at the howd’youdo’s.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

This year the corner cassia is in bloom, a showy all-gold Monet. Quite unlike the washed out pales last year.
Still, the cuckoo trills pre-dawn to a single star pinned to the sky

Friday, March 28, 2008

Talking to you yesterday the years magically condensed, talking late into the night over mugs of stealthily brewed coffee huddled on hostel-issue beds, talking about this that and the other, and despite all, nothing has changed, not really.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Glittering purple lights on the tarmac under a pitch-black sky, a single star shines overhead. An evening spent savoring art and the art of conversation by a lush lawn in a perfect home, envy the old-styled swings on the Mangalore-tiled open porch. The big city past midnight is a million points of gold, this makes the two hour flight delay worthwhile. So many colors, so many… on such days I tell myself go get real.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The flames of the bonfire for Holi. A piecemeal bonfire with old furniture and sundry twigs and branches, the way it best is. A red veiled newly wed performs the customary pooja. The chattering crowd is hep- no, I don’t know anyone here and I’m content not to, to just stand back, be a part of the crowd-edges, hear the cackle and hiss as flames leap red orange against a black sky and watch red edged embers float gently to the ground.

Splashes and patches of purple- magenta- red on tar, wild shrieks and laughs of kids playing holi brought back memories of times when one was happy to be a red, green and yellow haired witch draped in kaleidoscopic multicolor, when did all this change?

A saturday off for once, and where does it go?

The colors around are so lovely, I’d rather keep them to myself for a while. Spring.

Monday, March 17, 2008


A hundred shades of green flutter in the breeze, forming an intricate lace canopy over impatient traffic.
Shiny cars, rattling autos, buses and cycles jostle to a metallic symphony and set off tiny dust clouds.
But by the roadside, dancing jade shimmers against the palest blue.

The season of colors.

Orange-red kesu flowers are stark and extravagant on a distant leafless tree.
The leaves have long withered, leaving the sap free to nourish the buds and blossoms.
Traditional songs, the hori, rave about the color called gulaal, that these flowers are processed to produce.
Colors that are sprinkled to play Holi, the spring festival that marks the change of seasons.
In time, these flowers will drop one by one, leaving a bare-branched tree stark by an orange carpet.

The season for change. The season of colors.

Friday, March 14, 2008

So its been a hectic week.

So the tests from last week are in, after all the prodding, pinching and wincing, and one’s genes being what they are, the results are what they are, and for once one is glad about the four plus year godawful degree one took, one knows how to handle this. Somewhat. Enough already. No comments.

There are three ways into town. Spent most of last week and this week exploring the roads and guesstimating traffic, inkypinkyponky we take THIS one, and cut past like that, and then THAT shortcut... and hopefully get where we’re supposed to. The days were spent in sinful luxury by the sea, talking work, gazing wistfully at the Gateway and envying the milling crowds eating bhelpuri past the high rise plateglass windows and taking trips on double decker tourist steamers cutting a smart arc in the glittering sea . Lunch was served on silver dishes, some of it quite all right, what’s to complain, though they could go easy on the oil and ghee. One learning: the ride does seem all right if one is listening to FM in the gridlock, red tail lights and way too many cars, particularly edge to edge on JJ bridge and one cant help but wonder if the design specs considered these loads. If you take the eastern expressway before eight in the morning, its fascinating to see the contrasts and the changes, from genteel art deco to working class grit, ancient mill-lands under development, swanky glass and steel nestling with single room chawl- type community living. And nice trees, more green than we see in my part of town. No, that’s not correct, possibly the green is more interesting because its unexpected.
Been crazily busy. Will post today.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Brick, mortar,glass cladding and steel do a hotel make. The squat structure by the domestic airport has been transformed from the public sector behemoth it once was, touched by a magic sprinkle called for-profit enterprise; though that path did witness a few eyebrow-raising quick ownership changes enroute. The atrium is beautiful, vast given the frugal norm in this space-hungry city, stunning given the contrast with its ugly cement exterior. Stunned the suits as well, and that’s quite something, since this bunch excels at seen it all-done it all. Impeccable poolside, tropical aviary, rippling stream and envy-invoking rattan for the seating clusters. The meeting rooms have cushioned walls, something even the town biggies have missed out on. One tiny nit– those strings of artificial flowers lining the railings do look plastic.

