March 19, 2010
And such a stock of custardapples. And so many thoughts of you.
And hoping that the season holds till Diwali. And hopefully I will
bring some home. And the guruji has given me a hell of a lot of monkey
nuts. And I am wondering where the monkey stores his nuts.
Like its the 30th of October and tomorrow will be the end of October.
Like when a boy comes home with a gigantic cucumber. And the other boys
descend on it. Like Vultures or Gidhades on a rotting carcass. Like flies are
buzzing around me. And its common property. Like unwritten laws and tradition.
Like I gave some boy some monkey nuts. And he ran away immediately.
And all the boys are calling after him. And he is not within sight or
sound. And I know where he has gone. Like hide and seek. And eat
before they get you. Like vultures or Gidhade. And I’m not talking about
Vijay Tendulkar. And I’m not talking about Alyque Padamsee.
Like the boys have their own ruling. And no one ever cries. And the
law is that of the jungle. And there is a slight difference. Like there are
forty five muleteers. And its all for one and one for all. And there are
exceptions to every rule. And the exception is monkey nuts.
And its not the lusty month of May. And still there are lusty cocks. Like they
are chasing the hens. And one hears a clucking and a running. Like catch
me if you can. And its a man’s world. And the clucking stops. And you see
the cock looking very pleased with himself. See. And its not Camelot.
And our cocks are evergreen. And the dogs are feeling left out. And
decide to get in on the act. And you hear a clucking and a running and
there is a slight difference. And our dogs have a hang dog look.
Like I just see a flock of birds floating outside my door. And I
hastily get out the trusted Minolta. And run out of doors. And by the time I
set the exposure the birds too have flown away. Like its the same attitude
everywhere. Like catch me if you can. And I sometimes feel the best thing
is a box camera or R.K. Laxman. And I’m afraid that I wont be able to
classify the birds. Like I’m not Salim Ali. And I don’t think these were the
Grey Lag geese. Like this is L’Ambatha not Ladakh.
And so it is. And my thoughts and feelings have been here. And they have
remained here from January to October. And I cannot write about
them. Like one thinks thoughts and feels feelings. And so it is that I
am in the whereabouts of Aubrey Menen’s Dang forest trip. And I
haven’t yet found ‘the space within the heart’. And I keep at the
Chandogya and Brihadaranyka Upanishad. And the magic does not get
me. And so it is. And I’m having déja vu. And I’m not talking about the
Crosby, Stills Nash and Young LP. And I have a mood indigo and its got
nothing to do with the IIT.
Like one feels so useless in a rural setting. And one knows one can’t
change the world. And one knows the world changes one. And one likes
change. Like Bob Dylan. And ‘the times they are a changin’’. And I do not
like to leave my heart in San Francisco. And the Indian government does
not encourage people to go to the US. And its brain drain. And I don’t want
to leave my heart nor my brain there. Like Schizophrenia. And I’m Indian.
Like I hope I am. And I want wherever I’m buried that corner to be forever
India. Like Rupert Brooke and England. Like I’m attempting poetry. And I’m
making no headway. And that’s my life’s story. And I’m absurdly happy.
Like Sisyphus and the myth.
March 19, 2010
I write this form a place 100 kilometers from Nasik city and two kilometers from the Gujarat border. Surganna is in the famous Dang teak and bamboo forests. I am sitting in a ‘hotle’ called Guru Krupa. In description this is three star splash for it has six cups and saucers, most others have three or four. In the corner there is a pathela with a constantly smoldering ……… (chaha). I write it in Devnagri because in English one finds it hard to spell this beautiful word. I don’t like (chai), it sounds too much like chaila , a condensation of tuja aaiee la . Mind you I like the abuse as abuse. To abuse …….(chaha) is a heinous crime.
The ‘hotle’ hangs a kind of cactus to keep away the mosquitos. when I pointed out to the proprietor that there were some mosquitos even sitting on the plant, the man looked pained just raised his eyebrow a bit and said ‘stupid mosquitos’. So I gather that the cactus is only meant for the intelligent ones.
The menu though devoid of lobster, salmon, asparagus and anchovies has that famous hors d’oeuvre, shev gatya and salted chilies. Of course you have the cup that cheers as ‘chalu’ (plain) 20p., ‘peshal (special) 40p and ‘takkar’ chaha 70p. Takkar as the name might suggest is a bang between a chalu and a peshal. I tried to tell the owner that from simple arithmetic that would be 20 + 40 = 60p. ‘No , no’, and the same pained raised eyebrow look, takkar is 70 p. I told him that he was cheating the public and that if I wanted a takkar I would order a chalu and a peshal and bang them myself. He made an exasperated head scratching gesture, ‘but sahib, you must know how’. In that case he wins, but then again he loses because I’m a chalu man anyway.
I have the notion while reading this through that I’m sounding just a trifle like Busy Bee. But there is only one Busy Bee like the one that coulumnises at the backside of the Evening News. Like I guess I’ll have to call myself lazy Larva or something with that sort of alliteration.
There is a small chap here running this three star splash in this one horse town. Every time he passes the shev ghatia he involuntarily pops some into his mouth. You can’t really blame him. Like man this is a hors d’oeuvre. Like the dust in Surganna is bad this place is good with its Liptons Ruby dust chalus and tea stained tables and its flies and pictures of Ganesh, Shiva, and Laxmi. All that’s missing is Anuradha (an ex girl-friend). But she’s safe on Shoellar paper in my closet in Bombay, like skeletons in the cupboard which I am happy to take out and love again.