The sound of human voices never seemed so harsh as it did yesterday when a meeting of people I know escalated into a dinner party and I was caught helplessly in middle of the whip, crack, burst, and rumble of voices in various pitches and accents. I was rendered mute, beaten back by the crossfire of words and the snaps of laughter. At times the talking was so ferocious that it seemed as if I would come out of that room bleeding or purple with bruises, and I wondered why no one has ever reported this fact before: that the human voice is singularly unmusical and unsuitable for public airing except as a vehicle for song. Continue reading
How we spend our time
What we talk about
What we do to understand the things that intrigue us Continue reading
That feeling sad isn’t so bad. For one thing you don’t have to ever feel scared that something will happen to take away your happiness. You can live without that fear and you can go ahead and imagine the worst because, according to you, you’re probably not that far from the worst anyway. Happiness is fragile – this has to be something everyone knows. It takes far more work to keep, and as you get older it takes even more work to keep you at the same level of happy. Continue reading
Reading Naipaul’s House for Mr. Biswas for the third time and loving it. Such great comedy, such sadness. See this line about Mr. Biswas being born: “Some time later they were awakened by the screams of Mr. Biswas and the shrieks of the midwife.” Funny, lovable. Some books you read, something turns inside you and you don’t know why. They call to you. You feel you know the author. This book is making me feel like reading again. I had become a little jaded with words and had been reading only bits of books lately. Too many books lying around the house that I’ve started or almost finished. I will have to admit that books which have settings familiar to me as an Indian are appealing more to me now that I’m done with my MFA and my reading is mostly for fun. But wait, I loved Bernhard’s Woodcutters too, and Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K. Even in choosing what to read, you are always looking for something that resonates with you.
Dogs and ticks Mango trees Enid Blyton Days at the beach A cow and a calf Scraped knees Playing with girls in Sand heaps Kicking a stone Alone on streets School fair No money for treats Skinny thing So small and meek Gone black with sun Thin and weak So scared, so sad So naïve, so sweet So desperate To please and please You’re dim and dark In my memory You creep by the wall In a freeze You never smile You never speak You never ask For what you need You’re loved to death By me at least Your mountains My small-as-peas I scaled your peaks I made you me We’d some good times All too brief But she’s getting closer Don’t you see? That Oldie there Who looks like we Limbs all slack Heels like emery How did she get The way she is? Grimace on face Joy free Bitter-sour Whiny-weak Can’t fob her off Can’t shake her free Can’t blast her out To Mercury Can’t run away Can’t up and leave Can’t loose her grip On sanity
Somini Sengupta’s book The End of Karma. Chilling stories of youth in India and the degradation that women still suffer. It’s more than twenty years since I left India and some things have not changed. How lucky I am to belong to that tiny slice of Indian female Indian population that got away relatively unscathed. I roamed everywhere in India alone with what felt like little trouble though this was partly because I was so used to the trouble I just brushed it off.