Friday, November 27, 2009

Illi Nodu 2

I am presently at the age where the loco parentis is gradually reversing. That the pace of reversal can be accelerated has been continually impressed upon me. Based on varying emotional situations I have been likened to Shravana and to Emperor Nero - who played the lute and left for the office when the household was stalled because of a plumbing failure. When the latter situations seem to pile up in memory, in a bid to achieve domestic emotional balance - and at the same time quench our thirst for drinking in all of the world's variety- my parents and I go on vacations.

I am usually given a carte blanche in the planning except for one killer clause: any place as long as good filter coffee is available. That leads me to an inevitable digression.
When people like something which I don't, I find it difficult to just walk away. I have to say something. Sometimes I am blunt ("I don't watch start watching sports other than cricket then one thing leads to another and you end up watching golf") and sometimes just politely spooky ("Are you sure she is the one ?"). But with coffee I am yet to settle on a line of offense. A variety of Indonesian delicacy coffee is apparently made from a bean that is first digested by a rodent. So one can't argue with people who like the taste no matter what.

"Stop it woman. Not a drop of that infernal liquid" said Captain Haddock to the Syldavian airhostess who attempted to pour water into his drink. That would fairly match my description towards coffee. Where I come from, that is a rarity. And in my family - a genetic impossibility. My parents need two coffees before breakfast - which in my father's case is another coffee - before they can brace themselves for the day. I force-sniff asoefotida and the like when I make coffee for them. While on that: the ruse staring at the world's face that I am annoyingly alone in recognizing, is the perfume seller's trick. When you sniff coffee beans, everything else just HAS to smell better. It is that simple. Although once, my mother, after a lot of sniffing finally decided to buy the box of beans.

Coming back... I dangled Coorg and a coffee-plantation-unwind-vacation before them in a tantalizing manner. But what would have been a gas-mask holiday for me was averted by a parental aversion towards temperatures south of mid-morning mistless Madras mArgazhi. Mysore - and the alliteration ends here - and temple thereabouts like- Halebid, Belur, Sravanabelagola, Melkote - were decided as the targets.

My interests in temple trails coexisting with a history of chronic (and at times annoyingly vocal) agnosticism has perplexed many. That their perplexion perplexes me is a topic for another day. As the world likes to pigeonhole, many have supposed I am architecturally inclined. I have not resisted the tag because then I would have to explain myself or worse still- introspect.

(To be continued)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Illi Nodu 1

"My boy" said the editor biting into his cigar and letting a puff of smoke envelope his person. He rocked a bit on his reclining chair and toyed with his suspendor straps and continued "we need something new here"

" First things first" I said in way of an ahem, "your 'my boy'ness is misplaced. You see, you aren't exactly the blow-hot blow-cold, talent managing rag runner. You are like a publishing consultant guy who will give me inputs. That is all"

"Grhmmph" he replied to my curtness, as his smog thickened.
"And could your dress be any more clichéd ? Next you'll want me describing your whiskers and liquor cabinet, so we are switching to dialogue mode rightaway",I sai..

Editor: Grhmmph..
Me: Well ?
Ed: There is so much about you that the literary public should know
Me: Maybe, but this is a family blog, not a tabloid
Ed: No no.., what I mean is you could say write a travelogue
Me: Pah..I can't even bring myself to read one. There isn't a more pompous literary genre. Been here, done this..I mean, who cares showboat !
Ed: Grhmmph
Me: Plus, They'll want insights. A trip to the Himalayas and all you can write about is snow ?? Mount Kailash's visual appeal should get you to post about "idolatry, structural immanence and the irrelevance of qualified monism". Else you might as well not write. Instead quote an Ogden Nash and get a laugh or two as comments.
Ed: If they want insights, I say give them
Me: Why, so they can comment "very true" ? I am going to break my rule for a moment

I drew close, mopped my brow and whispered
to him
Me: The truth is, I have no insights... I can at best try to kid about a trip
Ed: No good. Travel is too weighty to kid about. And what will you kid about ? Funny driver, unaware locals, train delays, bungling hotels, 'you should've been there' unfunny family name it, it has been blogged about
Ed: How about a series ?
Me: Eh ?
Ed: Yeah, that's perfect. It's about time actually. Start off and have them hanging on "to be continued" have them drawn to the next. And - I know you worry about this - if you overpromise and underdeliver - you can always say: that is how life is
Me: I can do that ?
Ed: Of course you can. I understand you are unfamiliar with the French cinematic waves.
Me: Okay what do I serialize ?
Ed: Doesn't matter, as long as it will be continued.
Me: I will write a series about my recent travel to Mysore etc.
Ed: Be earnest "funny by half" business
Me: You can't handle inextricably intertwined ?
Ed: Hah..Do your worst
Me: Rest assured, I will.

(To be continued)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


DAE: So, it's been a while, how are things...
Me: Writer's blog I guess
DAE: Very funny. You know that's not what I meant (crooked grin)
Me: Oh ok....well nothing much actually. We are mamihlapinatapai'ing
DAE: Oh I see
Me: No you don't.We do.Tee hee
DAE: Ugggh ! Grow up will you