Tag Archives: Reading

151: Magical May

31 May

Here’s what it’s been like in pictures. 

Hot. 

Relaxing. 

Experimental. 

Filled with debauchery. 


And just plain amazing!

79: Pages

20 Mar

Sometime during the final stages of my unemployment, after I’d received confirmation of my next job, I dared to slink into the couch on a bright sunny afternoon to watch tv. It’s not like anything unusual or appealing ever shows on tv these days, which makes it less likely to happen on a weekday afternoon. But I was in luck, by such a freak chance, because Everest was playing, and it was a movie I really wanted to watch ever since it released. I managed to stay glued to the television, then oblivious of the setting sun or how its disappearance meant gearing myself up for colder evenings (we were still in the throes of winter). Perhaps I’d already been vicariously acclimatised thanks to the movie. Never had I felt this absorbed or engaged with a movie in a long time; and naturally, it stuck to my thoughts prominently enough to make me watch it twice more. Poring over client interviews of the 1996 expeditions ensued, and I never really stopped thinking about it. In fact, I made my family watch it and sat through the movie again with them, and happened to write about it over here as well.

But that wasn’t enough. I found myself hunting for Jon Krakauer’s retelling of the experience, which I’ve soaked myself into; savouring it a day at a time, sometimes keeping it aside intentionally just so it lasts longer. You’d say taking over 1.5 months to read a book you’re that connected with is a joke, but here I am, still just a little short of the 3/4th mark, and making quite the effort to tear myself away from it for selfish reasons. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that’s really made me want to come back to it without force, or even compulsion. Into Thin Air, is just that, and a lot more that the reader in me was thirsty for. Call it the influence of this fascination with the Everest that I’ve been unusually drawn to for years now, or the magnetism of a book that speaks to more than just the reader in me.

At this juncture when a lot of my “free” time is conjunct with life’s larger questions and ideas, here’s this book which feeds my need to find answers like a well the thirsty me has been craving for. Like Charlie, I want this treat of mine to last as long as it can, to stay with me and make me feel like I do belong to a tribe that has fascinations beyond the ordinary. Getting lost in his words, his encounters, his expressions, it’s not so much the writer but the magnanimity of it all put together which calls out to me. I do believe we all have our own quests dotted with our own mirrors and empty spaces that need filling. Past the horizon of everything that is tangible and known lies this radiant energy that makes me want to find answers via this book, this movie, and my general obsession with the Himalayas.

Sometimes pages stand still, sometimes they flurry past with no resolutions of answers or a way forward. Settling into the expanse of a space that is mine and mine alone, all in the suffocating confines of a page, lies that x factor which I’m unable to name or put a label on. The only awareness I have is that at the end of every single day, when the last thing I want is to look at a book, this particular one is the only thing that’s been calling out to me stronger than ever before.

24: This And That

24 Jan

The first thing I saw on opening today’s newspaper was that of a hit and run/accident involving yet another rich kid speeding yet again in his posh car at what seems to have been a dangerous speed for city roads, and rammed into a stationary taxi, killing its driver. Sometimes I wonder why I’ve even begun subscribing for a newspaper, even. This sort of morbidity is everyday news; it’s there every single day. These repugnant incidents, and the maddening frequency at which they’re happening, trigger such a spectrum of usually negative thoughts first thing in the morning; something I selfishly dislike and wish to stay away from as consciously as I can. It’s always at the cost of guilt and regret, because where does one draw the line between giving voice and volume to these pertinent issues which should lead to concrete action, and preventing them from settling into an obsessive, repetitive deliberation. I really do not mean to come across as being insensitive; in fact, because of the uncertainty of what the next moment holds, especially given the crass and mindless environment we live in, this makes it anything but forgettable or compassionless. However, despite it all, I can’t imagine a morning or teatime routine without a newspaper in tow. Sigh. It’s a torment, either way.

I also found myself waking up with a headache, and I wonder what I did/didn’t do, to be bestowed with such a nagging gift, first thing in the morning. Maybe it’s because Tuesday’s here; the second most insipid day of the week, after Wednesday, of course. On recollecting what I could’ve possibly done to myself which resulted in a headache, the answer seems more or less clear – I had masala green peas (the dry ones that are roasted and had with drinks) and a chocobar for dinner. To be honest, I love those green peas, and to be even more honest, I’m not on a starvation drive. I do love my food. Oh that things junk food does to us. It’s aptly clear that I’m ageing, because look what happens at the slightest ignorance these days. Do you also experience a more vocal bodily reaction now? What is also apparent is that bursting this time bubble/warp thing I’m so nonchalantly still luxuriously reclining in, is beyond my capacities. The world of denial is oft colourful, pretty, and of course, utterly misleading. Haha!

