Sunday, June 13, 2010

Love and Rain

I used to think writing a column is like a little craft exercise - each time I've written one, I set myself a different writing task and try to keep at it. I find I get good at one thing - but often it becomes a kind of vice, a tic if I'm not careful.

Here are my last three Mid-day Columns






Now I realise it is more like being a different part of your personality - as today I went looking for a very old column I wrote for Mumbai Mirror in 2005. One could argue that that's life anyway, trying on a different part of your personality in different phases of your life...anyway the search for the column was prompted by the weather which has been promisingly cloudy but which refuses to rain..

HEAVY CLOUDS BUT NO EGGS


After the exalted sweaty suffering, when it rained last weekend, what could be better than to pile into a rickshaw and head to Sea View on Juhu beach for Sunday Brunch?


The rickshaw is not yet rexin curtain-ready for the rains so I reach with one pant leg wet. But Imran, my friend’s four-year old son, is with us and we are too excited to care. Imran and I have a Bunty and Bubli thing going, as I’ve had to babysit occasionally and due to a complete poverty of wholesome ideas, have resorted to corrupt practices – like film song and dance routines. I say, ok Bunty we’ve reached and he says, ok Bubli, that’s good. We’re a restrained twosome.


Sea View is without contest the best hang out in the suburbs, a verandah café so true to its name it makes you want to call your daughter Lakshmi. Its has the best view of the beach, friendly crows and English breakfasts.


But. No eggs, though it’s 11 a.m. “It’s because of the rains.” I try to solve the zoological riddle here but the waiter takes pity on my foolish expression. “ The eggs come from Dadar no, but first day of rain, so truck is delayed.” When will it reach we ask in dismay? “It has left, that’s what they are saying. Let’s see.” Welcome monsoon. Due to my fear of authority I don’t ask the uniformed waiter why he can’t get some eggs from the kirana shop at the corner for us old customers.


Anyway, driven mad by our hungry fantasies, we greedily order everything but the eggs. We eat quantities of very greasy bacon and very buttery toast and soon enough, feel heartily sick.


The rain stops and the city is a distant spectre in the mist. The clouds paper over the sky and the beach is full of people and vendors roaming around in a timeless light which flattens colours, makes them mute. Even the purple of the yo-yo we buy, with its shocking pink tinsel stars and green plastic cockroach floating inside is subdued.


I am sure as we head home all sticky, that the egg truck will have just crossed us. No matter. On Monday morning I call the Jain kirana store and order one dozen baida – they don’t keep but they will get – like good Bombay shopkeepers. I hang the yo-yo from a dead plant on my window-sill where it wobbles like a bad dancer in the wind. Monday sounds drift up - the 7 a.m., 1 p.m and 4 p.m Jana Gana Mana of three mournful shifts of students on the first day of school.


For some the rain brings homework; for some, fried eggs.

7 comments:

Banno said...

It's that way again, the last few days. Muted colors. A rain that won't come. It's ages since I had fried eggs. Or did homework.

parotechnics said...

I suggest you make your way here for a breakfast of fried eggs and tomatoes (for conscience) toast and good coffee. Any morning before 10.30 this week :)

Banno said...

that's a joke, right? what about eggs for brunch? i wake up around 9, these days. yeahhhh, i know, i'm lazy.

Jabeen said...

Oh god. The first day of school on a gloomy, rainy morning. It's one of my earliest bad memories and it always makes the monsoon slightly depressing. This year, for the first time, the heat has been so bad that even I am glad to see the clouds.

The Mid-Day column is going great, Paro! It has become our family read on Sundays

Jabeen said...

And the AOL "assassination attempt" became even funnier when they finally found out what happened. Apparently, someone in a farmhouse across the road from the ashram had fired in the air to scare away dogs, and the bullet landed inside! Causing animal lovers to protest, according to this link: http://news.chennaionline.com/national/Art-of-Living-firing--animal-lovers-target-shooter/8db8c3bb-6343-465c-9741-3eacb0428a10.col

Reminded me of the lovely passage about firing in the air from 'Mothsmoke'. Have you read that?

Perdita said...

loved your post...I'm back after a 5-week break in the hills with no internet, electricity or telephone...so am especially enjoying the arrival of the monsoon here in Delhi ("especially" because I got to skip all of the bad bits that come before!)

parotechnics said...

hey J - thanks you... i have read Moth Smoke but I don't think I remember this passage- it was a long time ago!! But I agree about first day of school - whether after holidays or weekends I had of course never done my homework and was full of dread all the time quite apart from the fact of being a social misfit and hence full of the dread of OTHERS.....

Perdita, welcome back to where you are and to here too and thanks