Sunday, March 2, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
You left me with a gift I cannot thank you enough for. Also, you left me with inspiration to write and I am so thankful to you for it. I want to write to you about my Russian experiences. The most significant of them.
My Russian association began with this story book: In the land of sunbeam bunnies.
This is what the cover looks like. It taught me an important lesson very early in life- do not always believe the written word. It so happened that I made a grammatical error in my homework- and my father corrected me. And I protested- “The sunbeam bunnies say so!” It was then that my father told me- just because it is in print, it doesn't mean it is right- the Russians know Russian, not English- they are capable of making a mistake- and you should be capable of recognizing it. Slowly I learnt that lesson well. Not just grammar, the written word means nothing till you want it to.
Anzhela, I told you about how I was considering a job in St. Petersburg many years ago. This happened many years before I read Dostoevsky. Many years before Crime and Punishment moved me like the strongest reading experience ever possible. Many years before I visualized St. Petersburg like Dostoevsky describes it. And this happened many years before you taught me how to say the gentleman's name- Dostoevsky, properly. And before you told me about St. Petersburg- the way you see it and the way he saw it.
On a sudden trip- me and my boss suddenly decided to go to a city I had always wanted to visit and study TRIZ (теория решения изобретательских задач, teoriya resheniya izobretatelskikh zadatch). And there I heard of Altshuller and his incarceration of 25 years in the Gulag. And how he proposed the theory of inventive thinking through that time.
A friend talked about the Trans-Siberian railway- travelling from Moscow to Vladivostok and I thought of how nice that journey would be, perhaps nicer than any destination.
I met you in the port town of Vizag- a city where only the sea and the men of the sea made the news. India's military ties with Russia, especially the Navy's would find their way into my newspapers everyday.
And that evening when I showed you around the Indian Handicrafts bazaar in Delhi- I asked you- “I want a Matryoshka doll when you come from Russia next”: You just smiled. And just before you left- you pressed a Matryoshkya doll into my palm. How did you ever know that I always wanted one, and how did you contain the surprise gift for so long? You left me stuck in that moment, it was magical: Matryoshka Dolls have always fascinated me. A toy that never ends... I also look at Mise en abyme also like this: the idea of never-ending joy, that there is always something to look forward too.
I look forward to us like that too: there is something around the corner always. Things for us to discover together or about each other. Like how you spell your name as we bought money with money. Like us calling Russia 'Rus'.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
The plant is smelling wonderful in whiffs. These are not my fancies. In the pressing smell of toluene, there would be brief and yet long pauses of a wonderful smell. Not a natural smell, it would be very chemical, like esters put together, but it was so fresh- like a wet morning flower. And it happened through the day next to the Agitated Nutsche Filter. Every disturbance is undone. The Le Chatelier's Principle.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Friday, October 26, 2012
I'm no feminist usually, but it does disgust me. But my disgust turns into amusement soon. I am no Victorian lady, I am able bodied and wear convenient clothes, all of these enable me to- Open my own doors, Pull out my chairs, voice my statements as loud as I need them to be.
What amuses me men dithering around me thinking it's scoring them points while I'm laughing my heart out!
'Understanding and consideration' is better deserved by the needy not women who play needy when they need to. Chivalry is the 'modality' that needs to be kicked back to the Victorians and their era.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The notes are interspersed with his laughter, that strange guttural sound he makes.
I also keep hearing him say ‘Jasmine’. And weighed breaths. He lurks in the corner, never stops playing, never comes to claim the spotlight.
Sometimes I turn around to check if he is there. He plays the same tunes, interrupts with the same laughter and calls my name the same way.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
Like a cat jumps at its scratch post and slides its claws down the length of it. Disintegrating the wood. Freeing it of itself.
The debris is being broken further. Further and further. It looked like a piece of the autoclave an hour ago. It looks like a piece of something now. It could have been anything- a part of a remote, a part of a chromatographic circuit etc. They are leaving no grace for the remains.
And who are these agents of destruction? These men who work unscathed by the dust, by the sound and by the sheer magnitude of their task, they are no ordinary men. While we cringe our noses, try to filter our breath, search for places to plant our feet in, distract ourselves from the sound, these men-they lumber on. At times we stop and examine their work, it is almost moving to see the building that shelters us facing the savageness. It seems that the sheer ferocity of their task propels their beast. They pound at the Aluminum harder, cut through the meshes faster and ram the crumbling walls harder. They look into your eyes through a glaze; something in them is hard to reckon with.
