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Category Archives: Personal
On Sunday, we drove down to Mysore. We ate lunch at The Metropole, which was a former guest house for the Wodeyar family’s special guests and is now a Royal Orchid property. Then, we drove up Chamundi Hill. Both of us have seen all the ‘sights’ before so we were just trying to hang out somewhere other than Koshy’s. It made for a nice change. We saw a surprised mongoose who gazed at us solemnly before scooting into the bushes. We also spent a great deal of time contemplating three extraordinary beehives at the church later. Pictures below.
The city is gearing up for Dassera and after 6.30 pm, the lights came on. Now, what I mean by that is not only the palace, which is illuminated every evening during the week up to Dassera, but almost every other public building, many shops, and most roads were glittering. It was quite overwhelming.
At the palace, there were hordes of enthusiastic people. There were also lots of red, heart-shaped balloons, which I could see bobbing over the silhouettes of a million heads or so. My pictures of the illuminated palace were taken from a moving car so they haven’t come out so well but there are plenty of images online.
Traffic management was impressive — they had these policemen and policewomen (in equal numbers) dressed nattily and wearing red feathers in their hats, and they had policemen on horses at major traffic junctions like Devraj Urs Market. It was the first time I had seen mounted policemen so I giggled and gasped, and fumed at unimportant things like moving traffic getting in the way of my camera. We also saw four elephants rehearsing their march for the parade on the final day. It’s sad that the fear of bombs have scared people off from the celebrations this year. Apparently, apart from foreigners and tourists, even locals are staying away.
Chamundi Hills, Mysore
Hotel Metropole, Mysore
St Philomena’s Church, Mysore.
So, as I was saying, I hate socialising after an event. Which is really awful because I either retreat into the shadows or look like I’m sulking into my drink. What I am doing actually is mulling over what I’ve seen or heard, existing for a little while in a calm bubble in my head. I should probably leave immediately after. But here’s the paradox: I like being in company. Love it, actually. Uh, without actually being in it.
It’s the same reason I sometimes go to restaurants when I can perfectly easily (and more cheaply) have the same drink in my own home. But you don’t understand, I tell A exasperatedly, ‘there will be people’. People who I will rarely know, seldom speak to, and with whom I will usually exchange a smile across the room, at most. Or an emphatic blink. I love the emphatic blink. It means so much and involves so little.
So here is what I’ve deduced: I’m deplorably lazy. I am lethargic about establishing and maintaining social contact in any active manner. I want the other person to do all the hard work. But if the other person doesn’t want to do any work, I am perfectly content with co-existing. I find it reassuring. That we all exist here, in this time, in this space. Yes, I find it a happy thought. Against all logic, I suppose. But there it is.
I’m trying to get over this perversity of not being able to watch, read, enjoy things when other people tell me they are so-very-enjoyable. Sometimes they really are.
Anyway, I’ve just started and I like the gritty texture, the grime that Adiga unabashedly describes. Mud, lizards, buffaloes, black oozing rivers. I have a fondness for the unpretty image done well.
Also, Eavan Boland‘s poem Love. Here’s an extract:
And yet I want to return to you
on the bridge of the Iowa river as you were,
with snow on the shoulders of your coat
and a car passing with its headlights on:
I see you as a hero in a text —
the image blazing and the edges gilded —
and I long to cry out the epic question
my dear companion:
Will we ever live so intensely again?
Read the full poem here.
my trusty camera. There is a dilemma attached to this one. I like photographing people more than things, or even places. But I feel uncomfortable doing it. Voyeuristic. Violative, like Sontag said. Especially since I usually like faces with something unusual about them — some sadness, quirk or peculiarity. And this is natural for someone who considers herself sad, quirky and peculiar, I suppose. But am I responding to the person or to some hidden quality in the person that I am trying to unearth? And how separate are the two things? And how much of it is about recognition of something familiar, emotional kindred?
So I’m one of those people who love taking pictures of people but will never ask. Unless I’m really drunk or really sure that they don’t mind. Which makes me a lousy, cowardly sort of photographer. I intend to get over this hangup soon but tonight, I was in no mood to make a big effort towards “springing from the platonic conception” of myself so I photographed Dobby, and lamps and things.
So, this Saturday, some of us will be reading / performing poetry. The event has been organised by Unisun to showcase the poems in their upcoming anthology. Jeet Thayil will be performing some of his poems. I will read one of Meena Kandasamy’s poems and two of my own. The Rajas will be performing some of the other poems featured in the anthology. Should be fun. Drop by if you can.