I’ll Be That Guy Who Dies Leaving A House With A Ruined Foundation From The Weight Of His Books

Unicorns are Bullshit

Every time I start packing up for a move and I realize my books take up more boxes than any of my other belongings I think, yeah…my priorities are exactly where they need to be.

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The dilemma about autobiographies

What is this craze about writing autobiographies? Everyone from politicians to writers to activists to religious heads to anyone who’s been published in the newspaper just once want to tell the World their story. Why should I be left behind than, I thought ? I might not be as famous as the others but even I got an interesting story to tell (according to myself only). So, I set about writing and wondered where should I begin. Should I start with the day I was born or the day I became great in my head or the day I met the love of my life? Too many dilemmas. So, I decided to do some reading before the writing because I have never actually read an autobiography (who reads that stuff???). Mein Kampf, Joseph Anton, My experiments with Truth, I thought about devouring. Started with a few, left most of them halfway and eventually put them aside and reached out for my keyboard to start typing the stuff in my head.

A funny thing about telling your story. How much do you exactly reveal, how much do you reveal that will make you look good? It’s a tough job, writing a book on your life (especially when you’re just 27), one that the whole World will read, everyone will know what you did and thought. I don’t know if I could do it. I can’t even let my hubby ready my silly daily journal! How would I be able to live knowing that strangers and family members and friends alike have read everything about me, judged me and are probably thinking about abandoning me!! And unless you are Gandhi, it’s not possible for your book to not hurt some people’s feelings. Maybe I can get away with writing only the goodie good stuff, but then nobody wants to publish a two paged book.

Phew. I am already tired of all this thinking about my autobiography and writing nice stuff about people. Idea abandoned !!!


Do not talk to me about the economy; I know it is in shambles.
Do not talk to me about politics; I know it is a hopeless cause.
Do not talk to me about Syria or the exchange rate of the USD.
Do not talk about the scams and the rapes and Asaram Bapus.
Do not talk about the floods or global warming and depleting resources; I know we are in trouble.

Talk to me about Toni Morrison and Beloved.
Talk to me about white clouds
and why we love them, on a clear blue sky.
Talk to me about the love we have never seen,
and about the future we aren’t sure about.
Talk to me about beautiful buildings
and about art that makes us cry.
Talk to me about the friends who aren’t here with us,
And all the silly things they did.
Talk to me about American muscle cars and Morocco,
and going on a road trip to just about anywhere.
Talk to me about coffee and cigarettes,
and about the forbidden alcohol in this state.
Talk to me about the Sea and all the beaches you have seen,
And argue about where the water is the bluest.
Talk to me about your dreams,
and about the songs you love.
Start talking…. and don’t ever stop.

In my parallel Universe

In my parallel Universe right now, he just finished developing a roll in the darkroom. Shirtless and sexy and all. Just yesterday he had finished shooting this particular roll in question. The shoot was done in a field of poppies. I was wearing this red summer dress and the Sun had just risen over the Horizon. The sunlight was dancing off softly over the bright red flowers. After a while, The Sun was on my eyes and I could barely keep them open. I was laughed out loudly all this time, as usual, and he was smoking, waiting patiently for the shots he wanted. I kept laughing, jumping and dancing around him. One cig, Two cig, Three cig down. He finally got the right light. Click. Wind. Click. Wind. Click. Wind. Click. Wind. On and on he went, 36 exact times. I had to do nothing. He knew how to make it look beautiful together, the reds and skin in between them all. The final results have turned out spectacular. He is satisfied. And he smiles at himself, feeling proud.
In my parallel universe, my love just finished developing the most beautiful photographs of me.

