Sunday, December 28, 2014

801, 800

What all has been happening:

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

802

Merry Christmas.

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.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

803

Usually I have a cup of black coffee before I sleep. It's instant coffee and I would take a few spoons in a large mug and add hot water to it. A couple of nights ago, a friend made coffee differently. He first boiled the water and added coffee powder to it. One wouldn't think it would make a difference but it does. For some reason,  it was really tasty. Tonight I will enjoy a cup made that way.

Water to coffee, coffee to water...simple joys.

Monday, December 22, 2014

804

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

808, 807, 806, 805- Yes, you

 For the longest time,  I had thought that people who comment anonymously are people who are simply choosing to conceal their identity.  It's not like they are weak. But some time ago, there was someone or some people who posted something nasty and then said, "I know you will post something on anonymous commenters or someone like me so I won't come back." It's a little difficult to not consider that person chicken. And just so I understand, if you have commented anonymously and yet you are afraid of a backlash, what exactly did you accomplish?

When I was in college,  we had a symposium where Shabana Azmi, Kiran Bedi, and Flavia Agnes were the guest speakers. At the end of the lectures on rights to free speech and all that, the house was open for questions. The college had arranged for us to write our questions, without signing our names if we so wished, and have these conveyed to the judges. Then Shabana Azmi took the mike and said, "If you want to seriously get answers about rights and freedom, have the guts to stand up and ask the question. " Of course, not everyone who witheld was weak. They were just shy. I did not think earlier that the gutless commented anonymously. I have, after all, received some very generous anonymous comments also. But good or bad, somewhere I think there is a fear of being caught out. What are you so afraid of? Especially the snide, nasty commenters...what really are you so afraid of? You couldn't hide your resentment or your lack of courtesy or your viciousness. You only hid your name and thought that it masked your identity. And then scurried off pitifully.   That's why I have closed comments on the blog.  I am aware that the fake email ids will get made and all that to write and respond to this post.  But that's okay. I will do my bit to make it difficult for the cowards to speak up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

812,811,810,809

I am back from Geneva and it has been the sweetest, loveliest trip. Work was good and so was rambling through the city at my own pace, taking in the lights and the fog, stopping somewhere for an expresso, browsing through Christmas markets and just running my fingers down some crystalware. On my last night, I tried the hot wine - wine spiced and hot. I also tried a really nice Swiss wine which was sweet and was the perfect thing to sip while reading Marquez's 'No one writes to the Colonel'. Interestingly, there's a line in the book, "He loved December. One felt that one was made of glass." (Or something like that.)

Marquez wrote it and I agree. Fully. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

813


Tonight, I spent time in a boulevard by the Rhone. Browsed through a Christmas market where I saw dainty Christmas ornaments in white ceramic by local artisans. There were drinks in a floating restaurant where I sampled some hot cherry cider. Wisps of Christmas light and stars reflected off the water. Had fondue in a little inn where the fondue fork had hand-carved wooden cupids (made sense since we love cheese). And a creme brulee while listening to some ruddy-cheeked kids play the harp and sing about the battle against France. They say that if you don't have wine or if you don't eat meat, Europe is a difficult place to visit. Don't know about Europe but Geneva certainly isn't. In fact, it's better. When you're not focused on what's on your plate or in your glass, you notice what a moveable feast this city is. In a different period and in a different place, had a Hemingway moment.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

815, 814

the soul being a hologram splicing pictures of a snow-capped mountain some distance away and some ocean in another tip of the world - making whole, complete universes of them all.

such be the last two days.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

817, 816

So much to write and so I'll keep it short.

In Geneva and outside my room, a beautiful stark tree sways.

It's beautiful.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

820, 819, 818

People...leave.  In all sorts of ways. It's good to simply accept that departure the same way one accepts one's death. And just as you wouldn't try to raise the dead, you wouldn't contact the ones who left. Or maybe sometimes one can try to raise the dead.But not get spooked out if they contact you back.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

821

It has not been a tough day and it has not been a long day. But I met up with a friend for dinner at Curry Leaves. She had prawns in a thick spicy coconut gravy and parotta. I had a plate of Kerala rice and roast mushrooms - which are plump slivers of mushrooms cooked in succulent curry flavoured with peppercorns, chillies, dry coconut and curry leaves. They add a very heavy dose of sautéed onions which sweetens the gravy and it's a great accompaniment to the Kerala rice. I love that rice. It fills me up just right and I don't feel bloated after that.

Lots of things to tackle this month. Slowly, steadily, one day at a time, hopefully things will get done.

Meanwhile I sit and blog sipping a cup of perfectly made tea. 
 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

823, 822

Beautiful days.

Some tough hours also - stuff that required me to talk to strangers, cook a meal for a friend and then have him step inside the house, sniff and say, "What's burning?"

Fit into a pair of black jeggings with a snug white tee and a grey and black wrap...Was really happy that I looked slim in that. It was easy and comfortable to wear and I didn't have to struggle to stuff myself in it the way I had to a month ago. The new yoga regimen is certainly helping.

Started reading 'Zorba the Greek' and am feeling a little and a lot blessed with the way things are now. December feels like it will be gorgeous!

Wow!