Yesterday was the seventh day visarjan of Ganpati Bappa .
And I think he was watching over me. And Miss Blue.
Else how would we have crawled home last night—yes, crawled.
First gear, amidst chanting and dancing crowds and trucks with
the deity… all clutch brake clutch and nasty nasty traffic, wedged sandwiched between
TWO huge BEST buses, and the percussion from those steel drums next to my ear
and blaring film music….
30 minutes of waiting on a road that’s usually done in eight.
Some of these songs we used to sing when the lights went out,
and the lights used to go out quite often those days I think…so many from Gandhiji’s
Ashram Bhajanawali… one in particular, man mast hua phir kyun boley.. I heard after
ages like really ages, only the tune this once is so different, it has the mehak
of the earth… this I will try overlay over the previous version that is embedded
in my mind, that has the voices of all of the dear ones who inhabit another plane
now…wonder how the kid, my virtuoso show off would have sung this one..
Went to my friend D’s house for Ganpati darshan, and oh la! thought
I was running vv late but just in time for the naivedya.. and what a fantastic location,
a HILL behind their house, imagine!
A lovely surprise…Panna Naik’s mint fresh book of verse…Gulmohar
thee Daffodils on my desk this mid morning… fantastic—what a gift...she didn’t tell me! Hallelujah...fasting and pp sugar levels I can live with... phew! was worried on account of the rains and no walks. Not under a hundred-- have forgotten what that felt like.
Just back from a splendid concert.
Shri Kaluramji Bammaniya from Malwa presented Kabir Bhajans.
Thanks to Chaupal and The Kabir Community of Mumbai.
His young daughter, Arpita also accompanied him.
i took photos. And in the fitness of things the best sound recording features my sleeve.. did not know the camera was on... sheepish.
Amazing experience... the kind that gives you goosebumps.
I’m glad I got over sloth yesterday morning and
went tree watching. On a trail that is so unknown that I shall not name it here.
A quiet forest path as it should be, just the birds trilling and leaves
rustling. Saw rare gems—Jyothishmati, an endangered climber. Coral mushroom.
Glory Lily. Drank in the smell of the forest, with like minded folk.
Yesterday I did a translation, Hindi- English after AGES.
It felt so good to immerse in the words, to pull at the gray
matter for close equivalents.
I was driven—after long. Impassioned.
In one of Pravinsinh Chavda’s stories, I think A String of
Words, there is this line about a man in a dusty library, surrounded by piles
of books he’s researching…the lines say how his face bore the sweat-lined pride
of a farmer surrounded by his flourishing crops… this I can understand when I return
to translations after a while.
Sahansheelta= fortitude/ forbearance/ tolerance?
Realised how some words can only have wishy washy
equivalents, or cannot be shifted across tongues, the cultural underline is too
strong… In our culture, putting up with something, adjusting to, withstanding
something for long periods is a virtue.
Perhaps in the west it is not, rebellion is strength? The
closest word someone suggested was endurance. Doesn’t seem to have much of a
positive quality about it, in my opinion.
On Sunday I had a friend over for tea. Yes, sugarless tea- no sugar jar in my house.
Put it down to Saturn transit or whatever-- these days I learn
a lesson a day.
Some happen to me, on some I’m an observer, my eyes fall out.
Or its extended family stuff and I learn new things oh really! and hard edges about kith and
not so kin. So the lesson this once was—its one thing being alone. Tis another
thing altogether to be alone with no money, zilch, zoomba and ground zero. As
in owe on your credit card, your friends, have your electricity cut off, have a
year’s dues at the grocer AND your personal life in shambles.cause in a span of
a year your bf has walked out and your grown up kids are on their own trip and
Yesterday was a day of much mortification. Such horrendous shame
that I almost fell off my chair. Stared for hours at a wall, suchlike. So, I’ve
goofed up. Bigtime.
I deal with double digit inflation every time I buy
groceries and balk. The social support system, such as it is, is in tatters. Health
insurance is non existence, and even if you’re terribly prudent, covers paise
on the rupee as I’ve learnt.
So all this while I was comfortable- there was always Mister
Market. In my part of the world we count on Mister Market. Who helped put me
and the sister through school and music
class and college? Mister Market. Who helped even out cash flow, spend on that
not-so-fancy-but-costs vacation? Mister Market. Mister Market was the savior
when the index was sub-1000’s, when one had to take a bus to the broker’s
office at the other end of town, when orders had to be phoned in to Ahmedabad
So yes, Mister Market would salvage my old age, whenever old
age nods and clears its throat. Mister Market ALSO helps me earn a wage, ok?
And then. Yesterday I calculated the CAGR of scripts in my
Line by painful line. Some of the sure calls have been
terrible. Not nice at all. Huge splashes of red all over the page. A lac (or
several) shrunk to a few thousands.
The country’s leading engineering company – with a return
lower than a bank deposit, taxable. Some
scripts are swimming along fine, even burdened by deadweight. Logical thing
would be to chop out the sludge, deadwood and cleanup, add more fuel to the
ones surfing along fine…Then why the hell can’t I?
Yesterday’s set of meetings were at the fanciest new hotel
in bkc.. OMG but what were they thinking… décor was abominable… out of a french
bordello, boudoir or worse. Gleaming, gilded
lamps, overdressed windows, a GILDED b&w supposedly art deco print for a
head board, and a whole lot of gleaming: gleaming wood, gleaming tiles, gleaming
marble, gleaming onyx., gleaming fittings, gleaming glass fronted bathroom
rendered unusable… fat, opulent and best the money can buy—but money cant
buy taste. The guest and I took ten minutes tearing the room apart.
yesterday it rained. And rained and rained. A nonstop,
vehement clamor from the skies, mist and rolling clouds obscured the distant apartments. BMC and
the police did an excellent job, but nature is nature and listens to no rules,
so in due course subways/low lying areas/ train tracks were flooded, and yet again
the slightly fractured spirit of Mumbai dusted its hands, pulled itself up and
did what had to be done. The next
morning it was life as usual. Now part of the metro's - a pillar, a column-collapsed even as it was being built.
I’ve slowly come to realise aha Eureka! That I’m not as nice a person as you’d
think I am if you met me. That I have claws. That I can be rude if I want to,
and so often I want to, and I do. Sometimes subtly, sometimes elegantly, and
more often than not, whatever. Whatever works. And that I don’t particularly care what you
think of me. Maybe there was a veneer before. Maybe there wasn’t. I don’t even
know what set off this ramble. Maybe the viral thing shut off the politer part
of my brain. Or maybe the antibiotic and all the hot water, yes? Maybe its just
the weather. Maybe this is, but this is true.
Hidden in the deep stack of n'papers perused: Begum Samru. What a tale.