On to more interesting things, I realised that my blog had no pictures in its posts, off late or maybe even for ever. To have erred so, is blasphemous on numerous counts. So here goes, and here’s what’s making me feel utterly delighted even in this bone-chilling weather.

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I love that I can see a clean, blue sky, dotted with paintings of clouds, as opposed to the dull brownish-greyish faux sky ceiling my city has on its possession year round. These moments remind me of home in so many ways; in fact the first thing I usually do on alighting an aircraft in Bangalore is to pause and take a deep breath. It makes all the difference, and to be able to do that without choking or coughing, is a blessing untold.

As I make my exit, here’s wishing your day to be a painting as marvellous as this one is. :)

 

21: Currently Thoroughly Enjoying

21 Jan

My life, at this very moment, feels like a scene right out of a movie. There’s the weather factor, which is oddly but expectedly, quite so very under. It’s an overcast day, which only spells cold and more cold. The sun has hardly been out, and when it does get the chance to show itself, it is but a mere shadow. But that isn’t the movie-ish bit, just a hugely contributory element, due to which the movie bit comes in on cue at present – I’m writing this post, all cuddled in bed. It’s one of those weekend afternoons, spent in the luxury of one’s blanket and bed. I was blanketed in, surrounded on one side by a lovely, comforting hot water bottle, and on the other side with my kindle, engrossed in the world of Anna Arkadyevna Karenina. I actually bought myself this classic a few years ago, and remember reading it with the exact same keenness as now, but stopped after the first part for reasons I don’t remember. A lot of me thinks it’s because I got tired of holding the book up while reading it; a hugely prominent factor because of which most of the bulky books I own, remain either entirely unread or abandoned.

Anyhoo, I was a fly on Anna’s wall, till the doorbell rang, just like how all doorbells ring when you never expect them to. In my very asocial case, I seldom desire doorbells to be rung at all, in the first place. I’ve mentioned my loathing for them quite abundantly on this blog – over here, here, here, and here – see? So, it did ring, and I was instantly and most irritably, transported back to this world, and far away from what seemed to be a very warm and lively ballroom. It was S, my istriwala (the guy who irons our clothes); and while I was disturbed from my very cushy position in bed, which takes a lot of adjusting to be perfect especially when you’re reading, mind you, I was also thankful that S not only showed up with my husband’s clothes, but also made me think about writing my post that was due today. I’d put it off for another day; the sheer blasphemy that ensues when you’re so darned tranquil and content, haha!

I feel like (a rotund) Meg Ryan from You’ve Got Mail. That’s what I meant when I typed the first line of this post out. I’m in my woolies, in bed, with my laptop on my lap, and typing away to glory, feeling very important, and purposeful. Also, the added sfx of my typing, makes me feel so inexorably complete that it had to feature in my blog post today. But that’s about it. The filminess ends here, for the post at least. Everything else in my life today, screams reality over reelity. A is under the weather, the hot water bottle is because the lower half of my body is on medical leave for the next few days, and my day since I first woke up, has been more organised and productive than any Saturday I’ve had in the longest time. My morning bevvys, tea, breakfast, and lunch were all made and done before the maid could leave; therefore ensuring that all my dishes were done and my kitchen cleaned before it struck 1030am; the bathrooms were cleaned, my bath was had, the house was cleaned, the laundry was done, post which K3G was watched uninterruptedly. I love it when I don’t have to get up in between watching something. It has all worked out well so far; even this blog post is up in time…and I couldn’t really care about dinner, so that’s an added bonus.

What I’m trying to say is that despite not having a genie to wait upon me, and make my domestic life a breeze, despite both of us being under the weather which is in itself not faring too well today, and despite forfeiting so many hours over a crybaby movie, all is well and to be thankful for. I’ve emerged feeling very well rested (because I’m still in bed), and like I’m in one of my favourite movies. Soon, when the restful headache begins to stir within me, I will make myself a steaming cup of tea, and still try not to care about dinner. After all, there’s only so much a faux movie star can think about, right? Besides, I’m that self-confessed precocious girl who thinks not all meals ought to be fussed over, or even thought about.

