Friday, December 31, 2021

3882 : Shining

Rabbits are supposed to be good with mazes. They will figure out an entire maze by trail and error.

"Our love is bunnies. It will find a way.", I tell with a false gusto.

Then as I am driving back - a thought occurs to me, what if we are in "The Shining" ?

3881 : The chats we never had

I often ponder on what about those chats that we never had. Stillborn words. You will not see me for what I am. I am blind to your beliefs.

You believe I dont understand you.

In another parallel universe, I am you, and you are me. That might be poetic justice (and a lullaby in prose).

Thursday, December 30, 2021

3880 : Reading in 2021(summary)

I have struggled to read in 2021. Actually, I have struggled to complete books. I have over 40 books at 5-50% complete.

That speaks to a state of mind.

2021 had 27 physical books spanning 6406 pages

vs 2020 with 22 books spanning 7166 pages 

Vs 2019 with 29 books and 5177 pages. 

Vs 2018 was 35 books with 10816 pages. 

Aiming for 20,000 pages in 2022. Yes you heard right. And I possibly wont make it at all. Also I aim to read a lot more poetry in 2022.

3879 : Reading List 2021 : #30 Legal fiction by Chandan Pandey

This is a delightful little book.

A story about the present day around us.

It just sucks you in - totally.

Hard to put down - but not in a thriller sort of way, but instead in a narrative sort of way.

At 146 pages brings my 2021 total to 6406 pages.

3878 : Reading List 2021 : #29 Preparing for death by Arun Shourie

Easily my best read for the year. A book that moved me by making me aware of myself.

A stunning read around death - its implications, how to operationally prepare for it, how did some starwarlts die (or deal with their upcoming death) - and towards the last chapters, the author's own moving meditation on how is age is creeping up on him.

A book to read. Then read again. And again.

Image from FirstPost

At 528 pages brings my 2021 total to 6260 pages.

3877 : Reading List 2021 : #28 After the quake by Haruki Murakami

A fantastic set of stories that in typical Murakami style will suck you in.

Absolutely definitely read.

At 192 pages brings my 2021 reading to 5732 pages.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

3876 : She vs she

I often cook for my daughter. If I am in her city, then at least one meal. She seems to love my cooking, and there is great happiness for both sides in sharing the meal.

Sometimes, I delude myself, that I am also leaving her with tons of fun memories with her dad.

And then, I look back at my mom. She is/was one of the best cooks (not because she is my mom), that I know of.

And yet, I rarely, if at all, remember her cooking. I still pay a tribute to her cooking, because I really copy all her tricks and dishes.....but memories....nah.

The point is.....I delude myself.

Thats the post.

Monday, December 27, 2021

3875 : Ketaki Gulab Juhi from Basant Bahar by Pt Bhimsen Joshi and Manna Dey

I had never heard this song until today.

What a taut composition. Joshi sir and Manna Dey both hit the right notes.

Fantastic song.

3874 : The last tango

He's gone. He rarely spoke to me. I did not beseech him. 

Today, I held his hand, and gave a soft squeeze. Buddhism tells me that for another 8 hrs or so cognition can remain. Mild, maybe. Even so, yes.

Maybe that hand squeeze can tell him what he actually meant to me. 

3873: The curse

The poet sees the world differently
Usually for what it is
She seams the words that describe that sear

She can also see the world around her crash
Into a ball of tar
Because that's what we all end up usually into

The poet hears the jarring through the crevices
She is aware of my rattled insides
She listens to the hum of my heart

As I hugged her and complimented her writing
She said, "You don't understand me at all,
I am weighed down with this burden."

Being a poet is not a volition
Being a poet is a personal tragedy
This curse has just begun.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

3872 : This is it

I was talking to mom about Talat Mahmood, Madan Mohan and the music of the era. She spoke with the ferocity of a prayer.

I kept hearing her, and a thought crossed my mind. This is what life is, it is never going to get any more real. We are all in a continuum. 

3871 : Reading List 2021: #27 Charles Bukowski's On Drinking

This is a classic. Especially for those who love Bukowski, like I do.

Its random, at times rambling, but its seethingly honest. Scathes.

Definite Read.

At 263 pages brings my 2021 total to 5540.

3870 : Fragmented

I look at her, and think of all the times I reassured her, with my lips covering hers. Today is different though, Its me who is anxious.

Her fists are tight and utterly still.

It feels like she is gone, but no one ever goes - right? We all live hidden amongst a million broken pieces.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

3869 : From Ruth Ozeki's The book of form and emptiness

'Pencils have stories inside them, and they’re safe as long as you don’t stick the point in your ear. Just hold it next to your head and listen. Can you hear the wood whisper? The ghost of the pine? The mutter of lead?’

3868 : Reading List 2021 : #26 : Earthquake Bird by Susanna Jones

An exquisite book, thats weird and also unsettling. There is a grim background to the whole story. Its also a movie on Netflix. 

The book depicts Tokyo and makes you fall in love with it.

A simple and haunting book.

At 276 pages brings my 2021 total to 5277 pages.

A highly recommended read.

3867 : Reading List 2021 : #25 : I chose Elena by Lucia Osborne Crowley

This tiny book is one of the most fascinating meditations on trauma and the impact it has on your psyche and the body.

At 161 pages, its a very small book, but its a very heavy and graphic read.

