Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In front of me is a postcard in sepia.
Showing Bombay of the 1940’s or thereabouts.
There’s the fountain at Fort, and the road divided into two by a central terminus for trams and taxis.
This looks just beautiful.
Maybe I’m in a sepia mood these days.
Maybe it’s the after-effect from reading about the music and films of the 1930’s. And following up on you tube.
Movies that have now been forgotten. Names that are no longer remembered.
But the parent still remembers.
The songs, the stories, the anecdotes about when he saw the movies and how many times did he see some. Even this spot near Fountain which he used to walk down to, to "pass time" as a penurious paying guest.
I use the kinder “courtesan” for some of the ladies when I take the lines to English.
What choice did they have, really?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Isn’t it surprising and a bit of a treat that the best of words and the finest of movies resonates with something deep within, and make us think, forces us to connect missing pieces by drawing upon our own experiences, diverse as they may be, in order to shade in the colors?
Udaan is a treat. Do not miss.
Joan Didion is a treasure.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In The Final Chapter, there is a para that goes:
“With this change in the color of his eyes, he began to view the story of his life differently. If some parts of personal history were set aside, some other parts positioned appropriately, then he traced his lineage to a learned Brahmin.…”

I caught myself doing just this the past week. If the events of the past few years were thought of differently, juxtaposed and rearranged, parts snipped off and extended, one can pat oneself on the back for foresight and veracity and determination, of the unswerving sort, but of course. Waah boss, waah. When the truth is, it was part laziness, part a dread of the unknown, part life instances (what would we do without life instances to shoulder blame, I don’t quite know), and part lumpen inertia. I have not grinned so much to myself in ages.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My translation of a Gujarati short story by Shri Pravinsinh Chavda, * The Selected Works of Pushpak Bhandari*, is published in Brooklyn Rail In translation.


A writer’s identity is a fragile thing, but what happens when two writers living in the same city share the same name?There is a certain terseness in the original, an abruptness, that I've struggled to do justice to.

Monday, August 16, 2010

FB, comments on blogs on hold until the power situation for the home dabba aka pc is sorted, resolved, corrected. Have run thru 2 spikeguards and 4 fuses, collarsup.

Poignant, lump-in-the-throat moment by the banyan tree y’day, singing the national anthem. Strange yearning to travel, to dissect the length and breath of the nation by train,second class, live the allure and grime-dust of the Gauhati- Hapa, Jammu- Trivandrum, such long distance runners. Fanciful, eh.

Shraavan, the holy month. Did my bit with prayers at the temple, reciting the vishnusahastranam with the motley group. Peace instilling, centering.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Caution: not sweetness and light.
At the end, that's all we condense to: fire, water, air, earth., sky
That young man with the million $ smile, and the brain tumor, the man who was on first name basis with the leading neurologists in the country- didn't make it.
Prayers for his family.
For his wife. For his young daughters who will grow up too quickly.
Prayers, for he suffered too much.
Sometimes I wonder how emotionless I am becoming.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Carter Road, Bandra W, for your viewing pleasure...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Another week, with more of the same… rushing to meet deadlines, sitting by to meet deadlines, cooking, reading, writing, scowling at the market, thrilling in the rain, laughing at *Well done, Abba*
And I can only wonder at what, if anything , changes with the years, or in a bid to amuse ourselves, do we learn to find color in variations on the same theme?