To sum up, I’m currently thoroughly enjoying:

this ambience that’s enveloped me
this wave of sloth that’s washed over me
this slight drowsiness that’s tugging my eyelids
this read that’s absorbed me,
and this Saturday, which feels like home.

Have a beautiful weekend, folks! :)

Emails

19 Jul

Back when we were younger, there was this tradition of sending cards out on the event of birthdays, anniversaries, festivals especially (and maybe only) for Rakshabandhan and even when it was time for our boards – X and XII. The really special cards came when we were turning 13 and 18 where the words ‘welcome to the teen club’ and ‘you’re an adult now’ respectively always had their place. Board exams saw their own variations – for class X it was about enunciating our bravado and courage; that we would indeed arrive at the other side with flying colours (another term that was always used by default) and that the respective card senders were proud of us; while cards for our class XII boards urged us on to get on the other side; we’d done it once, we would definitely do it again…with more flying colours.

But what was more precious and which held a higher place on the pedestal of feeling important was the act of writing letters. There would be a furore of letting writing activity especially after our summer holidays had ended where every letter would invariably burst with memories of the summer holidays that had gone past. I remember writing letters with more regularity than anything else I had chosen to voluntarily occupy my attention with, unless reading counts. The joy of receiving a letter or at seeing the postman/woman walk towards your gate with what could only look like a letter and not a parcel or a BSNL bill was paramount. I remember waiting for those days with a sense of excitement that I now feel on finding emails from loved ones in my inbox. Apart from the excitement of what that possible email could hold, it’s a breath of fresh air to see these gems amid the trash that has alarmingly made itself into my inbox.

I must admit that I don’t have an email writing habit and sincerely hope to put that into place. But these sporadic finds in this sea of junk – what once used to have zero unread emails, now see triple digits is how despicable the scenario has become – really are those rainbow moments in an otherwise randomly routine day. Snippets from a friend here or there, emails from mom which saw a slight rise once I’d left home and which I’ve, I’m ashamed to say, not kept up…they’re all a treasure. From discussing life to love to goals to music to TEDX talks to photographs and travel to things that are an interesting share; they’ve got it all.

When I came back to a more functional internet network, I saw a lot of yesterday spent in reading the articles my friends had shared and considered good reads. Here are some of them.

An interview with Arundhati Roy done by Elle.

This very realistic piece on the fetishization of travel which is fantastic.

I found this stark read on this virtual perfectionism we see all around us via social media and promptly shared it on my wall for my friends to read as well.

Before that, I stumbled across this piece about celebrating overworking in the ways that we do, which seems ever so rational.

But my most favourite off late has been this one which not just smashes the ball out of the park but hits the sweet spot every single time. I loved it and loved it and loved it some more. Do read Get the Epidural, it’s fantastic.

Needless to say that even though my post has taken on many other tangents, it’s the base fact that taking time out to share, talk, or even send random words and sometimes even cryptic sentences (if I were to look back at my past years) to the people I love, is beyond special to me.

 

Go Set A Watchman

9 Sep

***This post does not contain spoilers***

 

To Kill A Mockingbird (TKMB) was is, to this day, a masterpiece which needs no additional vouching for. It’s a fact and it’s the truth (they’re different things, these two). Whoever loves reading has perhaps already embarked on the journey together with Jem, Scout, Dill, Cal and Atticus, and remains somewhere with them, even though the physical pages of the book long ended. Sometimes I find myself observing their backyard games and sometimes I imagine Atticus reading stories to me as well; I’ve always wondered what that would really feel like – nothing extravagant or ornate but poignant, I’m certain. On hot summer days, I want Cal’s lemonade and the easing of those warm days into still, slightly cooler evenings, sprawled on the porch or under a tree, sulking perhaps.

It’s a novel I first got introduced to in school, and we would spend one hour of the week being read to, in our own most beautiful English classes – sitting on the floor by the window, playing the words being shared with us to the tunes of our imagination. I’m grateful we were introduced to the book when we were. It goes to show that age has but nothing to do with the building of morals, character and the ability to be sensitive to more than what meets the eye. There is no right time because every time is when you add another block to the never-ending process, that is building and strengthening your own character’s foundation. And neither is there a boundary on the depth of what you can teach children from the books they ought to pick up and give a chance.

