Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just read

The Householder by Amitabha Bagchi. Dealing with the travails of a corrupt central government employee who lives in Delhi with his family, I found myself compelled to finish it as soon as I could, to the detriment of various pending household jobs. The characters and the language are authentic, even the translations of stock Hindi idioms are charming- 'doodh ka dhula' becomes 'washed in milk', which sounds very real in the voice of Arti, the protagonist Naresh Kumar's wife. The domestic details, the nuances of relationships both within and between families, a happily married man's long unexpressed desire for another woman, a visit to the North East which transforms him in more ways than one, the corruption which riddles our institutions, including the police, a murder where an innocent man is framed out of sheer expedience, childlessness and the pressures it brings about on all concerned............this rich mixture is handled with amazing flair. The depiction of life in sarkari New Delhi strikes a chord with many of us who have lived there, as do the the pleasures of eating icecream at India Gate and chaat in Chandni Chowk. The city never intrudes, yet is an integral part of the story.
I haven't read Amitabha Bagchi's earlier book, Above Average (2007), but after reading The Householder I definitely will.

Here is a more detailed review.

The Householder by Amitabha Bagchi, published in 2012 by Fourth Estate, an imprint of Harper Collins.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Suno Bhai

My friend Bindhumalini and her friend Vedanth Bharadwaj have brought out this beautiful collection of  Kabir bhajans. It is available on Flipkart. I got my copy a couple of days ago, and have been playing it almost endlessly. They have sung the compositions of great Kabir singers like Kumar Gandharv and Prahlad Tipaniya, with original, modern musical arrangements. Most of all, though, it is the beauty of their voices and the emotions they bring to their rendition of these timeless songs that appeals. I'm eagerly awaiting their next offering in this genre!

All the songs are wonderful, but the most magical is the last- "Naiharwa."

Saturday, July 14, 2012

To my Mind- please listen carefully.

Dear Mind,
I am tired of your judgemental nature,
the way in which you are blocking
the free flow of love from my heart,
the anger you keep generating,
the grievances you make me recall.
It tears me to pieces, this dichotomy,
between what I think
and what I want to feel.
The heart wants only to love freely,
joyfully, thankful for what is,
but this foolish mind of mine,
it practices sheer bloody-mindedness
in its endless judgements of those whom I love.
Desist, Mind, I've had enough.
Let love win this round, please.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Completely floored

by this beautiful old floor. I was out for lunch with a friend, and was so involved in our conversation that I never noticed this beauty until she happened to drop a coin on the floor! I love this elegant design.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It's been a while

since I wrote a post. Much was happening in our lives- our older son got married, the SRE had a health scare, so did a very dear cousin (both of them are fine now), we had a voltage surge that caused a lot of damage, including the messing up of our newly painted walls near the fuse box.
Much fun and laughter with family, friends, mehndi, songs, dance and celebrations across three cities. Going to visit my sister's grandson, the youngest member of our family. He was nearly six weeks old when we met him- as the younger son famously said, after stroking a tiny sole-"Thoda kaccha hai."
Fatigue beyond belief. A house that keeps demanding tender loving care, as do its inmates.
A blog that has been sorely neglected.....
Life goes on.