Sunday, 18 April 2010

Spring cleaning

In India there is no such thing as spring. Four months of winter and nature loses no time in switching on the summer button. And this year, it has switched on the hi-heat button and things are melting and wilting all around me. Well, this post is not about the weather alone. (Most people talk about the weather when they have nothing else to speak about, but in these days of climate change, plenty to speak about...!)

This weekend I was doing some much needed sprucing up of the house. New curtains ordered, with some new upholstery thrown in. Great new bed linen in black and white, so soothing during the summer.

My daughter got involved in cleaning out the shelves with me, sorting, tossing and throwing useless stuff. She is a thrower, while my hubby is a stower and me somewhere in between. So my judgement was needed in what to keep and what to throw. She connected with so may forgotten childhood stuff. A pair of ghungroos(anklets with bells) when she went for Kathak classes when she was tiny, laminated pictures of her as a baby with Mother Teresa blessing her, odds and ends, each of which had a story behind it. She will be carrying the anklets and the Mother's pictures with her to University this fall.

While I was much into the heat and dust of the cleaning, I came across several photographs of myself in various stages in the last twenty years, most of which were spent in anguish, loneliness and betrayal. Its uncanny, but I did not want to keep any of the photographs which reminded me of the times that have passed. Is it possible to slice off a large portion of the past and survive? Vacuum out the muck and purge your soul? May be an unpleasant past has taught me to sift through life and identify people, places, activity which make me happy?

You can spring clean your house, but can you spring clean your life?

Friday, 16 April 2010

The North and South of it

Media frenzy caught up with me last week and day before when I was in Delhi, I was still switching channels in my hotel room, with my eyes leaden with sleep. Every channel had the same story....Modi-Tharoor face-off. Quite a potboiler....money, power, fame, corruption and of course muck and sleaze. I must say the minister's lady love is quite a stunner. Yet another North beauty smitten by a suave, powerful South-Indian man.....Quite a Kashmir to Kanyakumari story, this....

I believe, men from the north of India and the south of India come from different planets. My few close north Indian friends married to Southern men swear by their choices. Apparently these guys are programmed differently...to better understand, appreciate, humour and manage relationships, which their north Indian brethren seem remotely related to. Well, I would'nt know about this, obviously. And good for my friends...sigh!

I was on an overnight trip to Delhi for an annual meeting of the core group I belong to, and was pleasantly surprised to find I had been upgraded to the executive suite of the Taj Mahal (previously Taj Mansingh) in New Delhi. That was really the high point!

And while I pored through scores of latest fiction at the airport book stores both in Kolkata and Delhi, I resisted my buying urges...I have imposed an embargo on myself...not to read any fiction till I complete my book. A tough one, it certainly is, but I don't want to colour my writings or get influenced by other writers that would mar my originality. This seems egoistic, but this leads to hard work. No wonder Shobhaa De says book writing is a grunt job, not an ego trip. I shall have to spend nights mulling over my ideas, desperately imagine conversations and settings, twists and turns of plots, balancing melodrama with restrained writing. God help me!

At this stage however, I think I am ready. I hope this will stop me thinking about impossible things all the time......

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

From the heart

Came across some good quotes o twitter and FB.

'Does love really exist or is it just an illusion in our mind? A feeling of comfort for oneself?'

'Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced'....Keats

'I've stopped fighting my inner demons. We're on the same side now'

'There should be a better way to start a day than waking up every morning.'

And the best one yet:)

'They call our language the mother tongue because the father seldom gets to speak.'

Thursday, 8 April 2010

A body of evidence

The past one week has been distracting. My trip to Ajmer and Lucknow were satisfying. I have prayed to my heart's content at the place I love and even visited Bada Imambara in Lucknow and said a few prayers. Something I have never done in Lucknow. Strangely I am gravitating towards spirituality at a rate, quicker than ever.

However, the entire trip was interspersed with sensational media reports of the Sania-Shoaib impending marriage and his first marriage to Ayesha or 'Maha Apa' who he referred initially to as elder sister.

In this chequered story of love, deceit and betrayal, my heart goes out to India's poster girl Sania who stood up for the truth and her man's integrity when all he did the next day was to own up marrying the poor fat girl and divorcing her all under the threat of arrest. The story dipped to its lowest when the girl produced incriminating evidence that the two had shared bodily fluids and her abortion. Gawd, how low can a man get? Such creeps should be recognised a mile away and warded off like dangerous insects.

It raises important questions about the man's integrity. He is supposed to be a national hero across the border having led the national cricket team for some time. But most of us today see him as a double faced villain. If I were Sania, I would run away as far as I could from this charlie.....