Oct 7, 2015

Tom, who feels fortunate

Last night a friend was bemoaning the poor state of her focus that prevented her reading "100 years of solitude". It just took too much thought for her current mood for amusement and escape.

Books that require the exercise of emotion in addition to thought, can take more than they give sometimes. They are eventually the books most worth reading, though what they bring to the reader is less easily identified than the visible tears triggered by a tragedy or the lusty sighs brought on by a steamy romance.

Oct 5, 2015

Tooth Fairy in a tutu

Just before Christmas, the Gingerbread man shaped box had called out "Stocking stuffer!" from the grocery store end-cap and slipped into my grocery cart. It then proceeded to lounge idly at the bottom of the kitchen drawer and mock me for months after. There was after all, only space for about 3 Jelly Beans. Find me a kid who'll settle for that few and I'll give you mine in exchange. The kid, not the box.

Sep 24, 2015

Of demons & monst-ahs

Early this morning, a horrible nightmare that had wound itself around my sleep receded quickly as consciousness dawned. Something about a baby, I think, though it's too dim now to know for sure. I've been on pretty strong drugs for a while (for a terrible cough) and am convinced they are taking a toll.

Headed towards oblivion, but in clearer focus was another bad dream from a separate portion of the night.

Sep 11, 2015

Not remembering

On this anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack on NYC, I am able to neither respond nor subscribe to the requests to 'Never forget'.  Like every year, I wonder 'why?'

Sep 3, 2015

"...ageing pages, a slower time"

Pia of http://peppercornsinmypocket.blogspot.com/ recently wrote of an area of Calcutta from her past where "secondhand bookshops created a strip that smelled of ageing pages, a slower time". Her piece was luminous, as usual and ended with a prod to the readers to share their memories.

I'm certain that every Calcuttan can name their own personal favorite from the time before cable TV and internet broke-up the long and innately Bengali marriage of reading and 'adda'. The picture that flashed before MY eyes was of the boulevard between Gol Park and Gariahat in South Calcutta. The once grassy median trapped between bi-directional traffic on arterial Gariahat road, used to be crowded with rickety stores selling everything from second hand books to clothes.

Aug 9, 2015

Smart can be dumb but dumb can't ever be smart.

Oyon's imagination recently got ignited by internet previews of Jurassic World. We allow him those in lieu of the real (PG) movie currently in theaters. Some of this fascination, I imagine, is displaced passion for Harry Potter - since I won't allow him to read book 4 until he's older. The rest of it is undoubtedly an 8 year old's wonder at genetically engineered super-dinosaurs terrorizing and outwitting smug humans, not to mention the explosions and cool chases.

Jul 24, 2015

"Oh the times, they are a-changing"

My 8 year old was ensconced in my lap (I was trying to help him with 'bar models') when I caught a faint but unmistakable whiff from the region of his shoulder.

Jul 2, 2015

Silver and black

I walked to the waters edge when the moon was full.
It seemed like the thing to do.

The surf was loud and the breeze, sharp.
A silver swathe cut the water in two.

There was no Peace there.
Just pieces.

If asked, I shall probably say it was 'lovely'.
No one will believe the cold.

Jun 30, 2015

"Yer a wizard, Harry!"

When I found my 8 year old reading 'The Half-blood Prince' over my shoulder one night, my instinct was to immediately slam it shut. In the angst ridden tale of Harry Potters life, this book explores a particularly troubling part where the villain is demystified, humanized. Oyon has demonstrated an ability to handle ambiguity but understanding the genesis of Evil is a tall order.

As I wrangled with weighty judgments, a soft chuckle interrupted my thoughts. I froze so as to not disrupt him and snuck a peak at the lines his eyes were tracking. It was the part about celebrity-loving, superficial, farcical Professor Slughorn. I let him finish the page and asked if he enjoyed it.

He had.

Jun 10, 2015

A billowing shirt

My brothers headache had gotten exponentially worse within the space of a few hours that hot afternoon in 1986. Things were not going well.

Apr 19, 2015

"Stuff" that matters

Almost 20 years ago I started graduate school in tornado alley. The tornado shelters marked on floor plans in every hall was chilling to a girl from hot and steamy Calcutta. In just a few months though, the anxiety of weekly siren tests gave way to complacence. It wasn't going to ever really happen. 

Of course....it did.

Jan 29, 2015

LTYM 2104 - audition

Even the most private person sometimes feels a call to share the things that matter. I'm not one of them. A private person, that is. I over-share as a rule. So When I heard about the LTYM call for submission, my default reaction was 'But of course!'