Sunday, October 31, 2010


Reader, looking back on my posts, I find that mentions of a certain black and white pup have become very regular, and indeed for those who don't know him, perhaps quite tiresome. The thing is, Reader, a few months ago, I went through a pretty dark phase. It was the sort of thing we all go through, at one point or another in our lives, but for me it was of obsessive importance, because you see, it was my life. I turned into the sort of person I never wanted to become: self pitying. So when Panda came along, and wriggled his way into my heart, I finally had someone other than myself to think about and it was providential. However, I don't think I managed to get rid of my demons, I simply succeeded in transferring them, to him.
In him, they take  a far more vicious form. Indeed, quite often, he seems almost possessed. Why just last night, I pleasantly anticipated spending the evening reading a book, lingering over dinner, chatting up a few friends. Instead, I rescued a cushion and yelled at Panda, mourned my chewed up headphones and yelled at Panda, chased him around the house and stubbed my toe, wiped up muddy paw prints and yelled at him some more, nearly turned deaf by his barking at imaginary noises and when I finally collapsed, exhausted on the bed, watched him chew a giant hole in the bedspread, too defeated to protest.
He can be absolutely angelic for hours on end. Right now for example, he's curled up beside me looking impossibly virtuous, but I know that in another couple of hours the whole cycle will start again. People, the internet, trainers, all tell me this is a phase, that it will soon pass. But I'm having a deepening conviction that I'm grown too old for this.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My happy place

Reader, I've only been working two weeks, yet my days somehow seem to have acquired a sameness. Don't get me wrong, my routine is pleasant and I am content, at least for now. But I can only tell you so often about how big Panda is growing, how he leaps up, tongue out, his whole body vibrating with the eagerness to greet me, after a long day at work. I can't tell you about sunrises too often, even though each one I've seen has been different and memorable. But wait, I don't think I've told you yet about our dear, misshapen kitchen.
It has far more counter space than anyone needs and too little width for two people to stand and work beside each other with the slightest bit of comfort. But it has lots of fully stocked cupboards and my own dear old pots and pans, which I didn't realize I had missed until I caught myself caressing a bowl. The kitchen is shaped like an L, with the counters running down both sides. Since Amma and I are the only ones who cook and we both don't like spreading ourselves out too much, most of the counter remains black and gleaming, just the way I like it. Our familiar old four burner stove is on one corner, and Amma and I are constantly constantly claiming the space before it,. it is prime real estate. Since we've come here I've cooked puddings and sauces, made chutneys and chappatis and once, a sambhar that Appa said was better than Amma's.
All the while, Panda spreads himself out as wide as possible at the door, making me trip over him several times a day. He always lies there when he sees me cooking, he knows he will be fed illicit scraps.
I'll be telling you more about my culinary adventures soon, on my other blog, but for now I just wanted to tell you about my kitchen. Gleaming counters, the smells of spice, and dog. I think I've found my happy place.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Preserving joy

I'm not big on photographs, Reader. But as you might have noticed, what I am big on, is words.
I've done this once before and I'm going to do it again. My days have been full of moments, when I feel a sharp stab of joy, for an instant, and then it fades and I'm left empty. But very soon after, I can't even remember what I felt joyful about, and I feel a sort of sadness, for what I can't remember.
Not today, Reader.

My day began early, at 5 am, actually when I woke up a very sleepy pup. He didn't want to get up and instead lazily licked my hand and rolled over onto his back.

Then we went out in that eerie glow that is the light of the morning and the air was crisp and cool. We were alone on the road, everyone else asleep.

I remember the precise moment of dawn, when suddenly the dim light turned into a glorious radiance, that I would've missed if I had as much as blinked.

There was Panda stalking through foot-high grass, it must've seemed elephantine to him. With a tread like an explorer, he set a panicky field of moths aflight, as he walked.

There was the smell of the sambar I made for breakfast, a heady mix of spice, boiling merrily on the stove.

There were more, Reader, but I can't tell you just now, I need to be going, as the impatient pup tugging on my arm tells me. But I'm glad I could tell you of my moments, at least of a few. If there was a way of bottling happiness and preserving it for the future, this would be it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Ah Reader, I think I'm rediscovering the joys of an honest week's work. And now that my weekend is finally here (Yes, I get only Sunday off) I don't feel guilty anymore for looking forward to it. No matter how much I gripe and laze, work does make me happy... eventually...
Now I'm going to go drown all my newfound convictions in a sea of dissipation. See you Monday!

Friday, October 1, 2010

This and that

I went to Delhi's Chandni Chowk today, Reader. The whole street is one glorious oxymoron. It's a study in contradictions, where the old and the new jostle each other daily and everything is swathed in an all-enveloping sea of humanity. I saw sweet stores that had been in the same place since the seventeen hundreds and fast food joints. I saw temples and mosques and a town hall. I asked a rickshaw puller for directions and nearly collided with a BMW while crossing the road.
It was a very very interesting afternoon.