Decent enough week. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A friend writes:

Creative non-fiction - which is autobiographical, but
is always dangerous because the images and characters
are so present, so vivid, that when I write I take a
lot for granted - forgetting that the reader cannot
see what I see.

That shower of dust particles dancing in that lazy afternoon light, sepia tinted with gold The timbre of voices, crystal, as they rose in unison, tackling mundane scales, now supportive, now showing off.

The fine wrinkle lines on the corners of my eyes and the laugh lines when I look in the mirror and see what I want to see.

The intricate needle point of a memory that recalls events from five decades ago, but not as much last week, or that important letter in today’s mail.

How could you ever see that?

Charade. A 1963 thriller. Audrey Hepburn, perfect, lovely clothes, and they all stay on. A completely impressive Cary Grant. Witty, laugh a minute. The dialogues are so crisp you couldn’t pare them if you tried. Yes, we finally watched this last night.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Eight things, more or less.
Because Quin said so.

8 things I’m passionate about

Baba, my eightyfour year ole sweetheart.
The stockmarkets, whattaride...
Words, 3 languages, thankyouverymuch
Street food
My India.

8 Things I Want to do Before I Die

Go to Istanbul. No I dunno why, but I must must MUST.
Have one book of translations published (not PDO or self publish)
Take a train that runs cross country, Jamnagar to Gauhati or Cochin to Jammu , where I can hop on and off the train at will, stopping wherever it I feel like
Take a year off to return to “real life”, maybe work in a store, too ivory towerish this life is sometimes
Own my home: glass finish kota tiles, at least one decoupage wall, bookshelves lining the corridor, nice long windows with flowing curtains, yes?

8 Things I Say Often

donkey (gadhedo chey) and its completely colorful variants
oh hell
On the other hand…

8 Books I've Recently Read

I have very little free time at home. I just about manage snippets:

The Shambhala Way
Van Gogh Blues
Navneet Samarpan, a literary magazine in Gujarati, where I’m trying to read a piece about the autobio of a child prodigy-author
Last Sunday’s Hindu Businessline and a pile of financial n’papers, and this never ever ends

8 Songs I Could Listen to Over and Over

Dil se/ ARR
Kholo kholo/ TZP/ Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Vaishnav Jan toh / Various
Udi udi udi/ ARR
Send your love remix / Sting
Michelle/ Beatles

8 Things That Attract Me to My Best Friends

they’re funny and bright
they’re honest and upfront
they don’t give a damn about appearances
they’re real. I cant explain this one. I cant stand fakes.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Four hundred words that were difficult to do, like squeezing out the last bit of toothpaste from the tube after you’ve pressed a rolling pin to smoothen the edges, greedily wheedle paste free of the metal tubing; finally victorious.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bollywood shining..

The black lady shone bright, our very own Filmfare awards that I’m talking about.

Someday I want to sit in the junta seats at Andheri Sports Complex, cheer myself hoarse and clap red palm-loudly.

Tare Zameen Par is the best movie of the year, Aamir Khan the best director, that cute kid the critic’s award. No doubt about that. Will take a while before we see anything close. On a subject that is as difficult to handle as dyslexia. Such a bright and oh its-great –to-be-alive treatment, superlative!

Tabu, the critics award for Cheeni Kum, I don’t think anyone else amongst the bevy of lovelies that tinsel town features, could carry this April- December romance with such panache.

Kareena for a vivacious true to life sardarni in Jab we met, the best actress award, the movie was a riot.

ARR for the stupendous score for Guru, will take a while before we hear anything close to Barso rey.

This once I’ve seen all the movies, except for Life in a Metro. No way I can sit next to the sweetheart and watch this one, with its tale of parallel and sequential affairs of the heart and whatchacallit, supposedly set in this city.

