Wednesday, April 29, 2015

701

Today I did the suryanamaskar 15 times at 11:30 p.m. to the music of Rockstar. Specifically 'Naadaan Parindey'. What a song.
Source: www.pexels.com

I will be busy until mid next-month so I think I will stick to 15 for a bit.

 

Monday, April 27, 2015

703

From www.pexels.com
Stuff that has been happening:

1. Attended a beautiful summer wedding. It was open-air, they had pretty ice-lollies with chunks of fruits frozen in, wooden tables, lovely centrepieces, and a young, happy couple. So nice!

2. I really liked what I wore - a red halter blouse and a white and black polka-dot sari with a deep, red pallu.

3. No suryanamaskars have happened over the weekend. Also, rice was had.

4. Spent a lot of time at Malaka Spice, Koregaon Park. It was so hot. It was pretty, though. A tiny green butterfly fluttered, long bamboo shoots, teeny bird-house hanging somewhere. But they ought to make this outside area more comfortable.

5. Am going to have a very rushed week.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

704

12 suryanamaskars today - at 11:30 p.m. Not bad. I'd also done 3 rounds in the morning which I'm not counting.

A bunch of us are working on a script. Today a friend of mine introduced me to another filmmaker who took a look at the script and said a few things that were, let's say, not very encouraging. I think I came home a little upset and that's how I got the energy to do the yoga. (In context, anger is an important thing.)

Then I made some pasta - something really simple. Boiled some in hot water to which oil and salt had been added. Then I drained it, added a chunk of butter on it, some chilli flakes and mixed herbs and mixed it. So, there were carbohydrates at night - which I intend to cut out eventually.

Sunday, I've made plans with friends to meet at Peter Donuts and work on the script. We will hopefully do that. Feedback comes. Then you go on. Rather - still you go on.

 

Friday, April 24, 2015

705

ref: www.pexels.com
Today the following things made me happy:

1. Doing 11 suryanamaskars.

2. Eating very dainty and tasty red velvet cupcakes from Love, Sugar, Dough.

3. Brainstorming on a very interesting project.

4. Finding my thin, white cotton top to pair with printed, pink palazzos.

5. Being gifted 'Zoya Factor' by Anuja Chauhan by a pal at work.



 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

706

Did not do any suryanamaskars yesterday. Instead went out for dinner with a friend and had a cheesy ramen with loads of garlic. Finished off with a hazelnut cappuccino. I really do like Peter Donuts even though it's expensive for a cafe. Then I came home and since I can't sleep early, I pottered around auntil 4. I got really hungry then so I ate a large bowlful of spinach daal and dahlia. I also had two large cups of chocolate horlicks with water. (I certainly prefer it to milk.)

This morning, I did 10 suryanamaskars but I felt very heavy. I should find out a way to not eat so much that late.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

707

By the end of this year, 31st December 2015, I will be able to do 100 Suryanamaskars. Today I did 5. That's the aim.

Monday, April 20, 2015

708

For the writer's meet-up, this time round, we had to write a conversation between our current 'us' to our 10-year old self. I wrote a letter instead. However, since I write a lot of stuff long-hand, I wrote mine out on a paper and I doodled a few elements on it. Now I'd like to represent all this on the screen so that I can put it up on the blog. I was thinking of doodling on paper, scanning it and putting it up but blogger can't take really large images.

A friend of mine suggested that I do it in a series and make the sheet long.

At the meet-up, someone suggested that I use some kind of an HTML page where you make a visual thesaurus. I don't know how to do it by myself and I am not sure how to embed pictures in there.

If anyone has any ideas on what I can do, could you please share your inputs in the comments section?

Thank you.
 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

709 - what good things happened today

1. I was given a butterscotch cornetto which I enjoyed so much.

2. Did 5 rounds of yoga in the morning.

3. Really liked the dalia pulao that the cook had made today. We'd added in a lot of the left-over veggies like brinjals, fenugreek leaves (methi), soyabean chunks, onions, and tomatoes.

4. Wore a slightly clingy white and brown striped top with a rather snug pair of pants. It looked nice. I think I am on my way to getting into shape.

5. Went to Crossword and had a sandwich at Moshe's. Tasty stuff.

Friday, April 17, 2015

710

Some good things that happened today:

1. I had to finish creating something called a Detailed Content Outline for a course we are designing at work. Managed to do that.