*somebody pinch me*

How I grew up singing country songs and studying stars…

I don’t know if its a common trend in India or its just my family, but my ma and I would spend the summers in “her” home. By this I mean her brother’s home in Jabalpur. I am not going to go on and on about how we had an awesome time there, a dozen cousins, playing in the big open garden, swimming in the Narmada, playing pranks on the elders, roaming around everywhere aimlessly. The one thing I recall all the time is how my mama brought my brother and me up. He was the big guy in our life. The one who taught us to fight the mighty Narmada, swim across its currents, worship it and feed little fishes. The man who taught us everything there is to know about each Indian bird, making sure we remembered the Latin name with the common name. We watched Superman and Star Wars every year!!! We knew all the dialogues by heart and owned light sabers and tried to fly wearing red scarfs. At night, we would watch stars. You can see a lot of those because Jabalpur was a really small town at that time. On a clear night, he would open up his book and teach us all the constillations of the North summer Sky. But the best part was when mama would turn on his music player, bring out those self-recorded cassettes and play his favorite American country songs. Oh those Kenny Rogers to Big Bad John And I’m just a country boy. Every evening, after dinner, the three of us would surround his player and sing out loud those songs. Till today I remember most of those songs and every time one of them plays in a music system somewhere, I smile.

from the Ideal Bookshelf

Jennifer Egan contemplates the substance of life:   “My goal as a writer is to do as much as possible at one time. Life itself is so cacophonous and complex. It’s not that I want to create a cacophony, but I want to do justice to the complexity around us. I don’t want to oversimplify it. I want to take one thing and build from that, and then keep building, until I begin to approximate the complexity of the world and our perceptions of it.”


Jonathan Lethem winks at the cumulative usefulness of useless knowledge:  “The thing about this bookshelf is that each of these books is a vast experience unto itself, while also being both self-contained and superbly useless. Reading any one of them doesn’t get you anywhere particularly meaningful; you haven’t arrived or graduated; you’ve just gone and done something that passes the time. It’s like taking a long walk with a friend who’s got a lot to say. There’s no cumulative purpose to it — it’s just an excellent way to waste your life.”


Rambling… over a Beer

Do you think it’s strange? Wait. I don’t know what’s stranger. Me sitting in the bar, sipping my beer by myself, or me starting a post with a question. Anyways, here I am. In Berghoff Bar, a landmark historic bar, having a light Berghoff beer on tap. It’s actually really good, this beer. The kind that I like. Quiet light, effervescent and still gets you high, pretty fast. Cheers, I said, to myself.
Am I celebrating something? There are a lot of birthdays this week, but not of people I am particularly concerned about. So, what am I doing here? Probably trying to make the best of my last few days in this beautiful city, that am going to miss. Or just spending some good time with myself, getting high on a Friday afternoon. It is not even happy hours here, but it must be in a time zone two hours ahead of me. It is happy hour somewhere in the World, who cares.
Is my English okay, any typos here?? I guess there must be many errors but I have never been ashamed of making them, so why worry. The bartender is standing right here. Should I start a conversation with him or just continue writing. Ah forget it. I wouldn’t know what to say. I never actually do.
I actually don’t like petty conversations. Such a waste of time. I only prefer those which are intellectual, thought provoking, political, architecture related, critical etc. If not this, then better shut up. I can’t do normal talk. I don’t want to do normal talk.
I have always wondered, am I a people’s person or am I just faking it ???

My Parents’s Library.

I remember looking at my parents’s library when I was a child, maybe 7-8 years old. I did not understand a single name or title in there, obviously. After a few years, I came back to those again and read the books by a few popular authors (Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham etc), the others still eluded me. Every few years I would come back and keep discovering new authors and titles that I had heard about somewhere else. Their collection of books was a kind of fantasy land for me and maybe for them too as they don’t really remember which all books they have in there. Sometimes I bought new books and would then find the same book in their Library. We never recorded or arranged their books. I found immense joy in stumbling upon different kinds of books in there. Today, whenever I buy a new book I always wonder whether they have it or not, whether I should first check with them or not. I see no point in doubling books in the same house. But at the same time I never go through their collection looking for something specific. I prefer to go through it with an empty mind, ready to pick up something I had never read before, some old book nobody ever referred to me, some sad tale even Ma doesn’t want me to read, some Indian author I am not aware of, some great first novel by a famous author whose all other new books I have read. It is my own Pandora’s Box, more proud of it then my own library.

P.S. It’s already papa’s 50th Birthday in India right now. Happy Birthday, papa.

The fisherman and the businessman

This is a tale my father has narrated and renarrated to me several times over the past few years, after he realized I was old enough to understand it.
I found it on Paulo Coelho’s blog and I hope it inspires you too.

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.
The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”
The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”
The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

Classic Brazilian story, probably also present in other cultures. Someone found the English version, but I could not identify the translator

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