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.