2. Had momos and tea with a friend.

3. Watched an episode of Shark Tank. I love Shark Tank! I love how they usually just ask four or five questions and suss out the potential of a business.

4. Looked nice. Face looked kind of lean.

5. Stayed away from rice.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

713, 712

It was a beautiful day today. It was overcast in the evening, around 5, and the lavender blooms were lavender with full passion. They almost seemed to be reflecting individual purple glows around them. Then tonight I visited my pal. I'll call her Rose.

Rose lives in a beautiful area. There's a huge expanse of open land in front of her sweet little flat. She stays in a tiny building that is much smaller compared to the taller, swankier constructions around. Lazy dogs sometimes frolic in front of her yellow gate. There's a little vegetable store somewhere down the road. It may be a few seconds from the main road but it's like her building got handed over this sweet bucolic patch of the universe.

From the outside, you see the Tibetan flags outside the kitchen window, muted and wispy against the light.

I walked up the flight of stairs to her place. From the landing of the first floor, I could see a martini-shaped tree.

Rose's home is wholesome, in a sense. It reminds me of a forest or shrine full of simple, beautiful tokens of things that are molded with purity distilled from the concrete. It's the soft light from a longish cylinder of ivory paper-lamp. Or the cream-colored, cotton curtain in the bathroom. Or little spice jars arranged like trinkets in her single kitchen shelf. Or the picnic bench that doubles up as a dining table. Or a dainty porcelain turtle near the flush. Or how her cocker spaniel fills in just the right amount of square feet for it to be a cosy lair.

I sip tea. My friend prattles on about something. Her converation's like a stream flowing somewhere - cool, soothing, gurgling, ongoing in its own sphere. We order some food from Malaka Spice. In the pockets of shadows, we eat baos - some kind of open pavs - made with a topping of tofu and bell peppers. We munch through a couple of those with a side of veggies cooked with nuts. On their own, the veggies are insipid but the dish is made interesting with a spicy red sauce. Then we finish off with a steamed jaggery pudding served with chilled, coconut milk. That is so...musical in its simple goodness, you almost hear melody wafting through bamboo pipes.

It was a lovely evening. Corners of food, pockets of convertions, cloches of light.

It's interesting what kinds of spaces a space can be made up of.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

714, 715: Short Story: The sun shines on all days

Sunday

Gotsy rinsed the dishes early in the morning. So early, in fact, that the moon still shone outside. It peeped through the large guava tree and sweated moonshine in the humid dawn. His father would soon wake up and ask for his oats and jaggery. To this, he would add a quarter spoon of cinnamon powder. Then he would sneeze twice before slurping the whole bowl. Finally, he would belch and sleep off again. His father was ninety-seven years old and this routine had been a gift he’d given himself when he turned seventy. Gotsy turned seventy today. He wondered what gift he should give himself.

“Happy birthday, Gotsy”, came his father’s gruff voice as he sat down at the table.

“You remembered?” Gotsy was surprised. He laid out the large blue cereal bowl, the mint green spoon and the yellow jar of honey. If old age is the coming of the second childhood, Gotsy and dad certainly had the cutlery for it.

“Well, I had it written on my calendar.”

“Which you haven’t changed since the last four years.”

“Interestingly, your birthday falls on the same day each year.”

They ate their breakfast in silence. Gotsy’s father brought out a musty packet of flavoured tea leaves which they brewed together and sipped companionably. His father read out a little bit from the day’s newspaper and then yawned.

“Go to bed, Papa.”

“Are you sure? We can play cards on your birthday, if you want...or we can go for a walk by the pond. I can shuffle along.”

“No, its fine, Papa. I will go to the post office and get some potatoes and radish on the way back.”

“Yes. That should be a good lunch.”

His father shuffled back inside. Gotsy rinsed the dishes again and kept them away. He got dressed and wore his pale yellow shirt that Lillian had gifted him on his fortieth. It had a tiny rip near the cuff but it still looked nice. Brought out the colour in his eyes, she’d say.

On his way out, he took the house keys. He also ignored the blue pills lying next to them. “It’s my birthday. No need for them today”, he thought.

