This and that

1) It is possible that this December is truly turning out to be a chockablock month with events happening almost back to back. Because it’s not often that I find myself at a literary festival, a macaron baking demo, a night of dancing, a book launch, a bloggers meet, a photo exhibit, a cafe opening and a talk by William Dalrymple — all in the span of two weeks. Yesterday alone, I hopped across three events in just one evening. But it is more likely that this is just how things always are in December when the season kicks in, and I have usually been too involved in my own little bubble, or too lazy to find company and get going to whatever few events I’d like to. This year, quite by chance, I find myself more aware of happenings thanks to the circle of new people in my life — wider circle of friends, interested in all kinds of fascinating things — and a definite increase in my willingness to go out and be a part of new circles, new events and new experiences.

2) The husband is travelling and I have three days all to myself. I’m usually reveling in this weird sense of freedom from the routine that our life together puts us into. I usually look forward to a break like this every now and then. But this time, it’s been just a little over a day and I miss him. Sure, the house is a lot cleaner and clutter-free than when he (and his gazillion gadgets, equipment and wires around) is around on weekends, but I can’t help but feel the jaan from my weekend buzz is missing.

3) I find myself much more willing to get up and go at spontaneous plans. Going solo has its advantages, and it’s how I found myself at three consecutive and equally fascinating events in one evening, two in the company of fellow blogger and new friend U, and one all by myself. It’s definitely liberating to not have to wait for a gang to accumulate or tediously plan an outing to include a wider group of people. I like that the events and not the people around it are becoming the centre for my reason to go.

4) Inspiration to write comes from the strangest quarters. I’ve been having a lull in inspiration and energy as far as the writing goes. Burying myself in books, staying indoors (thanks to being ill) and reading about writing is the remedy I chose. But none of that matters some times. The most unexpected situations that I change upon inspire and fuel me in ways that academics and rigor could not. Meeting with J and U has definitely been the highlight of the last ten days. Just ambling in conversation over coffee, talking about this and that, we ended up sharing thoughts on our personal creative process, the necessity of routine and habit, and a couple of good writing resources that I can’t wait to dig in to. It was meant to be a quick lunch date before I got back home, and presumably, to work. All this, because I didn’t want to “waste” the whole day gallivanting. But I ended up spending all day in the company of these inspiring girls only to rush home, buy one of the books we discussed, and give in to a frenzied bout of writing. Gallivanting, coffee dates and girl talk has its advantages, after all.

5) I’ve been moping about how I may or may not make it to JLF next month. After years of wanting to go and finally registering in time, this year, it turns out I might not actually be able to go in January. I see-sawed over the decision all of last week, mostly sadly veering towards accepting that I cannot go. But at close to 7 yesterday, when Iw as still at the cafe opening, I decided I should swing by the William Dalrymple talk scheduled to happen at Sensorium 2014. I’m so glad that I went by myself. Because I got to hear Dalrymple speak at an intimate gathering, unraveling details about the two newly restored and reopened caves at Ajanta.


It’s not everyday that I will have the opportunity to watch and listen to stalwarts at such close quarters, sipping on champagne, sitting at the edge of the courtyard of an old Portuguese home. It was an intimate gathering of not mroe than 50-60 people, the talk lasted a little over an hour, but frankly I didn’t realise where time flew by. The slide show piqued my forgotten curiosity about ancient art history and brought back hazy memories from a school trip to the caves of Ajanta way back in 1999. The event was small, tightly knit and doesnt compare with JLF but by the end of it I didn’t feel so bad about not making it to Jaipur after all.

6) Much as I am a morning person, I’ve lost the will to be an early riser. I wake up decently early and waste no time in surfacing and getting productive for the day — that is just the energy I was born with — but the ability to open my eyes at the crack of dawn and spring out of bed when it’s still dark outside is slowly fading. The hugsband has diligently been at it this month, waking up to go cycling some days and just wandering with his camera on other days. He chanced upon a spot he wanted to take me to and urged me to try waking up early for a change. So one day last week, I did. We drove over in the grey dawn, with the beginnings of the sunrise just touching the horizon. Once we were over a stretch of nonexistent road, piles of stinky garbage, scenes of neglect and squalor, there was this:




I could do this once in a while, I think.

7) At a cafe opening last evening, I was surprised to see free food and excellent coffee being doled out to every customer who visited. Cleverly designed, with an interesting installation of books suspended from the ceiling, I was momentarily transported to a different world.


Every customer was also given a card on which to jot down their wish for Panjim. These cards were going to go up on the Christmas tree that decked the cafe, and eventually be a part of a memorandum to be presented to the Mayor of the city. It’s small and perhaps silly in the larger scheme of things, but it made me smile.

8) It’s time for the customary looking-back-on-the-year and feeling all contemplative, but it’s been a strange in-between kind of year. Some big things happened sporadically, but it’s been largely uneventful if I were to consider my lethargy with upping the ante on the baking business, my inertia with writing, the serious dearth of work I have faced in the last few months. But it has definitely been a full year in terms of a few big changes in my personality and I’ve seen this in my attitudes to these happenings in life. I’m not feeling very much like taking stock right now, but I do have a little bit of a swot going on in my head. It’s  related to and stems form many things in this post, and maybe someday I will put it down in writing. 2014 has been a year in transition, and I’d be lying if I said it was awesome. It was just alright, had its bright bits, but mostly I’m ready to move on now.


9 thoughts on “This and that

  1. Pingback: Day 2: Love | hAAthi Time

  2. For me and PK the default state is to be apart. We’ve gotten so used to seeing each other only on weekends for the last 4-5 years that being together for a week is this super exciting prospect. Until it isn’t anymore. Last year we spent 4 weeks together because of the polar vortex and by the end of it we were getting on each other’s nerves. If he works over a weekend though I find it to be completely disorienting – I find it hard getting through the day without him around.

    Dude I want to be a morning person so so bad. I am a night owl through and through. Years of studying late at night has just conditioned my body as such. If there’s been one project that’s been a MAHA FAILURE this year it’s my desire to get up early every day. I’ve read countless tips on how to get up early and nothing recommended there ever seems to work for me. For now I have accepted this about myself and I just wake up when I wake up. It used to be much later but now I wake up at 9 AM. Maybe over time I’ll slide it back to 6 AM. Foolish optimism.

    Love the picture you took at dawn.


    1. hahaha 9 am is not bad for a night owl. i wouldnt mind sleeping in if i were staying up all night burning the midnight oil and all. but i go to sleep by 11..midnight, tops! and then need 7-8 hours. muhuhahahaha..

      (and then i wonder why im always short on time!)


  3. I am yet to read any of his works. Perhaps I should start sometime soon.

    Are those hanging books just for decor, or can one take one down to read and put them back again? It is a novel idea though :D

    Sigh, I do want to go to JLF. It would be happy change to meet with the cousins as well. If I can get the tickets, then I will be there :D


    1. I’ve only read City of Djinns, so can’t comment on his “work” in a broader sense, but if you like history, especially the romantic Indian kind which makes you go back in time and get lost there, you will enjoy the book. His newer works are supposedly fantastic.

      He spoke extensively, largely extempore, going into such minute detail in a way that made it obvious what a stalwart he is, as far as his knowledge and passion in the subject goes.

      His involvement in JLF as a property is shrouded in controversy, as are most large scale events of the sort – esp when organised by a white skinned person. I havent looked into the murky side of it yet. It has been on my bucket list for a while, but it doesnt look like Il be there in 2015. I’ll have to save it for next year, inshallah!


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