It was a mixed feeling when I heard of Harper Lee’s next book, for I was both delighted at what lay ahead in her story of these characters, and dejected that the story wouldn’t (obviously) match the one that had weaved its way into my world with its characters; a story that would obviously take away my imagined tales from me and follow the path she had chalked out for them instead. Natural as it was, it was also difficult. It was just a little while ago that I ordered Go Set A Watchman and decided to let go of my childhood romanticism with TKMB ever so slightly and give this new one a try. When the book arrived (being the book-cover judge that I am), I turned it over to find this excerpt from the book mentioned at the back.

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I had no idea what the word “island” was doing there and in what context someone was talking to Ms. Jean Louise about this concerned island and one’s conscience. I flipped it to the front and began this new journey with Harper Lee’s script.

As are situations with people you’ve known for most part of your life but have been connected with only in one’s imagination after the first physical meeting, a rendezvous many years later can only be unnerving. There’s excitement and there’s anxiety, simply because you don’t know what lies ahead and how far removed your imagination may have made facts and reality seem. And so it was, once I began reading the book and encountered a 26 year old Scout for the first time since our childhood.

She was herself, in an adult form, throughout the book, I’d say. It was heartening to see and experience. She is also now a smoker, looks at men differently than her younger self would have even though she believes she can never understand them. Jem and Calpurnia do not feature in the book as much as I would have liked. And that is the heart-breaking bit. Harper Lee tries maintaining a balance between the old and new, which is refreshing to what would otherwise be a stark experience for a reader familiar with TKMB. I traveled through Scout’s childhood reminisces, missed Jem, Dill and Cal terribly and felt her angst about the same. It’s perhaps a reality I may not accept for some time, because in my mind, things didn’t pan out the way they have at present.

Therefore there were many times when I couldn’t understand what was going on and felt disoriented and daresay bored enough to want to keep the book down. And keep the book down for breaks to process it all, I did. It’s not an easy book if you’re reading it with the baggage of the previous one. But if you can manage the difficult task of bifurcating the two, you’d be better off, in my honest opinion. I trundled along the story as are the days in sleepy Maycomb till I arrived at what I think, is the crucial bit of the book – the part where I take most meaning from it and from where I can see the book being more than just TKMB’s sequel. And it’s when I read this that things started to fall into place.

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This is an excerpt from Dr. Finch (Uncle Jack)’s dialogue with Scout after a confrontation she has with Atticus (just to contextualize). He begins by saying “Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman, is his conscience. There is no such thing as collective conscious.” (continues as per the image attached). This, to me, was the most definitive part of not just the novel, but also of the story and of Scout’s being. It acts as closure and gives you your time to take a minute, stop and look around at all that has become from whatever was, accept it and move on.

I saw these lines as more than just words being parted to one of my favourite literary characters. They taught me about the roles we play as children and the idealistic notions we have of what a parent should be like. So beautifully, yet simply stated are these stokes that make you rekindle the warmth of forgiveness in its entirety; and just what a load off of one’s conscience that is, I cannot even begin to describe.

Being at that point in my life where I’m preparing to move on to a new chapter, this profoundly deep conversation gave me new insight and meaning into the burdens we place on our parents who somehow become our ideals, ourselves and our sense of identity. I’ve never experienced an act of growing up as suddenly and overpoweringly as I have from a book before. To kill yourself or to allow yourself to be killed is overwhelming to say the least; but the power of knowledge, freedom and forgiveness that lies on the other side is liberating in ways we need to be more aware of. It brings to light just how enmeshed we are or can be, especially when it comes to love, expectations and worldviews, particularly from that of a parent’s. To think of such a burdensome existence is suffocating – and just how tremendous the drop in pressure by letting it go, can be.

Have you ever thought about what Uncle Jack tells Scout? Of course this doesn’t go to say that forgiveness comes at the cost of overlooking the duties of being a parent. But when it gets as good as it can, it helps to take a step back and really assess just where we cross the line; the sooner, the better.

And for coming my way sooner than later, I’m once again thankful to Harper Lee for deciding to put this story out there for me to see, in all its rawness, ruthlessness and eventual calmness.

What If I Don’t Have A Title?