Outside the sun shone even though the world was soft and grey. The roads were dusty but full of cars and people and children and dogs. They looked like props. Like the filaments of hallucination he was supposed to be taking medication for. “You’re a cruel, cruel thing,” he thought squinting up at the sun.


Monday

“Can we go to the pond today, Gotsy?” his father looked up from the game of chess he was playing with himself.  Gotsy tuned his guitar in the corner. He would have preferred to give it to the shop but it had raised the prices and the new owner didn’t extend any favours anymore.

“Why? What’s today?”

“Today’s a good day to go to the pond, that’s all.”

“It’s far, Papa. And it’s getting cold now. You won’t be able to walk there.”

“So? Let’s go by car.”

Gotsy looked up in alarm. Why his father never understood that a teacher’s pension never went far was beyond him.

“Waste petrol to go to a pond on a day that isn’t special?” he asked.

“Yes.”

He really would have put his foot down had he not seen his father tie a hideous purple scarf around his head. He looked like a grape. A fat one, too, with his pout and puffed cheeks.

“Fine”, said Gotsy, getting the car keys. People are such children, he thought.

Tuesday

Gotsy spotted a dead sparrow in the yard. It lay small, brown and stiff – looking like a clump of the same textured earth it would soon decompose into. He dug a small hole and buried it. He looked around for a flower or a bloom of some sort to put on top of the mound. A small token, a little respect, for an inconsequential life lost in his backyard. There were no blossoms around but a wilted carnation was stuck in a barbed wire. Gotsy reached for it.

“A dead flower for a dead bird, eh? That’s kind!” his father chuckled through his bedroom window.

“I can’t find any flowers”, hollered Gotsy. What his father had said had crossed his mind. But one does best with what one finds.

“Get a leaf. A nice big, thick one. Take that one – it looks like it has oil colours mangled in sunlight all over it.”

So Gotsy did that. He got a glossy leaf from the nearby bush and laid it tenderly on the mound. He went in to get started on dinner only to find his father brewing a large pot of something.

“Beef”, said his father.

“Beef? Where did the beef come from?” Again, alarm bells started ringing in Gotsy’s head. The butcher was a miser and meat was expensive. Lines of credit did not run with him.

“It’s the butcher’s birthday today. I told him he was born on the same day as Napoleon. Made him happy, I guess. He gave me a couple of pounds.”

“Oh.”

“They aren’t the best cuts. But it will be a good stew with the radish we had leftover from day before.”

Gotsy washed his hands and face. It was a special dinner with an expensive meat. Seemed the sparrow’s death had more ceremony than his own birthday from the day before. Never mind. He changed into his pale yellow linen shirt.

“Do you miss Lillian?” His father had noticed the shirt.

“It’s a good shirt.” Gotsy spooned some broth and beef cubes in his father’s bowl.

“Yes. I miss your mother also sometimes. You miss people who leave.”

Gotsy didn’t say anything. Not everyone leaves the same way. His mother had died.


Wednesday

Gotsy watched a single orange leaf float down the pond. The pond was pink and flecked with the green of the willow hanging above it. The orange leaf stood out like a single note of melody in a silent room.  

His father was getting more and more stubborn by the day. He wanted to go for long walks now. Above the hill, out to the meadows where he’d been to school. This was not the weather. Gotsy was not that healthy son either – who could accompany his father in this very arduous task. His knees had started swelling up and raking leaves in the yard was hard. He was just about able to make the oats at the crack of dawn.

He opened his palms and saw the blue pills.

He really should have them before it was too late.

Above, the sun turned peach and golden. It would set soon.

How many lifetimes does a sun watch end? Not once does it waver though. Not once does it feel sad and full. For the sun, how does the music never stop?

He looked up at the sun. It seems to have a stoic, tough heart.


Thursday

Gotsy’s father had had enough of the oats. He wanted eggs today. “Where do I get the eggs from now?” asked Gotsy. The sun had not yet come up and the nearest grocer would open his shop only a few hours later.

“I don’t want oats. I want something rich.” his father pouted.

His father had now taken to wearing the purple scarf around his head in the house too – and through the night it seems. He went about looking like an irritable grape.

“Can I make some toast instead? I’ll put lots of butter on it. It will be rich.”

