You know what? I am exhausted. Completely. I just want to take some time out without a gnawing feeling at the back of my head that things are not yet complete. I want to sleep without guilt and not junk on click-baits because I am so overwhelmed to tackle anything good.
I am tired. I will call it a day now, meditate a little bit, and see if I can get back to work.
Today, I had a lot to do so I stayed back in Bombay and did not leave for Pune. But instead, I slept a lot. It was a good sleep. Yesterday, a friend told me about Intermittent Fasting and he told me that I should try it out. So, I looked it up on the Internet. It seems like an effective way to get lean and all that. You get your calorie intake in an 8 hour window period and for the next 16 hours you fast. You don't eat anything in the fasting period except for having water or black tea. This gives your organs time to recover properly and use up the stored fats in your body. This is a very different approach from that other method where you are to eat every 4 hours or so. You don't need to restrict the calories you take in. You just need to consume them in a different time.
There were some websites that cautioned that this kind of a diet is not good for women because it triggers hormonal imbalance and things like that.
Anyway, there is just so much to get done. I don't know where to begin. Actually I do know where to begin and I haven't begun. And now I want to do a few things differently.
This year, it's all about accomplishing goals. The way forward, I think, is to not look at it as an all or nothing issue. Break it down into smaller 'goallettes', fix what you will do every single day, and then it all comes together.
This year, I think, I will meditate every single day. I've given myself 5 minutes to start with. It doesn't matter how long. I will just do it every day.
Today, I had a meeting and plans to have a friend over for some hot chocolate today. Somewhere in between or after all that, more work will need to get done. This year, I'm going to write a lot. That means just staying really focused and not let anything get in the way. Meditation has therefore reached a critical importance now.
The book revolves around a PhD student of literature. Her specialty is Charlotte Bronte and as part of her study, she is trying to get hold of the letters that the author wrote to her lifelong friend, Ellen Nussey and Professor Heger, the object of her affections. [It was a case of unrequited love and resulted in many soulful epistles and the novel, 'The Professor' or 'Villette'. It also seemed to fuel other people. These letters were considered to be incendiary by the author (she compares them to 'lucifer matches') and her husband, Nicholls, insisted on either destroying them or censoring them. Heger was married and would tear up Charlotte Bronte's letters.]His wife would tape them back together and keep them. When she died, she entrusted these letters to her daughter.]
Paul is Sara's boyfriend and he is also a literature student studying George Orwell.
Paul and Sara break up on account of a Claire Virgee who is studying the late Lady Diana as a social phenomenon.
The story is set in New York.
This tale of a broken heart plays out against a pastiche of subtext - the similarity between Lady Diana and Charlotee Brontee, the comparison between Orwell and Brontee, and the Brontee childhood that gave a pastor (their father) an experience of dining with three kids who'd written, amongst them, Jane Eyre, Agnes Grey, and Wuthering Heights. The book also tells us of the humanity we lost when we stopped writing and reading letters. It has a segment where Sara traipses to some place in Italy to spend a night in a dream room in a castle. Legend has it that a woman died in a room pining for her lover. That woman's dream and pain melded into the air and consciousness and whoever sleeps in that same room, has a dream that continues from the pain that the dead left behind. There are other characters who alternate between annoying and vapid. There's a couple that only dresses in 17th century costumes and a Frenchman who spares no opportunity to tell Americans that they are prudish.
So, this book is about a lot of stuff. All interesting stuff. But it's an uneven read with a problem of plenty. There's a very strong piece that I liked about how both Diana and Charlotte Bronte obliquely entered the male world of publicity using female devices of depression and telepathy. (There's an interesting explanation in the book.)
Oh...and there's a plot. Sara needs to live on in New York to help write a movie about Charlotte Bronte. The production house finds Brontee too drab. This lays out the field of some social commentary about the sign of our times when quiet heroism does not stand a chance to be depicted in cinema.
While reading the book, I was not allowed to forget for even one minute that all the principal characters have literary backgrounds. You had to pay your dues by plodding through some juicy, if heavy-handed, metaphors and factoids. It brought back the experience of running into one of your kohl-lined literature friends in college (when you hadn't opted for the subject.) They went on and on about something with an enduring sense of plaintiveness about God Knows What!
