Saturday, August 30, 2014

905

Very long work day. Was hungry and the head felt very woolly. Was breathing short and shallow. Got hungry in the evening. Bad toothache. Wanted something warm and tasty like a plate of momos. Stepped out. It was raining. Hard and heavy. Cold wet slashes. Dashed across the road to get my snack. Got soaked. Thoroughly. But felt alive. Some sort of resurrection had definitely occurred.

Rain is good.

Friday, August 29, 2014

906

As I wonder whether I can leave office before 3 a.m., someone somewhere is headed to a beach. It is a diverse world. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

907

So much work. Just so much work. And just when I am almost getting suffocated with work is when my family will insist on visitng and having dinner and I will just have to have house guests who may or may not cancel at the last minute and of course, every shred of grocery will run out.

In the metaphysical realm, there may or may not be such a thing as 'time' but there sure is something tricky and minx-like like 'timing'.

Mine is skewed. 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

in a response to snarkiness

is a lovely little picture on Pinterest that reads: Do you see the fuck you in my smile?






Tuesday, August 26, 2014

908

Today, a friend of mine shared pictures of her marriage. I was a little distracted with work and a little excited about a possible publication of an article. But I was happy for her.

Tonight, another friend of mine called to tell me that her long-term relationship was over. I had to meet a deadline but I did meet her for coffee.

Strange - that despite how different the two situations were, I found myself wishing the same thing for both of them - to keep their hearts open and full of peace. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

910, 909

Lunch at Darios.

Large plate of fresh avocado salad with grated feta, slivers of chives, and a generous smattering of sunflower seeds. Had with warm bread which seemed to have some kind of a nutty seasoning and washed down with carrot and ginger juice. It was a hot and humid day and the meal was perfect. Had it while watching a little girl play in a pool of sunshine. She had dark curly hair, a bright smile and wore a cotton smock which was slightly muddy in the front. She also had on gladiator-style slippers. Tiny feet in gladiator-style slippers.

I love Darios for that reason. There's alsome some mundane magic to be had there.


Friday, August 22, 2014

911

I ate a Loni Spanj Dosa today. It is a spongy kind of small, soft dosas topped with white butter. Very delicious and light! Also, an article I'd written got published in The Golden Sparrow, a city-based features paper. (Rather it was published in the July edition but I got the hard copy today.) It's titled 'The Survivor's Guide to getting Pune-ed'. My take on settling into the city.

Overall, good day.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

912

Only the sensitive survive.

913

Returned from Orissa. That place is a paradise made out of terra cotta, I think Terra cotta and gleaming metal-carved temples. And green paddy fields and little ponds that lay perfectly still and reflect every tiny cloud in the sky and every leaf on a banana tree.

I have a sense that something big is happening. Let's see.

Monday, August 18, 2014

914

A nice cup of coffee means different  things at different times. Tonight it means a quick, dark, no-milk brew in a hotel room as I pack for my return tomorrow. It means trying to get all that warmth in my hands as I hold the cup...or stop and sip intermittently while I pack the shells and silver filigreed earrings that I picked up for a friend. A nice cup of coffee tonighf means smiling at the rich, full times I have had. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

916, 915

Went to Puri and had a glorious time. This time, I really liked visiting the Jagannath temple, Last time, I had visited over 15 years ago and I had been so put off with the priests that I hadn't visited since. But this time round, I felt like going, And there was a time when I felt overwhelmed - the red and black structure, huge trees, the scent of incense, raindrops in the wind, and the earth red and rich...even before standing in front of the deity, I felt so blessed.  And then there was Puri which was magical!

Friday, August 15, 2014

917- Holiday!

Traveled to Bhubhaneshwar today and it has been solid good so far. Met up with my cousins and had a massive lunch. Followed by a long, deep nap that songs should perhaps be wrotten about. Then some chitchat in a beautiful garden moist from afternoon rain with strong ginger tea.

Love, love, love the food here.

Also, traveling with my parents after so long...it feels good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

918 - drifter, are you?



You are sitting on a hill-top and look at the sky. It may be blue, it may be grey, or sometimes, even green or pink or a candy-swirl of many different colours. You look at clouds. Moving, floating, inching towards god knows where – seemingly directionless but actually, not. There's a quiet, sure, solid deliberation and a surrender to something deep and invisible. It's heartening. To look at clouds and see how they move – and one wonders at a world where being 'a drifter' is a bad thing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

919

It didn't rain much this morning. But I did spot, in the building compound, a tree heaving with a cluster of raw papayas. They were so green, so new. Around the time I spotted them, they were drowned in a  puddle of sunlight. I hunted around for my tab to get a picture. Meanwhile a black cat, with its silken fur and nonchalant stroll and its tail moving like a drunken comma, came and sat under the plant. And looked up. And purred. My tab, however, was out of charge.

A pretty sight it was, though. 

 

920

Today, after yoga I went over to a friend's place in Baner. It's a really pretty apartment and his girlfriend and he have set it up beautifully. Bright colourful sheets and mattresses on the floor, a large wooden table by the side, and huge windows through which light from a muffled moon streamed in. The kitchen's stocked so neatly with little stuff-teensy black containers with sauces, large earthenware plates, and just a couple of wine glasses.

I love this part of setting up a house - having bits and pieces you will build regular days with...a cushion you will prop against looking at a guava tree, jars with sugar and coffee, mismatched tablemats that will be brought out for company...so fragmented, so fitting. Like lego pieces. Bit by bit, they will stick and something will get built.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

921

Sunday was spent looking out at the rain in a papier mache world. Trees and hills slicked on with a brush, a pond somewhere varnished, pulp of a world gone by now recreating something else -a day, a season, a mood.Why should a world be any different from a craft project?

