Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2008

I'm all out of love...

In most houses populated by bachelors, the kitchen looks like a war-zone. The ritual of cooking food for consistently ravenous and generally ungrateful roommates manages to take on the trappings of a grand opera, complete with heart-wrenching yodeling and murder. The chef accompanied by the pressure cooker, is the one doing the Pavarotti impression and the food is quite often the victim.

In a previous post, you have been introduced to the denizens of my house and their various eccentricities. One of the sentiments that we have in common is that we like to eat well and more importantly, we enjoy cooking. (Not every day of course, heaven bless the various mothers, kaam-wali bais and whoever else that do so). Being the hardworking, busy men that we are (on cue - helpless guffawing) we take turns to make food and the system is simple enough to suggest that it ought to tick along like a fine Swiss watch. The Swiss however, never had to contend with our 4th roommate. He's a nice enough …

Yesterday once more

It's been 5 days. Mercifully, the clock has inexorably ticked away the seconds, minutes, hours and days from Sunday night 9:00 pm to Friday morning 9:00 am. Tick, tick, tick... I'm counting with it, desperately hoping and furiously planning - to make this my last semester and my last 4 months in the most exciting city this side of Boredomville.

I'm back at work; new building, same job. While everyone from the faculty downward is going into raptures over their new premises, I don't like it. The old place was small, pooky, and cluttered and no self-respecting department in any university barring Afghanistan U would be caught dead hanging its sign outside it. But it's eccentricity suited me fine. It was also way closer to home, something I've started appreciating more now that I have to walk 20 mins. in -1 degree weather at 7:30 in the morning. Ahh... the delights of winter.

The best way to look busy at work, I've realized, is to peer closely at the computer scr…

The times they are a-changin'

Rather than a very much expected doom-and-gloom piece tomorrow, I wanted to do this today. Today, when I can still attempt to think about these last 5 weeks with some sense of joy, with some sense of equanimity. Tomorrow, the supposed inner sense of equilibrium will not so much see-saw wildly as come crashing down definitely one one side - the side of me that will rail at all things. The day I have dreaded since the 9th of December 2007 will have arrived.

It'd be far too easy to glorify Pune and the life I have led during the past 5 weeks. It has taken a monumental amount of effort to not sing my usual paeans of praise for all things Puneri. But, I cannot let things spiral away to an extent where one starts to think living in this city, surrounded by friends and family is akin to living on Fantasy Island. So, here goes...

It would be superfluous to say that the city hasn't changed. That was inevitable. What I did not want to but was forced to accept were just a few ravages of ti…

Truly, Madly, Deeply...

His head resting on the window sill, arms akimbo, eyes staring but not really seeing, he greeted the dusk. From the distant mosque, the faithful were being called to prayers by that soul-wrenching voice as the night birds began circling the minarets in the golden evening sky. The single street lamp slowly came to life, flickering once, twice. Its bleak glow illuminated the heavy pall of dust hanging in the air and he blinked suddenly. Somewhere across that landscape, among the millions of people teeming in the city, she was there. He could imagine her at work, her head bowed in that peculiar intensity of concentration that boded ill if disturbed. The dark shiny bob of her hair would ripple downwards, but there would always be a wisp tucked behind her ear, thinking of which almost tore at his heart. The graceful arc of her cheeks framed a face that was… he thought himself inadequate when trying to describe her in words and instead, he closed his eyes, almost as if in worship. His frien…

The days are just packed

For 3 days in quick succession, I've greeted the dawn... or 4:00 am, whichever comes first. It's almost like my internal clock has decided to gently remind me that it'll soon be time to head back to drudgery, the sepia-stained existance that passes for life in that glorious hotspot of activity, Birmingham, AL.

Lying sprawled out on the diwan on a Pune winter afternoon, occasionally reading from the book in my hands, pausing to take sips of hot ginger-laced chai, just watching the breeze work its way through the eucalyptus tree outside the windows...

The sky is an incredible shade of blue as I make my way through the steady stream of people on the road. The buzz of voices, sudden shared guffaws, sharp swearing, the plaintive cries of vendors selling vegetables on the weatherbeaten wooden handcarts, the mesmerizing perfume of dosas, kacchi-dabeli, wada pav, samosas, chai...

Smoky kerosene lanterns mark the late evening stalls selling Indian Chinese food, tiny cigarette shops t…