Gotsy’s father nodded. He used to love the butter-soaked bread Mother used to make. So Gotsy got to work. Some insects croaked and the sharp scent of wild flowers came through the kitchen.  He sliced large wedges of farm-bread and buttered up both sides with a heavy spoon. Then he toasted them on a pan. When they turned brown like the wood on the trees, he added a couple of spoons of sugar and raisins on the crusty top. He finished off with serving bottled stewed apricots on the side.

“This is so good, Gotsy! It will kill me – all this butter – but it’s so nice.”

“Butter will kill you and it will get you back from the dead.” Gotsy patted his father’s arm.

His father laughed so hard that he shook and spilled tea on the table.

“You got your mother’s skills for food.”

The sugar had been Lillian’s touch, though. She had loved sugar. The beads on the hem of her wedding dress had sparkled like bits of sugar. The snow on the trees outside the church was like ivory candyfloss. Their wedding had had a sweet beginning.

Gotsy’s father asked for a second helping of the toast. It was all finished but Gotsy simply buttered a remaining slice and served it with the apricot. His father ate that too.

The he slept the whole day.

Friday

Gotsy did not feel like waking up the next day. His father could eat his honey and yoghurt from the night before. Gotsy’s neck and legs ached so he tried to massage them himself as best as he could. The calves were sore and the cold seemed to have set into every little hollow of his bones. From his father’s room, he could hear the strains of the lyre. His father tuned his lyre today so that he could play it for Sebastian’s son’s wedding tomorrow.   

Gotsy wondered whether Sebastian would allow his father to do that. The last time his father had played that old lyre, it was nearly fifty years ago at his wedding. It was so out of tune that it had caused unseasonal rain.

Gotsy knew that he was unwilling to wake up now because of what he was avoiding. His hands searched below the nest of pillows he slept on. Those blue pills still lay there.

He rolled them between his fingers. Outside he could hear his father shuffle about. He heard his gruff cough, the noisy way in which he handled the kettle.

If he took the blue pills, all that would be gone.

The blue pills would take away his hallucination. The blue pills would take away his father.

The sun continued to rise. Gotsy got teary eyed and took the blanket over his head.

“Gotsy! Do you want your tea now?”

“No Papa. Later.”

“Okay”. The lyre got strung outside.

Saturday

People said that Sebastian’s son had unconventional views because of the fever he had contracted in Mexico. As a result, he had wanted an early nuptial ceremony in the barn. Gotsy and his father were the first to arrive. While Gotsy had worn his old marriage suit that hung loose on him, his father filled out his own attire very well. He was very cheerful and on the way to the barn, had spoken of the various melodies he’d play on the lyre.

“What makes you think they will ask you?” mumbled Gotsy.

“Sebastian will insist, I know. They all love it when I play ‘Daffodil Dances’. It sounds like someone is tapping on the stars.”

“Tapping on the stars sounds good because that happens very far away.” Gotsy giggled.

“Hah! They won’t leave me until I’ve played each piece five times!”

The ceremony went off beautifully. It was dark and cold in the barn but there were chilli red votives on the table, shedding spicy warm glow all around. Sebastian cried into his large white hanky when the couple exchanged vows. Later cream cheese and wine was had by all.

“Gotsy! Gotsy!” someone cried out when Gotsy prepared to leave.

It was Sebastian.

“Where are you going, Gotsy? I see you have your lyre. Play for us.”

Gotsy turned pink. “No, no...I just...it’s nothing. Papa had told me to take it along whenever there’s a wedding – so that the couple has good luck.”

“I know. But your father would have loved to play it. He wasn’t even very good.” Sebastian stopped to chuckle softly. “But you are so good! You must play.”

So Gotsy had to play.

But first he asked for a glass of wine. He gulped it quickly with the blue pills that had travelled with him for so long now. He saw his father move from the front row to the back. With the first strains of ‘Daffodil Dances’, his father became a little hazy. By the time, the audience clapped and asked him for an encore, his father had floated away somewhere like pollen to the stars.

A mellow sun started to shine through.

He looked up. “Bring it on”, Gotsy thought and played the song again.




.











Thursday, April 09, 2015

716

Add caption

Source of image: www.picjumbo.com
It was a good day today. Finished a little work, made some headway with the deadline-laced writing, used a strong citrusy shampoo that made me sing in its essence of tangy healthy freshness. Walked to Inorbit to meet a friend. My wet air drying in the humid breeze. Early evening traffic. Hawkers with pretty sandals already lining the footpath. Met a friend for coffee. He's raising his beautiful daughter on his farm. She' turning out to be a lovely artist. Loves to sketch. And be by herself. We had coffee and he dropped me home.

