Thursday, August 30, 2012

So that post on the trip to the forest never got written.Much as I wanted to write about the BEST red bus materializing magically in the dark rain. Much as I wanted to write about the magic of the trail, quite unconcerned about one kind of grasshopper or another, happy to move far ahead of the group discussing this kind of leaf or that, just the path rich with the scent of the wet earth and the song of the water gushing and trees with room to grow and more.

So the post on the trip never got written and I was frazzled by the weekend criss crossing the bridge that connect the have-nots of the distant suburbs with TOWN, attending endless meetings speaking non stop. Pays the bills.

In the end it was the different kinds of air conditioning that got to me, cool to chill to very cold, though I should have guessed from my lethargy on Sunday, where I had to talk myself into my usual temple visit. Monday, one more conference and post midnight I think the fever was a hundred-two. Old dependable ayurveda- kadu, karyatu, sudarshan in a convenient tab form, Trishun. I spent the last two days in bed, using my sick leaves after ages. Yesterday morning when I awoke it was with immense gratitude for Baba and my grandfather, a doctor, who in some intangible form from another plane had spent hours sitting vigil, I could sense that. So many debts of gratitude.

So finally back at work today, though drained by whatever virus this is. No reflexes worth the name yet, so no driving, not on my road you don’t.

Anyway a ton of n’papers got looked at. And I had enough oats porridge to last a few weeks. Cant get any stranger. And Ferrari Ki Sawarii is very good.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nagla. water over rocks, and the sound of green.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Yesterday in the park I watched a beautiful moth thrashing about in a delicate-as-lace -steel spider’s web. And I walked away.

I met the crow lady yesterday. A silver-haired Anglo-Indian with a penchant for cats and birds, including the beautiful baby crow perched on her shoulder. And immense bitterness—no faith in anything at all, not even an afterlife, not even a karmic balancing or life-lessons. So much so that my day seemed drained for a while, and I had to make an effort to return to my prior expecting-nothing state. I resolved to never be like her. Even choosing delusions or bitterness or angst or “rewards because you’re a good person” or victimhood is a choice, and one is always free to take a choice. Always.

Haven’t laughed so much in ages either. Put puzzles together with five year old D and my friend her mom—though I must admit Snow White got too much, with the seven dwarfs. The kid much too sharp for her age and fluent in three languages. All energy and brightness and hullagulla despite the fact that she has no usable teeth, and hence has been and will be on a paste-like diet till her permanent teeth grow in. Choice!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Have been working late for a bit so the decorated stage that suddenly came up by the roadside for Janmashtami just sort of registered on the memory fringe. So when I turned the corner past ten pm on Friday, I was flummoxed to find the road full of Govindas, at least a few hundred young men seated on the road after the day’s dahi-handi revelry. I was terrified and the lone lathi -wielding policeman was worried, but volunteers materialized out of nowhere, cleared a path for my little Miss Blue to navigate that sea of humanity, to the chorus of “Make way for Aunty ”.
Three of those men could have crushed the car in a second if they’d wanted to, but Mumbai is Mumbai.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Where are you from?
Where am I from?
How is one “from” someplace?
Can I be from two places?
Why? What to do, my loyalties switch between the home town and Big city bad lights.
In one, I grew up. The other made me grow up.
Why not?
Can I be from ten places?
What about the original village of family origin? Am I not from there? Some of the words I use, some of my attitudes?
How am I “from there” if I’ve been to that place for two days in all my life?
Then, what about the city of birth? The trademark bridge like steel lace joining the two shores…seen after forty some years, how can that be home? Or is the imprint on your genes for ever and ever?
Talking of genes, what about the community story, about the great migration from the temple city, from centuries ago? Does it stay on, does it play on, even if you’ve never been there?
Can I be from ten places?
So...Where are you from?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Have watched more TV news since Saturday afternoon than for the entire year.  Have stared at the tiger-pouncing raging waters of the Bhagirathi, its color a dirty brown, angrily surging ahead. Have watched the shots of the Ganga looking like a violent sea, breaching banks. Pushpavathi and Alaknanda swollen to many times their earlier gentle- stream sizes. Of all the tourists and pilgrims stranded on the highway for hours, stopped short by landslides. Hundreds rendered homeless in the cold. And those buildings toppling over like a piece of wobbly jelly.
When nature stops us short, we are NOTHING.
A few more hours and I would have been there, trapped in that chaos.
Thank you, Mister God.
Once again, I have been shielded, protected from havoc.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Flash floods in Uttaranchal.
My trip is cancelled.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Ok, so here we are! butterflies, mice in the pit of stomach, drumbeat pulse and all.
Trying hard to imagine what 14000 ft feels like.
Back after the 12th, God willing.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Rain began as soon as the train pulled out of Baroda station, fine rain that left droplets on the huge picture windows, and later the downpour drenched the countryside in shades of green and caused impromptu lakes to reflect the skies, and instant streams to rush to wherever they were flowing to. Stations rushed by, and the sky was variations of slate to the horizon, unnamed trees  flowering in the distance, some bore new leaves. I stared till it was too late, although the book I was reading is pretty absorbing too—a magical new world built on snippets of our pasts. Must be one of the pleasures of life, reading to the gently rocking movement of a train. I’m quite liking Meluha, though I’d like to run a red pencil through the adjective OD.