Thursday, July 24, 2014

Now I’d gone to the bank for signature verification… didn't know I’d end up with a lesson in history and Indus valley civilization!

“So you’re from Surat, are you?” I asked the young bank manager out of politeness after we’d established that we were both from the same state. “No, actually from Harappa… you know, Mohenjodaro and all that…”  he said, and sketched the grid of homes on rough paper, narrating where the water and drainage lines were.

And then talked about how his community had fled what must have been Sindh, to settle somewhere in Kutch. And then he recounted the tale of Moomal and Mahendra… His extended family worships Rani Moomal as their deity. Her sacrifice and lifelong penance seemed as real as an event that happened a day ago.

I was familiar with this story from my 2012 visit to Jaisalmer—I’d gone to Lodhruva as well.

All this seems like it has happened yesterday, not centuries ago.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Okay, confession time. Never quite thought I’d begin watching TV serials again. Until Zindagi, that is. Excellent story lines, solid acting, good sets—the poor look poor, the rich look glamorous but not garish. Add to that the curiosity about the “other”… people who are so very similar but not quite. What a relief to watch TV without cringing. 
Everything else has taken a backseat. Looks like I’m not the only one…

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Yesterday I finally finished reading R K Narayan’s The Painter of Signs… what a brilliant story, what pacing and crafting… my copy dog-eared, yellowed pages, circa 1986, cost Rs. 17/ ! The book lives up to the accolades on the back cover. Well worth the trouble of reading in a shaking, moving train hurtling through the country at 100 kmph. Totally unexpected ending, this one. What terrific characterisation...Will track down and read the rest.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

There are so many different kinds of peace. I discovered a different peace during a short trip to Ajmer and Pushkar. At the dargah, we were blessed and had excellent prayers without jostling crowds. The place was serene and somber, minus the crowds on account of their religious month. Pushkar was peaceful too, minus the priest at the lake who wanted to assist, and whom I had to politely tell I didn’t need help. Pushkar—the first temple to Brahmaji that I’ve prayed to…That underground cave where Lord Shiva is prayed to… looked ancient, why is it underground, how old was it, who built the temple there and why? So many questions. Also insisted on visiting the Gorakhnath temple as a mark of respect to the evolved soul.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Rain! Sheets of water hitting the ground. Enveloping the vehicle, drawing a furious water curtain someone marooned on a mist-covered island...that was yesterday...

We desperately need the rain...June was v bad. More, please!