For all the ppl who’ve been googling for Toshi Sabri and reaching this page- He was on the Star Voice of India show on Saturday, a little thinner but on his feet. Should do ok, heavens willing.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sweet dreams, little princess.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

First babyisland, and then abbagirl, I’ve been tagged once too often on this one, so, here we go:

Page 123, skip 5 lines, write the next 3:

The Secrets of the Shambhala/ James Redfield:

..Even if we wanted to give Tibet its freedom, it would not be fair to the Chinese.”
He waited for me to say something, and I thought about confronting him with the government policy of importing Chinese nationals into Tibet in order to dilute the Tibetan culture. Instead, I said,” I think they just want to be free to pursue their religion without interference."

I’ve learnt quite a bit about intuition, energy fields and outcomes from this book, it has helped declutter my mind quite a bit. Now I just step away from things or people that my mind tells me to avoid.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

khakhra (roasted roti) with cheese spread/honey/ sesame masala. And the yellow khakhra is the store-made one, fenugreek flavored. Biscuits, meetha, a citrus fruit called Mosambi (dont know the English equiv) and a glass of guava juice from a carton.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ok. I admit it. I’m the only person I know who’d walk a kilometer for Okra.
Okra, as in the vegetable? Now paying ten bucks for a quarter of Okra from the vendors lining the road; nice green, slender and dainty ladies fingers, is wrong, is way too much. Not in the winter, when prices are supposed to hold better. How on earth is someone with a decent income or someone with a single salary supposed to manage, I debate as I walk home having spent much more. Strange enough, it costs the same at the shiny supermarket as it does at the vendors where you’re supposed to haggle, cajole and bully your way.

Tare Zameen Par

Amazing direction. Awesome colors. Beautiful. Great pace. No, its not a documentary-ish treatment for a difficult subject. There is no preaching. No dumbing-down.

How the director has managed to enter a nine-year old’s brain is something I’ll never know.

I was/am an dyslexic at math, I tell Papa, reminding him of the times I couldn’t leave the breakfast table without reaching twelve nines are. But numbers now are trends, lines that move up and down when they’re supposed to, and its when they don’t quite, that’s when you zoom in and push them some and turn them over.

But what a movie. Defining. Even if this man doesn’t make anything else, it would be fine. Amazing ease with the medium. I can’t think of any Indian film director who’d have the guts to show an opening so realistic and funny, a kid mesmerized by tadpoles and fishes in an open gutter, watching this strange world upside down.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

So what do you do?

At best it’s patch work, a hotchpotch of ragged defenses that you tack together. A, yes; but possibly B as well, don’t you think, you say as you try veer the talk to directions more propitious, but you’re by far too clever. No facades, no charade, as real as real is, but its your sense of humor to appeal to.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Its been a busy time. Dashing about two cities, just glimpses remain. Trying to cook and keep a basic meal for the days I’d be away. The middle aged British lady waiting in the queue for a security check, completely frazzled and desperately needing to talk, getting back after the flight she was on was diverted since she needed to be hospitalized, she was in hospital for five days and doesn’t know what for. The crisp voice of the pilot saying that the temperature on arrival in Delhi was four degrees, which is quite a bit away from Mumbai’s chill ten The young couple on a tour of the cold hill stations,Kulu and Manali all prepared with woolens and suchlike,waiting for their first glimpse of snow. The roads and trees which are as beautiful as ever, just hints of a regal past in places, and one envied the tremendous space they seem to have spare. The meetings which were like any other, but lunch that was served on the lawns, freezing despite sunshine. Being told you’ve been overbooked on the return trip, and pulling rank even though that is something you really don’t like to do. Returning to find that a wicked man has held a giant of a city to ransom. Walking home past rows of downed shutters. Leaving for town really really early the next morning to notice that the city is back on its feet again. Hint of news and learning to say thank you, Mister God. Realizing how beautiful a art deco spire and a silhouetted branch seems against evening ink dusk.