In a little spot in all this destruction, there is something being constructed.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
In office, as it sat down beside me, I asked the Smell- "Where are you from?” it replied “From a girl's bedroom". "But I know you", I said. "You think I smell like your cousin and her room?" "Perhaps" "You think I am a homely feminine smell? Like a half-open girl's dressing drawer with sunlight shining into it?"I get distracted by my vacuum calculation. The size of the nozzle just doesn’t seem right. I turn around to ask my colleague. The Smell catches my attention again as I look over my shoulder. “I’ll get back to you later, let me design now”, I push the smell back into that drawer and shut some of the sunlight with it.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, December 27, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
It was probably the right indicator.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I attended that Anand Karaj that June, or did I really attend one?
I know that non-Sikhs are not encouraged to participate in an Anand Karaj. How do you distinguish between a non-Sikh and a "lets party after this" Sikh? So many such questions, isn't it?
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I've had strange factions of luck with Kureishi. My first Kureishi- Love in a Blue time with the lovely Blue cover found its way into my bag from a government library somehow. I loved the spined copy so much, and even more so after discovering the much duller paperback version in the expensive bookstore, I immediately decided to keep the forbidden copy away from its lawful home-the State Library. But, the beautiful cover played elusive and I lost the book to a friend so dear I didn't scratch him bald when he told me that my first Kureishi had decided to move on.
Gabriel's Gift I found in the AC Joshi Library, a library that had a noted dislike for modern fiction and hence my surprise, " Kureishi, you, here?". The silvery blue cover reflected my "blue love" for Kureishi back at me. And hence a pleasant afternoon under the winter sun with Kureishi in my lap before he returned to the dark hustled library shelf less than 14 days from our shelved encounter.
One grumpy day I happened to turn into the little old magazine kiosk and found the most brilliant cover I've ever I've seen on a book. Intimacy limned as a couple in bed, intimate.
This cover I've never seen in any bookshop, I had to discover it between obsolete India Todays and Womans Eras. And I hold this Kureishi close to me like no other, intimate.
In Bangalore with my Twink, I found Love in a Blue Time again, in a pile that threatened to self destruct anytime. I escaped with Kureishi, myself and my Twink-then tight under my arm.
And then this Sunday, I again sauntered over to the little old magazine kiosk and found The Buddha of Suburbia content amongst the Pregnancy and Childcare and Digit Magazine. So even though I owned a much more expensive sparkling version, I still picked up the spent Kureishi.
And now I live with the Kureishis.
P.S Dear Hanif Kureishi,
My apologies for completely discounting my copy of Midnight all Day from this narrative, I, well, didnot enjoy it a bit.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
For more on the evening from Booker:
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
The detergent washed away the malaise, they now smelt of oranges and lilies and over-ripe plums put together. She pulled them from the washing line as the rain and gust tugged at each other. They fell on the mosaic, got caught in the fence, fell on the grass, and then they gathered in her arms. Still warm with the remains of the sun, still crisp from the remains of the detergent and damp-stained with the waters from above. I closed my eyes, picked one of them up and buried my face into the cornucopia of that aroma. I knew with my eyes closed, I knew that it was white. It smelt white.
It smelt like Paras did that wonderful noon in
Friday, June 19, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We’re leaving the office last. He’s walking behind me. I saw him look at me with his slightly open mouth and perennially grave expression under the glaze of three sets of illumination.
He switches off the first set of lights, click, and dark.
The second set of lights goes off, click, darker.
We’re both heading for the door and the last set of light switches is in my arms reach.
I deliberate my pace; reach for the switch, click.
Slow down, we’re both slow.
And in that space where I couldn’t discern anything else, I hear a loud sigh, close behind me.
Reach for the door knob now, click.
And the violent light comes barging in, into our little moment. Like light had been eavesdropping on our silent solitude crouched against the door and it tumbled in as I turned the doorknob.
We’re climbing down the stairs together. The moment is so long behind us, as if all the depth, distance, height of the world has come between climbing down the stairs with him and sharing that dark, dark moment with him. He talks mildly of our projects, of our next trip.
Another day gone, a day when his hair smelt like out of a shampoo commercial.