Monday, May 24, 2010
Flautists and harpists and potato-chip slicers do not go together. Neither do I picture you in the sun and Once I had a love and it was a gas. Or bhyaan bhyaan and hum kaale hain toh kya hua dilwale hain. Most things do not go together if you spare them a thought, consider tea and biscuits.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
The marvellous, beautiful thing that is my tongue, I rediscover it every mango season. Post every monsoon I forget what distinguishes one kind of mango from another. All that's left behind are vague ideas and words, I present to you the human brain. It's only when the mangoes come back that I know what I mean by the firm yellowness that is the Baiganpalli, or the bristly textury feel of the Gulabkhus, or the way you can taste the smell of the Himsagar rather than the other way round. I find out why a Dussehri is earthy and a Langra is a mango with the temperament of mustard, and I still don't know what the deal with a Chausa is, I never do, but there is always that little victory where I take a bite from a slice and have a this-is-what-this-is moment. Like a connoisseury epicureanish thingie, I can't explain. I'm beyond beyond happy today because I've eaten nothing else for dinner.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
A roof at night is a roof at night only if you consider climbing up to sit on it and watch the city blink around you. I propose that we clamber up a creeper and loosen a few tiles and go sit on the roof of an unknown house because our terrace is out of bounds. Let us hope there is no dog, and let us hope that there is no watchman around, and let us exclude from our company that one guy who is destined to whirr around people like a noisy fly; he will worry about everything and worry us into knocking things over or cutting our hands against broken glass. And when we are finally on the roof we may clasp the cold necks of our beer bottles and ignore every sound the house beneath us makes. Slowly we will become a line of silhouettes against a lit-up city, and if we aren't found out we may do it again with another house: this I propose to you today and at this moment. Wear chappals.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Itinerary: four hours of How I Met Your Mother for no discernible reason, then phuchkas, then a bottle of Thums Up guzzled idly under the peepal tree outside my building, then two hours on badassoftheweek.com, then despair. Currently, stiff neck and horror at vocabulary wipeout. I could swear I knew more fancy words when I was sixteen. Then again, at sixteen I was convinced I had better use for the world than most people; I was certain I'd study something cool, not be stuck in a nine-to-five job, be thin and famous by twenty-eight, prove my worth by being a one-man woman, the works. The sixteen-year old me would most certainly have received the finger from 2010 me.
So I'm thinking, maybe it's time for MS Paint.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Torrents won't finish downloading The Camel's Back, it's been forever and ever and I need to trawl through text and answer emails and right now I don't want to listen to anything else but this. Aah noying. And I'm reminded of how a week back there was batshit and hot stone everywhere at this temple where every beat of a drum bought bats flying out of the stone ceilings they were so high above, and how I kept wondering how much more rice paste I'd put into my system. And how we needed to pee on that long ride and had to stop in the middle of nowhere, and I got paranoid and ran into this cornfield, and then this man in a hut nearby, which had one rope cot and one loincloth-clad man for its contents, this selfsame man he came up and looked solemn and offered us water. We said no and he walked solemnly to another patch and came back with two cucumbers and pointed out fields of sesame and chilli, and then asked us to eat lunch with him. Such a rickety solemn man with such a rickety solemn smile.
We declined but ate the cucumbers on the way to what I was later told was an ashram, where I tasted the most unbelievable payasam, but that doesn't compare to the little kids running around in little veshtis with chotis on their heads. And just when I think things are getting beyond surreal I'm sitting in for their evening classes and they're in this tiny dingy room, screwing up their eyes, clenching their hands, and reciting shlokas in voices that make the room ring. Bizarre, bizarre day. Some of them look like rockstars while they're at it, they're that intense and crazy-eyed, and then they get up and grin and run off and there's more prasad. And the guy who was teaching them, that's who my mother grew up next door to, him and his entire family of pundits-in-the-making who've decided Calcutta's not that amenable to doing punditry and shunted themselves back to Tiruvannamalai. True story. Whole parts of this trip were sprung on me in ways that make me very glad no one was around to photograph me. Every frame akin to a o.O
Right. So I could get out of this virus-ridden travesty of a computer and go live a life, but that means finishing Oroonoko so I'll loiter some more, maybe the torrent will be done, maybe I'll go to bed happy, maybe I'll die before my Tragedy exam, haha, but hello, now my internet connection's given out so I'll have to publish this tomorrow.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Landed. At nine am today I was pretending to be a rock at Gingee. I thought I'd coax the father into climbing all the way up to the top of the fort so I could see what a splendid kingdom I'd have had if I'd been a tribal chieftain, didn't happen because we realised halfway through we were drenched in sweat and wouldn't reach Chennai in time for the Chettinaad lunch we'd planned to have after a week of hobnobbing with what we call the idli-dosa public. So we turned around, and there it was, a wide expanse of wild grass and manicured ASI lawns with ruined temples and granaries and arched gateways popping out through the rocks like startled gnomes. Telephone lines in the distance. But mainly rocks, so many boulders turning into pebbles near the horizon, consider the number of trolls they'd make, consider building a fort on sleeping trolls. Gingee was my favourite place of the lot after Thanjavur, when I go back again I will spend the day there till my legs creak and then turn into a rock. Or maybe I'll go eat some more mutton ghee roast in Madras. It's all a matter of leverage, I'll lean the way I feel. Yet another animal-versus-mineral instance.