found in translation

Stuck in a single truck jam in a narrow lane, I spy, on the back of that truck, this: "See, but love-ly" Wunderbar, no?

For Hansa


A little bit of Allahabad

On the last night of being in Allahabad we go looking for a place to drink - three women. This turns out to be quite tough. N rings up P who says, Hotel Ashish (or some boys name like that) has a bar. I've seen it - it's fairly tall - although I am rooting for Yatrik, which is old and looks a bit like Claridges. We get in, it's fairly three starish, so we're hopeful. We sit down - but no, no booze. We ask them where. We feel our voices are too loud. He says Grand Continental. Par vaise khana yahan zyaada accha hai. We look down and say, er, we've eaten, we just want a drink. At Grand, the restaurant has none, but the bar does - it's called Patiala Peg, so we know we're covered. Inside, there is an ominous takht, indicating mellow music to come, and the musty smell of unease. We order our drinks. The man on the table next to us is young,drinking with a certain jauntiness, but jauntier than that is his ringtone, the angle of his head when he answers it. His ja

November travels...

Were in the US - in the cold midwest, in autumnal New York, staying with my friends Anu and Arvind and New Jersey, staying with my friend Maria who has moved from New York to live on the banks of a river (traitor!). It was a swift trip, a screening tour. And once you've been in a place very often, you don't connect to your surroundings as much as before - the changing of planes, trains and buses, the blur of screenings and Q and A.. it's just to the people who are now the map of that place, old friends and new friends..(and the new shoes of course, not pictured here, because now it's getting embarrassing). A new friend I made was Deepti - hats off to her (not literally, since I love mine - in fact I lost it while in Champaign and we went back to look for it 6 hours later and they'd kept it for us!) - for being the main driving force behind organising some of the screenings. But also she and her friends entertained me in style, with a delicious dinner and the most pe

Secunderabad in Septmber

STILL LIFE WITH APPLES, PARADISE CIRCLE, SEC'BAD As a child I lived in Secunderabad - from the time I was 7 till I was 11 and perhaps for no other reason than that it is an impressionable age, it left an impression on me. In Secunderabad I made the big reading transitions: went from Enid Blyton to Nancy Drew, Amar Chitra Katha and Indrajal to Asterix and Tintin (although I still cannot resist acting like Ming the Merciless and saying out loud in my solitude: we'll met again Flash Gordon, ah hahahaha! Ok, maybe I shouldn't admit that but anyway no one reads this blog so it's alright) - and also, with needless and uncomprehending precocity, Of Mice and Men. And since I lived mostly in my head like most ill-adjusted kids, these were big signposts for me. I found a porn novel called The Barn with its reddish page edges, its busty 70s Bond girl cover and read it, also a bit uncomprehending but definitely, u


Forty some years ago my mother went to study at LSR college. Then, like many, she lost touch with her friends as they married and moved. Twenty years later she ran into one of those friends and came home and tolde me that this friend Rehana, had a son who was starting college just like me, studying Maths honours in St. Stephens. For a year I looked out for this boy and finally informed my mother this was all fictitious and the only boy on our U-Special from Stephens was in Philosophy Honours and anyway he was older than I. Then twenty years ago, I got talking to a beautiful, slightly extra excited girl at the busstop and discovered she was the son, who was actually a daughter and actually studying History. We became friends really quickly, sharing books, music, running a contest between her and I for who could find the cheapest eating place - the prize goes to her because she found a Gujerati thali behind the university for 8 rupees, with a ghee ladoo in desert. Too much has happened t