24 Jun

It’s true when they say you get to know a lot about a person when their internet connection is slow, especially given that a lot in us has become more than just dependent (and heavily so) on the internet. This is me trying so hard to write during that one time I actually feel like writing only to have my one image stand loaded at just 20% for the past ten minutes. Let’s not get into what’s going on in my mind and the extreme levels of anger that inert bar on my page is making me feel. I’m hopelessly addicted and I think I’m beginning to feel scared about it.

Are you in that place too? That place where you need to check your phone even though you really needn’t or when life without the internet really gets to your being especially when you so wanted to do something that, well, needs the internet? I was reflecting on why it’s become incessantly harder to just get my butt into a spot, sit tight and just write. And while these reasons do not indicate an incapability in others who probably do similar things that I do, they do speak for me as a person and the specific ordeals they present in maintaining a healthy blogging life.

To begin with, a 100% of my work involves me sitting in front of the laptop, day in and day out. Sometimes even more than the number of hours I’m paid to work. There is not an iota of my work that involves me being away from my system unless you count necessary short breaks and food gobbling times. Therefore to come back home and switch on this screen again in order to write, becomes so overbearing, at least in my head. I have absolutely no idea how the rest of the world does it. I don’t. Because when I’m home, the last thing I ever want to do is switch on my laptop. Not even to shop. Not even to watch that dang television show. Unless desperate measures are required.

Secondly, I’m pretty sure this has to do a lot with the way you, say, categorize the clutter in your mind to actually de-clutter it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t there times when your head feels jammed with so many things that are going on? What do these clients think of themselves, I wish there were more hours in the day, that girl wore such a pretty earring; I wish I knew where it was from, why can’t I earn more money, how many craters are on the moon… I mean, this clutter is endless. If you’re a thinker, well, not all’s lost. If you’re an over-thinker, then God bless you and please share your solutions with me if you stumble across some. It’s not even about the thinking as much as it is about the utter volume of stuff that’s churning itself into a fine curry paste just waiting to explode because it sat there and fermented into a stinky mess. I don’t need experts to tell me just how impossible it is to do anything, forget writing, with such a mind space (or lack thereof). Mom says the Y word for everything and perhaps she’s right, except, I need to find solutions too and not just dive on to a yoga mat and pranayam my clutter away. Also, I just used pranayam as a verb and I think it fits. Somehow. Don’t ask me how but I know you feel it fits too. But I will take mom’s advice and pranayam my way through life and its obstacles. I hope.

Thirdly, and also very importantly, I suck at the D word – discipline. I doubt I’m disciplined about anything, except maybe trying to maintain discipline, ironically. I guess I’m that crazy person who tries to derive some means of satisfaction from enforcing slight levels of discipline just so I know it exists somewhere in my life; that all order hasn’t been lost. I do come from the belief that it takes baby steps, and (very, if I may) regular baby steps, to get to where you want to be. I do want to be disciplined with this and therefore I’m aware that it needs me to be here on a regular basis. But I don’t want to necessarily dole out crap for you to read just so I can write. Wazzaapointthen?

So that’s me, trying so hard (hardly) to stop by from time to time. But there are never any compulsions or rules, I think. You do as you please and allow this to be that one space in your life that is truly your own; where you can come and go as and when you wish (because it’s not like I have a big fan following whose lives depend on my posts, in which case I would be more responsible).

While writing this post, should you be interested; my broadband decided to be lethargic and non-responsive, the customer care executives decided to be least executing about my first world problems, my WiFi router then decided to switch off for no rhyme or reason, it started to rain which meant I needed to rush to get all the laundered clothes in in time, mosquitoes started biting me which required me to get my ass off of the sofa and switch that ghastly Mortein on, the balcony doors kept opening and closing thanks to the breeze…I mean come on! Don’t I sound like the perfectly spoilt child who could be more grateful about everything else she has? Well, now I feel a little bad cribbing about blog post-threatening situations that have tried hampering what could’ve been a better post, but let me also assure you that it’s so hard being one, too. (A spoilt child, that is)

In the interim, I actually came here to share this one picture with you and talk about it. But disorder, clutter, chaos and a jammed mind is, indeed the order of this day, and almost every other day (which is why it’s taken me such a deviation to get here).