I avoided my friends then. This time, I finished the book.
It's not very bad but it did get me into a state of panic when I thought that the book was just growing endless numbers of pages. But all said and done- it is Charlotte Brontee after all. Not the sister I would pick but still. Reading a Brontee was like peeking at the sun. So, any book inspired from her story would still gleam. I found this bit really moving:
"Anyway, Charlotte's very upset - her life is dull, her father is ill, her brother is an alcoholic - so she pours all her sadness into these letters and they're never answered. Then she suddenly shifts her attention to fiction, transforming her experience into art, which you might say can be read as one long, unanswered love letter."
There is someone who has passed away and I am not handling this person's demise too well. In case any one can suggest a book that will help me get through that, it will really help. The book can be about anything. I want to get distracted.
Finished reading 'The Bronte Project' by Jennifer Vandever.
Will start reading 'The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared' by Jonas Jonasson.
This wasn't part of my reading list that I had put up earlier but I had bought this book and forgotten about it. So will read it now.
I read this one really quickly. Actually bought this for mum and started flipping through it. Liked what I read, continued, and before I knew it, the book was over.
What struck me was that the most coherent, moving pieces of the book is when Johar is talking about his work. In fact, I think, wherever he has used his work as the prism and explained his world, he is really solid. Where he is simply talking about a person or a certain episode - like the tension with Shah Rukh or the rift with Kajol - it tends to get boring. (Okay, so you had a great friend and she let you down and now you're not friends with her. Or your very best friend got upset because you made new pals and didn't have time for him but you're back stronger now. It's not all that devastating or dramatic, really.) What is fascinating is Johar's description of the Bombay of the 80s and the cinemascape of when he became a director.
I particularly liked the portions where he first finds his groove as the star of elocution competitions after giving his mother panic attacks. Or when he describes how close he was to his father. But the portions where he talks about how he found his calling, how Dilwale got made, and how he took over Dharma - that is really fine writing. He is straightfoward and articulate. You will always be closer to people who will set up your first work experience for you. Whether it was Adi who told him to stay back (Karan was about to leave for Paris at the time) and assist in his debut film or Shah Rukh who gave him a deadline to complete his first script and start shooting - one can imagine why the fondness is stronger there. I mean, yes, we all seek and perhaps get emotional support from our pals - but those friends who can show you what you are capable of - you just see them differently.
I grew up in Bandra and have seen lives of film people, if not very closely, then in rather close quarters. At the time, what those people did, who they hung out with, what skills they had - you never really knew. But I knew men and women who would struggle to explain that what they did was also work - and hard work, at that.
I think, in some ways, this book is a nod to that. That films, as an industry, has seen shifts that have caused the collapse of several mighty players. Not because the business itself is capricious and some hotbed of debauchery, etc. It got the patronage of the underworld at one point, it's facing competition from stronger international arenas - and in all that, people wake up and go to work. For me, the book scored the highest there.
He does talk about his mother's ill health, his worry of growing old alone, his dream of adopting a child, etc. Regular things. But you get the sense that he'll be okay because he's figured out what to do with his life. And that simple thing is a special blessing.
Some night there is waterfall. I behaved badly today. I spoke very rudely to someone today and shunned the food she brought me. Then I worked. Anyway, I will watch a couple of videos and sleep. Will tackle things tomorrow.
It was sweet and tender. We walked along Worli seaface and he made me laugh. He knew that I loved the Haji Ali fruit and cream dish. So he took me there and shared a bowl of strawberries and cream. On the way, he stopped by another of his favorite dessert places and got me doodhi halwa. He dropped me off at the bus stop, stayed back to see if I got a seat, peered in to check if I was okay, and then left.
It was so innocent. And it felt good.
There were lots of things that happened yesterday but I choose to write about this because there are so many instances of so much violence against women. It affects me so deeply that sometimes, I can't even talk to a man on the phone without thinking how he might get violent with a lady if he had the chance. It is very odd but there it is. But that attitude is not serving me. So I thought I would catalog, at least, all the times I have been with a kind man late into the night and I was safe and happy.