I had noodles and now I feel like dozing off - one more summer day braided to the other ones this season.

Poem

Source: www.pexels.com
It comes like a pang for a midnight snack
Thoughts of early days of abundance
It stays on like a smile that may have beguiled
Were it not for the frozen face
Or the iron mask.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

719, 718, 717

Ill so in Bombay.

Things have been good so far.

Life at home usually is.

Realized that some friendships are going to be very very hard to maintain and so decided to let go of one of them. There is a very painful memory attached to it. Maybe it was being low energy, but it felt like there was a lot of energy required at just pushing aside that memory to just be calm with that person.

Also, opened up comments now even though they are being moderated. Some of the anonymous commenters with their diarrheatic ugliness are writing in. :-) (So, you still kept coming, yes?) I think about that girl who claimed to be my friend and look up to me or whatever else and then went on to paste anonymous comments - I wonder if it was her who commented on my family or not but then, when people feel really ugly about themselves, the rottenness takes many forms. To me, she has become the poster-child of all the anonymous commenters out there - those souls who want to belong to the cool tribe. They may live in an address that doesn't gain much currency with the swish set - so they do the token activities - a photography class, host a workshop, maybe do an overnight trek or a filmmaking workshop somewhere with enough stack of photos to show 'hey, I don't conform.' But the resentment brews. So let's say they find someone who is part of their not-so-hip suburb but who, in their eyes, is interesting because she has the 'right' creds (the way I maybe did - studied in St. Xavier's, grew up in Bandra, lived and worked in Delhi, had freelanced for a newspaper), they seek validation very very thirstily. But there may still be a fear that if they come right out and say something real or true, they may not be liked. So they become anonymous and start commenting - sometimes innocuously saying things like 'oh...this is not as nicely written as that other piece' to 'you deserve all these comments for the way you dress' to 'it's shameful how your family allows you to be that way'. I think this girl wrote all that because one day she saw her face in the mirror and felt lost and ugly. (Ditto for any guy who's done that also - on this blog or somewhere else.) Maybe they do it because there's a latent ugliness - all grey and scaly due to a lifetime of resentment that comes to the fore when something triggers their gaping need for validation that will not even be acknowledged.

Anyway, I got my work cut out with having to fight fever.

 

Saturday, April 04, 2015

720

New things I did today:

1. Collaboratively wrote a script. Today we collectively finished the first draft.
2. Drove to Law College Road. Usually I just take a rick.
3. Parked on a slope and took a U-turn on this narrow stretch while returning.
4. Played chess after ages.

Some of these unsettled me but I think, they helped me some.

727, 726, 725, 724, 723, 722, 721 - April 3rd, my birthday

Woke up to opening the door t the cook and the cleaning lady. Neither knew it was my birthday. Then the car cleaner came. He also didn't know that it was my birthday. Then came the phone call from Ma who of course knew it was my birthday because she had something to do with it. With every passing year, Ma becomes more and more convinced that I will step into some glory where THIS year, I will win the Booker or get a party ticket (which is a very scary thought) or have loads o...f money or rule the world or clean the cupboard. Then I had tea and sat in the terrace. Spoke to my lovely friends in Bombay whose light and laughter have cadenced my past. The sun shone, pigeons fluttered, some yellow flowers dusted off trees to land on the roofs of cars. None of those behaved any differently based on the fact that it was my birthday. My aching tooth did not care at all and made its presence felt very persistently. Fell asleep. Warmed some food for lunch. Read some Murakami. Dozed off again. Ma had gifted me some white palazzos that I later wore to visit a friend - who also did not know that it was my birthday. Her home is pretty - all soft lighting and pretty plants in alcoves. We chatted for a bit. Had tea. Had a warm square of mithai warmed and served with jaggery.

Drove for coffee. Watched the moon hang from the sky.

It is a very peaceful feeling to spend the birthday majorly by oneself. To soak in the sun, to see the world passing by, to be aware of yourself passing through...to somehow get the sense that even before I was in the picture, so much was already in place...that I've come like a ripple in some kind of becoming.