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These really are a few of my favourite things and personalities and beings. This is what I was hoping to start reading today – An Antique Land. And somewhere in the aesthetics of this beautiful pile which I don’t want to disturb, is this marvelous piece I picked up earlier this year from a corner shop in a very crowded market kept under a pile of many other pieces.

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He’s so small, he fits in my palm. And yet his being transcends times and spaces that cannot be contained. He’s the Wednesday Buddha and isn’t he just so marvelous?  I guess you find your biggest, most prized discoveries in the darkest of corners. And something smaller than your palm makes infinity feel accommodated without clipping its boundless wings.

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Lastly, here’s something I came across that I had to share with you, and which also primarily drew me here to write. I’ve wondered why Haruki Murakami hasn’t come into my life yet. There is a time for everything and maybe I need more space with him, but hopefully this is an open window that allows the waves of a new writer to drench me.

I guess this sums up everything, and why, sometimes, it’s also important to complete the circle I feel I’m doing the round of. And oddly enough, I do feel calm, comforted and complete with this action. Strange are the ways of things.

Konverted

23 Jan

Last year was definitive when it came to reading. What I thought was an almost extinct habit, turned out to be just a phase of “not wanting to read”. As blasphemous as that sounds to a reader, it isn’t something that doesn’t happen. Because it does, no matter how astonishing. And it differs from person to person and from time to time, as everything else also does. It’s either a phase of not being able to read or not being able to start a book or not being able to see a book through…you name it and its there. And I think I suffered from all of it because there was a time when books could be read as frequently as well…one checks their phone these days. Of course that is a slight exaggeration because I’m a phone addict wherein I think my phone is (by the laws of being a phone slut) always attached to my hand. It isn’t really the same with books unless carrying a book or having a book by one’s pillow at all times, counts.

When I talk to friends about this, it starts to feel more like an age related thing. We more or less seem to be in a similar boat when we look back over the years. Back then it really didn’t take that long to finish a book and pick the next one up by default, unless you picked multiple books at once if you were that voracious a reader. And if you were a library member, then there was a definite timeline you ensured your reading took place under. I remember my library (which I ought to pay a visit sometime) gave us a period of two weeks from the date of borrowing a book. Whether you read one or ten, whether you read magazines, novels or comics, didn’t matter. Two weeks was it. And reading happened. Then you’d go back like clockwork and get yourself more books. And let’s not talk about holiday time. I just remember hoping so bad that the books I’d dreamed of reading would be around; that the library had had enough funds to buy as many copies of that book because really! everyone wanted that book, and now. It makes me sigh.

I remember the trend changing as the time to “grow up” made its way closer to my languorous life of pages and stories and characters. Books of a different kind took over and what you learnt from those books and how you produced your learnings on paper, gathered more steam. And it sort of remained like that till I finished my 12th grade. It’s not to say I didn’t read, but when I look back, I cannot remember much of what I read…except that it was the age of Potter, if I’m not mistaken. Reading came by force, quickly after, because I had chosen to study English Literature. It was the kind of reading I had never engaged in or dreamed of dabbling with; because Classics intimidate me. I must say I didn’t take Lit. by choice; that it was part and parcel of the combination of subjects that came along with what I wanted to study. Of course I hold no regrets; a book-lover can only ever be glad.

As my academic life progressed, my reading chapter dwindled. And then the world of work made its grand entry. You know what happens when that happens. And so it went. But all throughout, they stayed in touch…they were always there on the side, should I find the need to deep-dive into their pages and lose myself all over again. And somewhere along the way, they made a more definitive re-appearance in my life. Last year was one such. And I couldn’t have been happier. I cannot ever exit a bookshop empty handed. And so I’ve been gathering books I think may like to read, someday. I like the option of having choices…of being able to choose what I feel like reading and exploring. It’s comforting. And so I’ve been doing that. Last year was a good year where the drought seemed to slowly but surely fade away. I think.

And quite unexpectedly, a Kindle came my way. I’ve always stayed on the frays of this argument between the traditionalists and the not-so-traditionalists because I had no opinion. I never really thought of myself as a Kindle user or lover but now that I have one, I can’t seem to stop using it. For one, I’ve read more books in the last few months than I have in so many months collectively. Also, God is it an ease when you’re on the move? And let’s not get started about just how awesome it is to not have your hands/fingers/arms fall asleep as you prop a book up and read in bed. What works for me is that I don’t get to see the size of the book and imagine just how cumbersome a read it could possibly be; because that does affect my capacity to read and complete a book. It helps to not know. I think I’m addicted because while I’d finished the books loaded on my Kindle (barring one), I figured I’d return back to the ones I’d hoarded from before. It was (initially) a bit hard to get back to holding a physical book, flipping through its pages and propping it up in bed (it is a large book).