922-food and film

Tonight, a friend and I cooked dinner and watched a film on her laptop. We made a thick carrot and coriander soup, garlic bread, and a side of lightly fried and strongly spiced beetroot and mushrooms. It's our new  project now- to learn to cook some dishes well.

The soup is very simple. We chopped up 4 medium-sized carrots and broke of the stalks of the coriander. These were put in a pot of boiling water. There wasn't too much water, though...maybe half and inch more than the level of carrots. To the water a little salt, a smatter of chopped garlic and a little black pepper powder. After the carrots were properly softened and the taste of coriander had infused the broth, we pureed the mixture. Then we put the puree to boil again, adding some more water and butter. When it bubbled, we sprinkled coriander leaves and turned off the gas. So, soup was done.

The garlic bread was made on tava as I don't have an oven.We buttered the bread on one side and added chopped garlic on it. The tavaa was also heated and smeared with some butter. Then we took the bread slices and put them on the tavaa, the garlic side down. The bread slice needs to be pressed into the tavaa so that the garlic cooks and sticks to the bread. After that side is done, the slice is flipped over and the other side is toasted. So, that's the toast.


Mushrooms were real quick. They were chopped coarsely and sauteed in mustard oil. To this, meat masala (from Everest), salt, and little chilli powder was added.Cook until tender and coated with the spices. Then, mushrooms off the gas.

There was some more of that spice remaining in the pan so beetroot cubes were cooked in that. Water was added until the beetroot was real soft and the water had dried up. Beetroot gets a beautiful glaze after you are done with it, so it makes for a pretty side.

Then we watched Lost in Translation, which I love. I was watching the film for the first time but I had read the script before and watched some of Sophia Coppolas interviews. I remember loving, absolutely loving the script. The movie does justice. The scenes are so delicate, so membranous almost. And I love that the first and only time that Bill Murray smiles in the movie is at the end, when he says goodbye.



Friday, August 08, 2014

923 - up the hill

This morning, the trek up the hill was really nice! I think the legs are getting stronger. I was able to sprint a minuscule distance. The best part, as always, is when we reached a little plateau and in the distance saw a little opening in the sky and a pool of fluid sunlight flood over the city. The city itself remained a diffused grey. Where we were, though, the brown earth shone. It was wet and rich with this fresh, full scent. The grass was an electric green. So, basically while the rest of the world was swept across with a grey, soft palate, we stood on a chunk that was seeped in psychedelic colours. The green grass looked positively electric. Like, if you touched even a tip of a blade, you'd have current course through you.

It reminded me of a scene from 'Taking Woodstock' by Ang Lee - especially the portion where the boy (the main character) takes acid for the first time and the shots of the world as he sees it - undulating, churning, shape-shifting whirlpool of colours and sensations.

This was one of those days where a 'Good Morning' actually meant something. 

924 - reading by candlelight

It feels Victorian, right about now. There's no light, I am under a thick, beige quilt, and there's a stout candle on the night-table. A steady flame burns and a sturdy wick lets it. In this pool of mellowness, I start reading Donna Tart's Goldfinch. I just started and a little into the book, there is description of an art exhibition.  It's vivid, soft, and lovely...that paragraph melting into the story like watercolour itself.
Some nights become muses for dawns that may or may not turn out to be artists.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Thursday weirdness

One feels a little unmoored on tackling tasks at work without a to-do list.

925

Yesterday began and got over. Finished reading Gone Girl.  Went for yoga. Had a cup of daal for dinner. Then slept.  A day goes by like a hurried sketch in charcoal, which you crumple and throw away in the end.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

926

Had fever yesterday. So stayed home from work. In between states of wooziness, I was reading 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flinch. It is such a great book! The thriller of course, well, thrills. But the breakdown of Nick and Amy's marriage - with its teeny nastiness, deep cruelties - the kind that is inflicted through silence or tuning off or going to bed seething but not saying anything about it - that description feels uncomfortably close.

Ego and its poisons. That book, from what i have read until now, catalogs that beautifully. 

Monday, August 04, 2014

929, 928, 927

There was a trip to Bombay. In the pouring rain, through crowded roads, and ghats so misty that one imagined the rolling hills to have done some heavy breathing. My school friend, who I had reconnected with a while ago, had made sheer khurma for me for Eid. She'd frozen it and I had been dreaming of this all year. I am not joking. There is sheer khurma and there is the sevaii kheer. Most people make the latter and call it the former. But they are different. When I was growing up, my neighbors would make sheer khurma with very little vermicelli. It was light and frothed really well with dryfruits. It was rich and flavourful but also liquidy and light. I haven't eaten that sort of sheer khurma in a long while. As one can imagine, the build up was really strong. But my friend's dish was sublime. It really was. It was so brilliant that I maybe heard music and saw dazzling streams of stars or something.

Also visited another close friend at Goregaon West. Now, maybe it's because I visit Bombay and not live there, everything about the city feels so easy. Hailing a rickshaw, handing over a hundred-rupee note and getting change back,  having the auto-rickshaw fellow not make a fuss about taking a U-turn. I soften when I have that experience. Somewhere I know that is not always so. It wasn't like that for me all the time either. But in that downpour, I traveled from Sion to Jogeshwari, from Jogeshwari to Goregaon, from Goregaon to Juhu, and then from Juhu to Vashi without feeling hugely inconvenienced. I wonder if I am just able to do a whole lot more there.

Anyway, good days. August has begun really, really well.