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.