Thursday, January 22, 2015
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
I was in Pune when I had decided to marry. Last year, I was in Pune when I got divorced. So much has happened but in some sense, things have come a full circle. I have learnt a lot here. Having my own house, having the experience of walking to work, of having a hill close by to walk to, learning yoga, slicing a kiwi for the first time, sitting in the balcony with a steaming cup of tea with nothing but sunshine, birds, and treetops for company...yes, it has been good.
Three years in Pune. If the experience had a shape, it would be lots of colourful dots arranged in a circle with the loop not completely closed.
It was a sweet night.
Monday, January 19, 2015
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
My friend and I drove down there after work which in itself felt like a novelty. The drive was of course lovely because it was Koregaon Park and it was also Tuesday and there was a sweet breeze shimmying through the skies. At Moshe's, we tried a cheese platter which is quite lovely. There are slivers of some four or five slices of cheese, nice warm bread, crisp wheat-crackers, olives, and a stalk of asparagus that we nibbled off later. The cheeses were really good. I don't like cheese so much but the varieties that were offered were really good. Mostly mellow and smooth, although one of them had a slightly sharp taste. There was a side of fried potato skins which were also crisp and nicely seasoned.
The dessert platter came with some very tiny, dainty looking things which seemed to have been made in a doll-house, considering the portions. All of them were non-chocolate options – some kind of a pistachio financier (yes – that’s a type of dessert apparently – wish I’d known that when I studied Economics – would have taken the sting off many things), slim rolls of baklava, a white chocolate ganache, and this – THIS – was a surprise – two thin blocks of kulfi with a dried rose petal syrup. The kulfi and the syrup were spectacular! The kulfi was the thickest, creamiest kulfi ever – with no bubbles on the surface, so smooth – and strongly spiced with cardamom.
All that washed down with a robust, hot coffee.
Will definitely visit again.
Monday, January 12, 2015
A year or so ago, I was filled with so much anxiety about what's coming next, what's the meaning of it all, when will all this end. I don't know why I put myself through all that. It felt as if some cosmic memo had come to everybody on earth and I missed it because I had gone to the loo. Anyway, to mitigate all of that drama, I was reading a lot of self-help books. Many, many of them. Poring over pages expecting text to leap out and tell me that it was all going to be okay. The books, themselves, weren't too bad. Your Soul's Plan by Robert Shwatz was particularly moving. You Can Heal you Life by Louise Hay is one of my favorite books. If you do get this, begin with the last chapter - the part where she writes about her life. There is so much kindness there. I hope that someday when I look back at these days, I'll remember them just as kindly.
I also read copiously on chakra meditation and stuff. Maybe it was the panic with which I was reading that robbed me of the pleasure that reading normally brings. But things change. Slowly, days would begin without me getting angry or anxious over whether my help will show up on time or not. (They didn't and I let them go.) Or be very upset because someone at work wasn't following my directions. (They hadn't understood me clearly.) Slowly, days got a teensy bit easier. That's when I picked up a novel - all drenched in characters and plots and moods and narratives and voices and dialogues. A novel. All that self-help literature where I had to take responsibility for my thoughts and feelings and whatever had parched me a little. And then the novel plumped me right back.
I love fiction. It sustains me. Whatever I need somes from in there. Always has. I don't know why I forget that fiction, for me, has always been enough. This year, I'm going to glut on my storybooks.
Thursday, January 08, 2015
Then I got my tab back and there was no data. So I had to get data. My debit card is not working so I had to withdraw money. There was only one cheque in the cheque book and so I had to go to the bank to apply for one. I don't do Net banking. Anyway, I finally got my prepaid Vodafone to work. Whose 3G services, I must say, are spectacularly unpredictable here. But it worked. I downloaded the Kindle app. In the time that I have not been online, apparently Samsung has its own Kindle App that gives you a free book every month. I checked. I got my books back. They were there. The world feels soft and smooth now. Bliss. Gorgeous bliss.
When I thought I'd lost all my books on the Kindle, I thought that even though so much was gone, I got the clean slate that I had wished for towards the end of last year. It just came true with regard to something else. But then I wanted them back. Even though I was thinking that it was finally a chance for me to get a proper curated collection. Still, somewhere every time, I touched my tab, I prayed. For the books to come back. And today, I turned on the Kindle and there they were.
I know it is not a magical thing to have happened. I know that it is probably routine. But when I found my books on the Kindle again, it felt like everything I had loved and waited for so much - all of it just crossed the road and came back to me.
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
But 2015 will be a beautiful year, I think. Something about this year suggests that it has come with a mission - to make us happy and to get us to be courageous enough to be that happy.
Happy and sweet and brave new year, everyone.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
After disabling comments, found out about at least one anonymous commenter. Strangely she was in my circle of friends on Facebook. That was a new low, I think, when you use personal information you are privy to, to comment on someone's blog. But apparently it's okay because one has to be 'kind' to one's readers even if they have been doing this sort of thing. This girl wasn't even in my radar. I guess we used to travel to work together and I think we had discussed books one time. Nothing suggested that she would do this. Somewhere I still don't think that she's the kind who will comment on how I should dress modestly or have more sex or less sex or make disparaging remarks on my family. And then be surprised when her feedback was not being taken on board. Which basically means that I should agree to whatever was said. But maybe I am in denial. Didn't think I could be friends with such weak and petty people. But I suppose I was. Now if I can only figure out how to block people, my Facebook circle will be pruned. Also maybe time to weed out the Hindutva and Islamic fanatics. It's really annoying to hear all those denouncements against secularism. How can there ever be a way forward without it?
Pune is cold and lovely. I threw a Christmas dinner the other day and a friend helped me with it. We had mulled wine, slurpaceous warm, spiced apple cider, tortilla chips with avocado and pomegranate dip, a dip made with hung curd and garlic, an assortment òf sausages, pasta and butter garlic and mushrooms, cookies and gulkand icecream for dessert. Awesome that evening was. On the day, when people behave so badly that you wonder who you are associated with, its good to have a dinner with people who may not be really close to you but you yare decent. Many strong things can be built on the basis of decency.
Lately, I have been visiting the Someshwar temple with different sets of friends each time and depending on who I am with, I see a different facet of the temple.
With one pal, I spotted inscriptions on a really old wall. With another, I saw big ripe fruits of some kind hanging from a pretty enchanting tree at the entrance. The third friend and I discovered a new route to someplace from there which took us by the creek that was all green and glassy. Visiting a place with different people is like re-reading a book at different points in time. It means so many different things then.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Wish all of you peace. Wish all of you a map to navigate your wounds. Wish all of you all those quiet pillow moments when your heart finally convinces you to let yourself off the hook. Wish you poetry, the kind that is the result of pain's alchemy. Wish you the sturdy love of pets. Wish you freedom from whatever holds you down. Wish you freedom from whoever lets you down. Wish you a great, flamboyant birthing from the old; one that will salute your recurring resurrection on account of simply having a life.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Water to coffee, coffee to water...simple joys.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Today, at work, I gave away a few books- Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Outsider by Albert Camus, Dr.Sleep by Stephen King, No one writes to the Colonel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Picnic and Such Like Pandemonium by Gerald Durrell.
Feels very good to pass on books. Right up there with receiving them.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Marquez wrote it and I agree. Fully.