Monday, August 30, 2021

Still Blogging

Well, not regularly.Not the way I used to, when blogging was young, and Facebook was merely nascent.

But, Of This and That has been around for fourteen years now, off and n and has enriched my life in unimaginable ways. 

There has been a lot going on in our lives in the past month, most notably our shifting into our own apartment, both of us well into our sixties. (Thereby hang several tales). So I am celebrating this blog's fourteenth birthday a day late, with several excerpts from my Facebook posts. I hope to get back to regular programming soon.

I had decided to take a day off from my unpacking/settling the house activities, and went for a walk after many days. We had just finished with breakfast and lunch preparations were underway, when there was an almighty crash from the balcony. The black and white pot with the hibiscus with variegated leaves had smashed onto the floor. I found an empty pot and replanted it, tied the remaining pots to the balcony railing, and swept up the mess.

No rest for the wicked. 🙁
25th August 2021

Remembering my brother
Using the stemmed glasses
He gave us on his last visit
For this morning's orange juice.
Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj
Have been hard these past many years
And losing my oldest (cousin) brother
Last year to Covid was very painful,
As was the tragic loss of my nephew.
But, as always, we owe it to the living
To celebrate them,
those who are with us still,
as long as time is with us...
24th August 2021

The infinite grace of rain that comes a few days after you have transported all your worldly goods, many in cardboard cartons.
Yeh sansaar kaagad ki pudiya
Boond padey ghul jaana hai
Sant Kabir

Small triumphs of the day:
We ate lunch at an uncluttered,full sized dining table, after a week of using one third to a half of it!
I found, after intense searching, the small suitcase which contained some really important things. It had been stuffed inside the guestroom bed drawer, and it was a very tight fit. I extricated it after an intense struggle.
I am learning to cook on the new hob. I still find the flame to be hotter than I am used to, hence...
I also find myself instinctively looking for things in the places they were in the old flat! Some of those places are in my former landlord's furniture, so I am doomed to waste a lot of time.
Defeating the many cartons one by one! It's a great adventure, and an exhausting one!
19th August 2021

I was hanging out the laundry when I saw water droplets falling from above,
And I looked out and witnessed the gentlest , briefest shower ever,
What Ma'am used to call the 'quality of mercy' rain.
(It's bright and sunny now).
It looked like a benediction.
I hope it was.

Two biggish triumphs today: made tea on the new gas stove which I couldn't light yesterday because I didn't realize that the electric chimney and electric ignition gas hob had two separate switches. The spouse came home and figured it out. I guess I will keep him after all!
And the washing machine is washing its first load here. Now to locate the clothes pegs!
18th August 2021

Today's small triumph: flattening the cartons as they are emptied, slowly and steadily!
I might even have a functional kitchen soon.
Boseji has been helping, bless him!
(Raga Multani, Sanjeev Abhyankar).
17th August 2021

We spent Independence Day moving to our own flat.
Same bed, same air conditioner, same layout presently occupied by several cartons.
Maneesha Taneja came over with a delicious dinner, and with plates, at my request, because I had no clue where my plates were. It was a triumph finding a glass from which to drink water, because the final packing was totally rushed, with no labelling. The fridge was taking time to actually cool things, so no cold water. It's fine now.
I woke up before five this morning, and have tried to unpack some of the kitchen cartons as quietly as possible. I found the electric kettle and we have had teabag tea with lemon.
I feel that I am finding new triumphs and challenges all the time!
16th August 2021

Settling in! Watered.

14th August 2021

The first living occupants of our new apartment in transit!
I hope they adjust to their new home, with sunshine in the afternoon, instead of early morning.

13th August 2021

The packers are here.
Moving to the adjoining building over the next couple of days.
Seeking all good wishes for a successful move with both worldly goods and sanity intact!
11th August 2021

Our home is occupied by two sexagenarian geniuses, who, after triumphantly bearing home Boseji, couldn't locate the connecting power cord!
(Neither the cord nor the remote are ever taken to the service centre).
The obvious places were the CD drawers and the bookshelf. Nada. Many unlikely places were also checked. This is a house with many many drawers and cabinets. Nada. Senior genius seemed to remember leaving the cord in the power strip, but was unable to locate it last night. After worry-sleeping all night, the junior genius, aka moi, went to the site. Plugs were pulled out of the power strip, attempting to follow them to source: i.e. which wire belongs to which device. As of now, our entertainment systems sit on a wrought iron and glass trolley, with a black table top perched vertically behind it to conceal the wires from the TV, VCD player (which seems dead), UPS, broadband device TataSky set top box, and Amazon Firestick. It is hard to trace plug to device. One wire was wrapped around the power strip, and seemed buried under the edge of the table top. Raised it a wee bit, and voila! It was actually Boseji's power cord! Yippee.
Oh what a tangled web we weave...
With power cords that do deceive!
Now to choose something good to listen to.
4th August 2021

Waiting for Boseji to be discharged!
Service centre (and hospital) admission and discharge procedures seem to be equally tedious.
Boseji is almost 14 years old now.
Has displayed hazaar nakhras over the years.
And has delighted my soul with exquisite sound quality.
Be well and stay well, please.
3rd August 2021

A Yellow Plastic Screw

This little plastic screw
had been kept very carefully
In a little Chinese teapot
on top of the crockery cabinet
Part of a building set
We had given to a little boy,
My nephew's son,
On his last visit to our home
In December 2015.
(My older grandchild wasn't yet two,
The little boy a year and a half older).
We met after that,
At my granddaughter's
fourth birthday party,
And every year
At my sister's barsi,
The remembrance prayers
on her death anniversary
Little did we know that
That barsi, April 2019,
Would be the last time
We ever met my nephew.
The lockdown kept us apart,
Life kept us busy,
And then Covid snatched away
My nephew, the little boy's father.
And the screw,
that little yellow screw,
Is impossible for me
To throw away, or to keep:
The memory of
A once complete family.

31st July, 2021

Kamikaze kabootar
The balcony fan was on
to facilitate laundry drying.
Sudden strange sound
The spouse reports
Blood and gore and feathers
I cannot bear to look...
The corpse is removed.
Annoying though they are,
These pestiferous pigeons
I do not wish such a gory end
To any living creature.

26th July, 2021

Twice it flew up,
The shiny, dark, tiny sunbird
Up to the seventh floor
Hovering under the balcony tap
Slender beak inside, hopeful.
This good citizen opened
the tap a tiny bit,
A single drop taking its time
To fall to the floor below.
I didn't see the sunbird again
But two fat pigeons came and drank
The few drops they could find.

10th July, 2021

Garaj baras pyaasi darti par
Phir paani de Maula
Chidiyon ko daane
Bachchon ko gud dhaani de, Maula
Nida Fazli, once again, in his exquisite, profound simplicity.
And then I think of my woodpecking kabootar.
The other day it was pecking on the plaster, on the wall outside my kitchen.
That door and that wall are probably a source of moisture for the pigeons, since that area is washed every morning.
When I was writing down this poem, I first wrote 'Chidiyon ko paani', instead of daane.
I feel sorry for all thirsty creatures, but my compassion still doesn't run to encouraging the pooping pigeons.
It has rained, yesterday and today.
Less pigeon guilt!
3rd July, 2021

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