Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bragging rights:

"The Final Chapter", a translation of the original story in Gujarati by Pravinsinh Chavda titled "Antim Adhyay", is online at 91st Meridian.
Also: An essay, "looking for a patli gali, an urban footpath"

91st Meridian is the journal of the international writing program at the University of Iowa.


Feels good.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yesterday I met this young kid swathed in a scarf and with huge glares, a kid who’s allergic-- to the sun. To lovely, bright and essential sunlight that I delight soaking in.
Brown, tough and no-nonsense skin—NEVER thought that’s one more thing to be thankful for.

Watched bits and pieces of two movies over the last two evenings:
“Miss Pettigrew lives for a day” which has a feel good and nice storyline, all happiness and “anything can happen”; until you watch “ I’ll Cry tomorrow”, a true story which is probably a close look at showbiz the way it is, despair, alcoholism, eight husbands and bankruptcy.
I guess I liked the gritty, realistic movie from 1955 much more.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

So the earth sighed. And let off a fiery breath, bringing life to a standstill.
Yet again the earth shrugged elsewhere, unconcerned.
Have been watching the ongoing drama about cricket and grease and sleaze.
Reaffirms my intent to remain reclusive. Apart.
Somewhere in the last week and odd of watching twitter, shameless pretties and slander, I’ve regressed well into the 16th C-my home has high walls.
What priorities do we care about as a nation? Is it even one nation?
So one more ambush is ok, one more blast or two – we are too many people anyway-- Malthus was a good man.
Forget Eyja-what’s its name, we have a million upheavals waiting to happen.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Today is special, a bara din.
Yet there is a part of me that is cautious, wary.
Like on edge, right?
A part that watches you breathe when you’re asleep, and frets in the deep of the night.
The same part that relishes your wit and sharp mind…
So we shall let it, the day and all it signifies, pass.
And I shall watch your words for any imminent signs of a slip, a slur or a misplaced word or tone change.
Because there is a part of me that is cautious, wary.
Because I’d be kinder to myself, I think, if I were not me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I tend to merrily write about knives and business intrigue, and smooth talking conmen who whistle while they transfer millions at the click of a mouse to untraceable accounts on distant shores, and talon-nailed wives who "settle" errant husbands.

Hence was terribly surprised to make the Karadi tales contest shortlist.

Shortlist only, mind it.

Maybe I should, like, think kidstuff, yes? Just maybe, yes?
Extremely surprised, yep.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sometimes something good happens, the end result of a ton of hard work and persistence-determination and then you just want to wallow in it.

Nothing else matters. For now.

Yeah, cryptic.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I’m quite the strangest person on earth.
How else to explain the fascination with saving 100 bucks.
By shopping at Sahakari Bhandar versus More.
(After netting the transport cost, that’s just about 60.)
But I know I will return next weekend. To pick the choicest tomatoes, touch the smooth velver of slender bottlegourd, and indulge in the freshest greens.
Is there any logic to this?
Is it genetic, a salute to frugal Gujju genes?
A validation of a frugal philosophy that one believes in? Or a subtle brownie point, “I’m holier”?
Because the repeat delight at this idea, the serotonin surge from revisiting it every few hours, far surpasses any notional saving.

Most nights I sit with paperwork, trying to unscramble numbers.
To the company of the ARR number from Zubeida, “mehki mehki hain raahen”
And that adrenalin charge from Monsoon W. “ rabba rabba mee barsa”.

A close friend rushes to Cal to be with her aged father who is in the ICU.
The suddenness of it all.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A profusion of bougainvillea on the wall, and overhead a branch with yellow blooms tumbling over, looking like what I think grape on a wine would look like.

Every season has its charms. or so I told myself, when it was inordinately hot this morning.

Excellent essay on practice, sharpening one's craft:


And I go back to the blank page.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I was thinking about how we read people. How we learn to read them.
And how more or less, people tend to be predictable.
Follow a trend line, like a stock.
Over time, you learn how a friend will likely use any information she comes by—so then you tend to watch what you share
But if your work was to write, would you or would you not use this knowledge?
What if your work area was non fiction? What if it were a shared experience?
Where would you draw the line, what would be ethical and what would not be ok?

Two solid articles, from NYT: Be sure to read the comments.

On self defeating behavior--

Losing it--

Monday, April 05, 2010

April has begun busy. Happy-busy, touchwood.

An amazing friend’s birthday. Knowing her has been a blessing—that a human could be as good, as pure and strong, despite her fragile and beyond-help health. Sometimes it is good to get one’s cynicism good and shaken.

Roads explored as a shortcut take a surprising turn, lead to complete East Indian villages, crumbling mansions, village square, cross and church, bargaining aunties, in the middle of bustling upmarket suburbs. Leaves you wondering, so often we pass by on the main thoroughfare, unaware and uncaring of the meandering lanes that lie beyond.

Karthik calling Karthik was brilliant. So bright it feels like a knife cut through your brain. Forces you to dispassionately look at your behavior. Yes, I must confess I ditched a tall stack of newspapers post the movie. Obsessive hoarding behavior, that.