Thursday, May 31, 2007

chinese fairy



Went looking for a washer for Jabeen's espresso maker in Little Italy and walked into a much diminished feast of St Anthony. In the years since I stayed in those parts, house sitting for someone on Elizabeth street, Little Italy's been squeezed by designer Soho on one end and Chinatown on the other, until it seems to be two token streets, a concentrated tourism macchiato. Now, except for the little bit around Mulberry Street, it's all ruled by the Chinese fairy.

the skyline's the limit


FROM THE ROOFTOP GARDEN OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM



FROM ARVIND'S BALCONY ON A WARM EVENING


For the first time, rather a detached visit to New York, not distracted by and marvelling at its every multicultural oddity, its street life sort of washing past vaguely out of focus. New York rendered into just another city, made familiar by warmth, noise, habit, rendered into the ordinary by familiarity. Possible then to see it from afar, and notice famous buildings sometimes, instead of always feeling in the heart of it.



Still I must confess - whenever I go I look first for the Chrysler building. Seeing it rekindles the sense of glamour and romance, of wild coincidences just waiting around the corner that some cities call up in me - New York did, and also that lost love, Bombay.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

red or dead

Met my friend Martin downtown, after all of four years. We ended up in a bar called KGB. It was completely empty and we felt the suitable sense of subterfuge and as a response whipped out our respective laptops and began swapping music like true sophisticates, I mean, geeks. As we were doing this the people began to flow in to the bar and we realised a little too late - the tide had come in and we were trapped in the middle of a reading.

The young lady who was reading, read mostly letters that some ill fated boyfriends of hers had written her, but that was in between spilling her guts about every trauma she'd ever experienced. Suffering seems to have taken the place of art.

As soon as she paused we fled. I took a detour to the loo - which was was every bit as sinister and decrepit looking as the loo of the KGB should be.

new york state of time

New York sucks up your time till you seem to always be running but doing very liittle. Then you call it treage.

Maybe the sign that a place is too familiar is that you don't really see things in it too much anymore, keep forgetting to take your camera with you.

Last few weeks in New York, coming and going for screenings and play-dates with friends, apple blossoms, cherry blossoms, fat yellow tulips, motion sickness from cabs, too many cuisines for here and to go. And just never enough time...





Tuesday, May 1, 2007

and so it is spring

For weeks, in Provincetown, I stared at the plants, willing them to bud before I left.

I thought often of my father when he heard he wasn't going to live, consoling me as I cried and cried, telling me I would get used to it which would make me cry even more. He stroked my hair and said - do you think I don't want to live? Do you think I don't want to watch my children's lives grow and see them become happier? But you have to accept whatever it is.

I felt as if if the plants showed themselves before I left, my father would have seen us, slowly folding the sadness of his leaving into the mixture of our days, learning, that to taste happiness knowingly, was not to betray his memory or lose the reality of his love.

I am in New York now, where the trees are bursting with pink cherry blossoms. It's almost a year since my father left us.

Before I left Provincetown, the plants did bud. As Larkin said, their greenness is a kind of grief. And yet.

Whatever it may mean, it is spring.