Thursday, 28 June, 2012

Thought for the day June 28th, 2012 : The answer

Only you will know the question of your life, your universe and everything and only you will find the answer.

Wednesday, 13 June, 2012

A la recherche du ciel Part-I : The Bookshop, Jor Bagh

I finally visited "The Book Shop" in Jor Bagh. I didn't have the fortune to visit The Bookshop when it was the 'it' shop of Khan Market. It closed down before I could get a chance. Well do you know how there is a Hindu temple custom to do revolutions in the temple compound around the temple building. It's called "pradakshinalu" in Telugu. Circumambulations? Anyway, that's how I paid my obeisance to the shop. I spent a total of one hour looking for it even though I had figured out exactly where it was on google map. When I hit the ground I couldn't find any of the landmarks I had identified on the map. Plus the autowallahs didn't help. I was directed to Jor Bagh Khanna market and the  Lodhi colony main market, but not to the Jor Bagh market. One guy even tried to convince me it's called Khan Market. I finally called up HP and got detailed instructions.

For all you people who might be tempted to visit: Get to Lodhi road. Cross the red light right after IHC(assuming your orientation is such that you are moving from IHC towards Safdar Jung tomb) Stay on the Left. Wait for a Sign which says "Jor Bagh Colony". Take a left into Jor Bagh colony on the road right after a post office. Drive on. And Voila! The first thing you will see will be The Bookshop on your right.

My heart took flight the moment I spotted it. I haven't been to a book shop in months (barring bookshop chains and airport book shops) ,ever since the advent of Flipkart I think. Somehow the gods have ordained that those who live on the wrong side of the Yamuna don't deserve book shops. So I have to travel a minimum of 10 kms to get to a generic book shop (one of the chains) to find out they don't have the book I want. I had read wonderful things about The Book shop and I had been wanting to go there for a long time. I even checked out their (its?his?her?) FB page ( which indicates some serious interest on my part). Finally I was here. It felt like a reunion the moment I stepped in. Even though it was small and cosy, I could have spent hours in there. I found so many book on the shelves I haven't seen in the chain shops, books that eventually drove me to e-retail. I have three unread books, seven half read books and two three-quarter read books at home; I still bought three books. I wanted to buy more.  As I stepped out of the shop, I saw a notice board with cut outs of book reviews from news papers and book jackets pinned up on it. It made a lovely farewell note. In another life , I could have been a writer (maybe struggling writer) and the owner of my own bookshop (the bookshop being a source of income and the writing being a source of pleasure). I wish The Book Shop was closer to my home so I  could visit more often. But maybe then it wouldn't have been safe from the Yamuna. So I'll just find reasons to be in the neighbourhood and drop by.

P.S. I ran into the Delhiwalla  in the shop. (I guess "ran" into is a wrong word for someone who doesn't know you. Spotted : D)

P.S. This is Part-I of a series I plan to do. The title is French for "In search of heaven", inspired by the title of Marcel Proust's mammoth master piece "A la recherche du temps perdu " I am on a mission to find my sanctuary, my vacation, my movie hall, my couch all rolled into one, in short my favorite bookshop. A place where I can be found when I cant be found anywhere else.

Monday, 11 June, 2012

My sweety poo

Those of you who have heard couples using terms of endearment(TOE) in public raise your hand. Those of you who have found them nauseous and pretentious raise your hand. Those of you who have made fun of such couples raise your hand. Those who are themselves now on the other side and calling their partner sweety poo or honey bunny raise your hand.

My interest is in a chicken-egg question of relationships. Does one start calling the other by cutesy pet names because of the closeness or does calling each other by cutesy pet names cause you to come closer? There seem to be two approaches to the sweety poo way. Some couples start off by calling each other sugary sweet grammatically suspect names. The moment the thing goes online, you're  rechristened. Its a new feeling and it takes a little time to sink in. In the first few days, you will suddenly stop what you are doing and have a "Oh I am not single any more" moment. Even if you were friends before, its a new relationship and the underlying principles have been tweaked. So a seemingly premature usage of the TOE may actually bring you closer. Its parallel to the leap of faith you've taken in entering the relationship. You jump with your eyes closed and hope to land on a soft feather bed.

Other couples float into the TOE usage unknowingly. You won't even remember when you started calling her with nonsensical names no one else on the planet understands. In fact you will be coining new TOEs which are not even nouns but just sounds. One fine day, you'll call out to him or her across a shop and not by his/her name. Both of you will turn a bright shade of pink and the rest is romantic history.  Its a natural transition that happens under the surface, unannounced and unacknowledged. You are now doomed to an eternity of funny name calling.

Take a minute here to pause and think of what you call him or her in your head. Name?baby?him?A TOE of your invention?Whether you started from sweety poo or eventually strolled into it, you and your sweety poo can always make fun of that lovey-dovey couple sitting at the next table.

Thursday, 7 June, 2012

Thought for the day June 7th, 2012

The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Between your most optimistic hope and your most pessimistic fear.

Tuesday, 5 June, 2012

Book Review: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I don't remember how I picked up this book in the first place but I am mighty glad I did. As the tittle suggests, it is the story of a hermaphrodite, Callie, who spends the first fourteen years of her life as a girl, till puberty hits and brings many surprises. The story actually starts with the protagonist's grandparents when they migrate from their burning hometown in Greece to the United States, forgetting everything and starting completely afresh. The book tracks the story of this Greek-American family through three generations and at the same time gives the readers a glimpse of the story of America, in particular the city of Detroit, from the 1920s to present. Though some of the issues Callie deals with are specific to her situation, I am sure many of us have been through the process of self doubt, self loathing, confusion and finally self discovery. Do you remember the feeling of feeling out of place, wondering whether our normal is the universal normal and desperately wanting to find one person who understands and accepts us? The ending is bittersweet, but also hopeful. In addition to the interesting plot, unique characters and different setting, I really liked the style of writing. Its been written like a memoir, looking back on life. The writing is humorous in some places, dramatic in others. The names of the charactors are quirky and wonderful : Chapter Eleven (Callie's brother), Lefty (Callie's grandfather) and Obscure Object (Callie's love interest).  There were beautiful phrases in the book like "family legacy of precise, codified, thourough worrying" and "emotional physics". My favorite line from the book,

Whereas I, even now, persist in believing that these black marks on white paper bear the greatest significance, that if I keep writing I might be able to catch the rainbow of consciousness in a jar. The only trust fund I have is this story, and I am dipping into the principical, spending it all..

Friday, 1 June, 2012

Thought for the day June 1st, 2012

This thought for the day is dedicated to my heart parrot.

The only power in the world that can stop you from getting what you want is you.

P.S. I am back, as promised.
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