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At the end of the day, I do truly believe that it’s reading and the love for reading that counts, really. I wouldn’t be able to stand in favour of either side because I’m just happy to be able to read again and see a book through. And through all this reading, I am not ashamed to admit that I have been konverted with no regrets whatsoever. It’s a good thing. It’s those small joys that’s part of the larger joy only a book-lover can comprehend; because really, what better thing is there than to be able to just plain and simple, read?

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Becoming

20 Jan

I wasn’t prepared to write today. I was in bed just moments ago, trying to get through a book I’ve been savouring but prolonging beyond necessary. My Kindle says I’m about 30 minutes from completing it. And so I left it because 30 minutes isn’t much especially when something stirs you to get up from bed, haul yourself to the laptop and get back again; to write. It’s a blessing.

I’ve been reading Eat, Pray, Love (after having watched the movie first, in one of those rare switches that happens). It has agitated me from time to time which is why I’m unsure if 30 minutes will really be the 30 minutes the world of time knows. Perhaps. But then the book has left me in so many places at once – good places that make me put my book down and explore my new-found lands. Lands that have stars and contentment and peace and questions and sandy beaches and explorations and bicycle rides and magic and giving and taking… lands that make me think about the universe, of life, of sensibilities, of experiences, of exultation, of emotions. It’s all too much to find yourself amid. But it’s poetry nonetheless. And I’d like to use the word poetry because it’s as decipherable as the next enigma. There lie so many questions and so many answers and possibilities and so many chances and opportunities… it’s a marvelous place to be lost in and let go in, because it’s poetry.

Talking about poetry, I’m a part of this one group that sits a little at the edge of the others that fill in the spaces of my small universe. I’d like to think of it that way – just aptly situated at the edge of a starry universe where one talks about life, love, magic, the heart’s love affairs, the mind’s midnight walks, and beer. I’m not sure how the conversation began but it invariably led to poetry. I think we were discussing this concept Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in her book – something on the lines of “being a drop in the ocean and the ocean being in a drop” – which revolves around the concept of our soul and working on it, to some extent and in a singular perception, of course.

But isn’t that poetic? To think of us not just as a drop in the ocean but to realize that the ocean is in a drop too? How magnificent in its ability to change perspectives and highlight the beauty of the whole, the concept of infinity (which was also something we were simultaneously talking about on the group as well) and the image of a continuum.

I connect this to poetry because of its diverse ability to give as you wish to take; for who can be a poet except someone who allows those one-minded walls to free-fall and become fluid? I’m not sure if I’m making sense but you understand what encountering poetry does to you, right? It makes me levitate, to simply put it… it enables me to drift and explore meanings that tremble like leaves and flower petals waiting to be touched, smelt, felt.

Who else can be a poet but someone who can become and allow becoming? To manifest and to allow manifestation. To grow and to allow blossoming. To live and to allow life. What else can poetry be but sharing?

It was through this that one of them shared their poems which, when I chanced my senses on it, made me want to come here and write. And share. Because you should read it. And dive into it. And let it take you places you may like to visit but haven’t yet. I’m also giving you the music that took him to where he was when he wrote this and which could possibly do the same to you too. Thank you for allowing me to share this, A-man.

I LIVE AGAIN
(By ASP)

While the plastic bags do their dance in wind,
I bind, unbind and bind again.
For little mercies and Her mightiness,
I close my eyes and live again.

What one saw is what’s on the mind,
And there She was, sweet-singing glee.
I walked to Her and asked for me,
She sang her song and let me be!

Then a story and once more a song,
And this time I knew, she wasn’t just the sound or smell.
The ocean was a drop and dense as well,
Exploded, eroded, I let it dwell.

The time was when time stood still,
There was space and continuum too.
All I am is also a rock or hill,
I waited for light to dawn and fill.

In her tactful whisper she yelled at me,
Hey you, close your eyes and live again.

Now tell me, isn’t there poetry in sharing? And becoming?