It should come with a trigger warning.

I would read this again at least a few times in my life.

Brings my 2021 reading total to 5001 pages. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

3866 : Red Pill

On most days, I walk. I walk to clear my head, and my lead - both.

As I pass through a particular stretch through my trail - I pass a point where almost everyday I see two fresh red pills stewn along the path. 

How do I know this is fresh? Because on certain evenings I see these crushed by walkers. And on other days, I see these two red pills in their full shape.

So my sherlock brain goes, someone from the wing adjoining is throwing these pills every single day. From probably the higher floors, since these pills seem a little away from the wing.

Someone is rejecting their red pill.....also possibly rejecting the blue pill. Someone is rejecting suporting this journey. Two pills at one time - this one is a slow rejection of their life.

What would I give to have a leisurely chat with this person. There is so much she can teach me. (I am sure its a she :-)

3865 : Reading List 2021: #24 : Haruki Murakami's Men without women

I finished this gem from Murakami - a fantastic collection of short stories. Totally loopy, as with all of Murakami.

A fantastic collection of stories about men, women and their strange equilibrium.

At 288 pages, brings my 2021 reading total to 4840 pages.

Completely worth a read.

3864 : Reading List 2021 : #23 : Godse by Abhijeet Mukesh

Another very interesting listen on a topic cost me around 60 minutes.

Worth a listen. I come from the American school of thought, that every side deserves a listen.

It did make me pause and ponder.

Again on StoryTel. This one is in hindi

3863 : Reading List 2021 : #22 : Rangehaath by Bhushan Korgaonkar

At 1hr 37 minutes on StoryTel, this is an interesting listen. In Marathi.

The first half is rivetting, but the second half slows down and is more dramatic than needed.

Worth a listen to brush up your Marathi.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

3862 : The rain must fall

Listening to this classic from Yanni.

It has some unbelievable harmony, and then the interludes.

The rain must fall. What a song for this December day. 

Dont miss the violin centerpiece towards the last 2 minutes.

3861 : What does the next moment hold?

I am driving
With my daughter
To her school

Where she will find her future
Or might not
Sometimes, the future is the now

We both laugh, chat and gossip
We see the world around, but observe nothing

As we reach the school, we are in a log jam
We are part of a collective going somewhere
Reaching where?

In some other cars, kids are sitting silently
Staring ahead at whats oncoming

Mothers and fathers gazing here and there
Anxiety ridden in their eyes
Until their parking spot will appear

The future holds only what we can percieve it to be
And today
Its uncertainity, and fear

Our children will have to rewrite this
Reclaiming their present
From the depths of their past, which we scrambled up.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

3860 : Aicha by Khaled

I have posted on this before.

But listening to Khaled singing Aicha (the live version) on the same Marshall room crushing speaker is the most sublime feeling.

What a absfking vocal range. 

3859 : Walk like an Egyptian by Bangles

Walk like an Egyptian was one of my first English songs. Loved it then. Love it today.

What a composition. And the walk itself :-), when did we stop being goofy?

And girls singing their heart out.

* When I first heard this song, I could not make most words out. For a long time. Today, I can make out almost every single word - how we evolve.

3858 : One by Metallica

I was listening to an old classic 1988, if I remember right - One by Metallica on a Marshall room crushing system - and what fun.

Music is such a leveller.

3857 : Insular

I remember sitting with you on that railway station, waiting for the train. There was a small eating place behind us. I don't remember the name on its board; I don't remember noticing it (name) either.

I can still recall how the platform and its metal tracks resonated with measure - announcing the oncoming train, at least a few seconds before it happened.

We sat in silence. We were together, and yet alone. We were silent, and yet there was talk in the air. There was wind blowing, but the air was still. The train came rolled in, we both got in. Each of us thought we were going somewhere, and yet today we know, we reached nowhere.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

3856 : Fading is like half life

The conversations have dwindled down
The tea seems less sweeter now
The air always seems like the second wind

On some days, there is no chirp
On most days there is no chatter
On all days there is no chummery

What remains is the voices in the silence
Like the walnut kernel without the walnut
Empty, but with a neat heart shaped hollow

This is what getting "used to" seems like
This is what getting used seems like
This is what being useless seems like

One day the shadows will again play
In the dark, there will be shapes
Of a dream that once we had built. 

Saturday, December 04, 2021

3855 : I am going to end this year

I am going to end this year with over 40 incomplete books. Some part of me is clear, that this is not a matter of pride. It reflects on a state of mind. 

A perpetual restlessness. The equanimity is gone. Floating on a sheet of oil.

I did read some of my finest books (from my life) this year though. And that gives me solace. Especially a few books that changed the way I think completely.

This restlessness extends to podcasts. I have over 20 pods that I am listening to at any given point.

Thankfully I dont watch content, else I am sure - that would be a watershed as well.

My big improvement for next year is to slow down my mind. To be ok with the present. To take it a day at a time.

We shall see.

Friday, December 03, 2021

3854 : Kaushiki Chakravorthy Raga Bhimpalasi

This one just took my breath away. What a rendition

She is thoroughly enjoying the song. She is into it, which is sometimes rare in a classical performance. What spirit, this is divine.

My first time hearing this. My earlier fav of the same raga and composition is by the majestic Ashwini Bhide Deshpande. This one is so different from that.