They were still holding hands

On M.G. Road last week – between the long stretch of utility building and barton centre, I was hurrying to get to a dinner I was already 2 hours late for. When I eventually got there, my bag felt heavier – buckling under the weight of my carelessness and what my mother irritatedly calls ‘taking life like a joke’. It was too late to even walk in casually because this was a fancy restaurant – one that can get away with having extremely small tables cramped together in an even smaller terrace. Tall and short glasses were clinking daintily so my bag and I quietly bolted.

Walking back to my bike woefully, angrily, I saw a boy and a girl holding hands and walking towards me. The girl was wearing a purple sweater – the kind of purple that makes walking on MG road on cold nights seem like it is New York. She stopped next to a two-wheeler and took a peek at the small mirror on the bike’s handle. The boy was holding a Magnolia Bakery cover and looking straight ahead, not looking like he was even a little interrupted by her detour. They were still holding hands.

When she came up for air, she demanded to know why he hadn’t bothered to tell her that her hair was all over the place and that she looked like a monkey walking on M.G. fucking Road. He only said no baby, and they walked on.

They were still holding hands.

No scene from any film has had this much mood-lifting spirit.

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Knowledge is freedom from getting mad at facts

Found this on twitter and spent half a day reading and rereading it. For as long as I’ve known myself, I have been attracted to freedom, and freer people – even more. It’s why I enjoy teaching. It’s a way of meeting some of the freest people on earth.

When I say freedom, I don’t mean the kind of freedom that results in having your own home. I mean the kind that comes from cultivating a certain life of the mind which results in an unchangingly tough attitude in the face of charming situations and charminger people. A kind of self-assuredness that isn’t scared away by anything. A bigness of the mind, an unreachable, unavailable space for manipulations – other people’s and your own.

This blog was interesting to read because it breaks down large ideas like freedom, and self-hood into small, hold-able sizes.

Through that, I found Allie Brosh’s comic essay on depression which is as decent a read as possible, considering it’s about a subject whose discourse is becoming exhaustingly savarna by the minute. Allie’s approach is funny, gutting, and very much in touch with the fraudulent side there is to depression, its claimants, as also the rest of us who believe we are not depressed but sad.

I’ve been curious about how people remain unsentimental and also experience love and desire by holding on to every inch of their self-respect. This was a good read and I’m now curiouser.

The writer is a dude named Venkatesh Rao. Whoever you are, thanks boss. Yesterday, his work gave me a different set of eyes to see the world with. And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to see a parrot without thinking of this anymore.

It’s a Saturday today and tomorrow is Sunday. That’s all I know for now. An Instantgram reel I saw this morning broke it down quite simply. Are you more afraid of what’s coming next or that you can’t see what’s coming next? Here’s a thought – can you see your next step? If you can, then just take that. Don’t worry about anything else.

Too much funda on rumlolarum is not allowed. I will now go watch a cat video and feel better.

501

I wish there were two mornings in a day. In one, I would wake up early to read, in the other I’d wake up early to talk to trees.

In one, I would do yoga, in the other I’d watch a film.

In one, I would write, in the other I’d go for a walk.

I wish there were two mornings in a day. In one I would go back to sleep, in the other, I’d keep sleeping.

For 500

WordPress tells me that this is my 500th published post. It also tells me that there are 98 other saved as drafts posts that conceal my embarrassment well enough so I don’t have to deal with the embarrassment of the 499 published posts.

Blogging was fun. To all the amul babies who used to say blogging is not real writing, I hope your view of the world is just as pristine and that the King of England is treating you well.

I started writing in this small place with a name that I was very kicked by and because I wanted to get better at writing. Rumlolarum became a sweet home for every fleeting thought I had, ever humiliation – real or imagined, and every other journey I often took to conquer worries around self-respect, love, and desire.

I learnt how to be here. And I’m glad that despite all the comic drama of the last decade where I was failing and learning how to teach, read, and live – rumlolarum has always taken me home to write. I’ve heard mad things about this place – apparently students came here to play drinking games every time they located a grammar error (how can you people drink with Wren & Martin’s balls in your mouth pa?); apparently I am not the real author of rumlolarum (lol)- but to be here and smile, on what seems like the other side is a lesson in forgiveness. Forgiveness for me.

So much of writing is guilt-ridden. How can I think I can write? Who am I to think I can write as well as her? What guts I have to think I can call myself a writer — some periya shakespeare ah? Slowly slowly, without telling me, blogging became a way of forgiving myself for dreaming that I could be a writer someday. And then one day, it just happened that I wasn’t guilty about calling myself a writer anymore. I was one. I am one.

Two people I used to obsessively read in my postgrad years led me to blogging and the desire to keep writing. They each chronicled the city in such enticing ways that I longed to be in the city at the same time that they were writing about. Even though they both said that they read and wrote because there was nothing much to do when they were growing up – they both demonstrate the one thing that their generation had that ours just does not – grit and a sense of fun.

Reading their old blog posts in the late 2000s was for me a way of learning how to be in the city. When I read them now, I am glad to be here, and to know that I’ll be okay. It’ll all be okay.

On good hair days, there are springs in bum also

I want to remember today because I am grateful for it and want to be just as grateful when it ends at 11:59 PM. I woke up at 5:45 in the morning and knew I had slept well because I hadn’t heard the cats crying at 3 am, like I had heard them the night before. I snuggled back into my bed after giving a good shite. I dreamt restlessly and woke up an hour later, having missed the first show of sunlight in my room.

At 7, I went down to clean the kitchen. An hour later, father was getting ready to leave for the railway station. I was afraid. I am afraid when they leave home. They are now in the age where I must feel afraid. But then it’s also that I am in the age where I must feel afraid.

Mother wants sachets of Equal sugar free which are on the top shelf. I haul the green stool and stand on top of it. My father is in the kitchen, telling us that years ago, before leaving for a Delhi trip every other month, he’d give 2000 Rs to the office staff and now, post retirement, he barely has any for himself. He is laughing but his eyes are singing the song of how times have changed. I feel a parental urge to hug him and tell him that whatever he wants in the world is his.

We have never hugged.

I go back to my room carrying a wound which I am worried will become smaller through the day, In fact by 1 pm, it’d have become so small that I might not have any recollection of the morning, and the railway station and the 2000 Rs, and all that would remain is only the faint memory of thinking it would be nice to message father and ask if he’s reached.

I come to my table at work and feel arrested by the sudden sunlight the day has found at 9:30. I attended a zoom meeting calmly while putting on pinkish purple nail polish. I have an hour to prep for my horror fiction class. Read Cortazar and want to keep reading him. I think of my long ago love for Keret and feel renewed.

Read another story by Cortazar where a girl vomits rabbits. Felt surprised and then happy that I still have it in me to feel surprised.

Then I see my hair on top in the dept bathroom mirror and love how it is standing? sitting? being? — am taken over by the sense and the truth and the fact that I will never be as young or old as I am today. Feel a great urge to appreciate today.

My only black pair of jeans goes well with the olive green canvas shoes which goes well with my loose white shirt. Feel richly alive and there is spring in my bum when I totter off to class.

In class, I don’t have a sense of how time runs. Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe the rules of time don’t matter when a good class happens. I leave class feeling new and more alive than I was when I’d entered.

I want to spend all day reading Cortazar.

At 1:30, I messaged father to ask him if he’d reached. He said he will reach in 20 mins.