The swan

On one of my metro-sojourns to work in Maryland in my mid-twenties, a young stranger approached me and said this: You have beautiful neck.  Will you go out for a coffee with me?  I started laughing, and the chap, looking wounded, assured me that he wasn’t joking.  Not wishing to inflict more pain, I held out my hand in which I wore an heirloom ring of uncut diamond (which I subsequently lost in a community swimming pool much to my grandmother’s chagrin) and called a then non-existent fiance for assistance.  The chivalrous gentleman  bowed his head and said “he is a very lucky man” and left.   I sighed because the lucky man was nowhere in my horizon just yet, and I wondered for a long time how coffee with the stranger could have turned out.

I laughed at the guy’s proposition of date because of the reference to my neck. My neck, apparently swan-like before age took it upon itself to pad it, had been a significant cause of grief to me for decades. When I was a wee babe in arms, I often cried incessantly thanks to frequent cricks in it, and my family maid would do strange and scary maneuvers, I am told, with my tiny head, to fix it.  My neck cricks were very frequent, exacerbated by the cold, and I often walked around with my head at a 45 degree angle to the neck and eyes glazed with painkillers.

If age was a dog in killing the swan, it did me good in that in recent years, the neck had been behaving itself better.  The use of the past tense must be self explanatory.  Either the gym has been resurrecting the swan, or it was a bad idea to sleep in itsy-bitsy shorts, without a blanket, on a chilly monsoon night, I am transported to my youthhood, with the angled head and drug-adddled brain.

Oh bother.



Wet weekend

The weather is beautiful from inside the house.  It has been raining on and off, and the city is cool, a very short-lived state in our part of the world.

Clothes smell funny, as does the house – the dank smell which is kind of comforting.  The mind is numb – and it has no business to be so, with so many work deadlines lined up like the thunderstorms off our coastline in the radar.  Still, it is ok to yield now and then to the ennui. Right?  Right?

We recently stared watching Miss Fisher’s murder mysteries and I am hooked.  While I like the concept of the rich, stylish, sexually liberated, compassionate female detective, what blows me off my feet is the detective inspector. I feel almost guilty at the somersault in my stomach every time he gives the wry smile onscreen. I bet Nathan Page, who plays detective inspector Jack Robinson, is a heart-throb in Australia. I suspect that there is no romantic undertone between Jack and Phryne in the original book and it has been introduced in the television version, and I am glad for that.  It just adds so much character to the series.  There are very few television shows that do justice to the original – Sherlock Holmes – the original with Jeremy Brett, i.e., was one of them.  David Suchet was interesting as Poirot, but I liked Agatha Christie’s books better than the televised versions.  I have not read Miss Fisher series, but I suspect that the televised version is just as good as the book.

Have a good weekend folks.




Monsoon musings

It poured buckets last night but this afternoon has been pleasantly sunny with that slight nip in the air that is so typical of our monsoon.  Social media seems to be in frenzy about the rains, but I think we haven’t had enough.  Are people’s memories so short-term?  Last summer was a disaster – the heat was unbearable due to the all the green-cover loss from last year’s cyclone and the water scarcity was scary.  If that is not to be repeated next year, we need four times as much rain as we’ve had so far.  Yes, rains are inconvenient and messy in the short run, but isn’t there something else called the big picture?  The one consolation is that yesterday’s rain would have significantly raised the watertable, and even if insufficient for human consumption, the green-cover would be restored.

The one downside of this weather is that it precludes useful activity.  I just want to sit on the lounge chair, sipping tea and eating snickers chocolate by the trayfull.  Instead I have been struggling with a document, not really applying the mind to it, and not having tea because it involves ME making it, and staying off the snickers because the weather has cut out my daily walk.

It is supposed to rain tonight again, I hope it does.  We have temperamental monsoon,  unlike the South West monsoon that’s always on clockwork. So, I’d clutch on to any hope of a downpour in November.

Looks like I really must move my arse and get a few buckets of tea made after all.


What to write about?

I sometimes tell my rambling kid “if you have nothing meaningful to say, shut up” – yes, I am rude like that.  This must apply to blogging as well.  But, I am a grown up and no one dare tell me to shut up if I have nothing meaningful to write about.  So, write I will.

As I go along my daily life, there are so many snippets that I store in my brain to write about here, but when I sit with the browser open on my blog page, I can’t remember any of them.  Middle age brain?


I am almost afraid to put this thought to words – the monsoon this year seems to be fairly ok, after two consecutive fail years.  We need every drop that falls to the ground, and may they drop more in the following days .  It’s just as well that the signature cyclones are not here yet.  Cyclones, in recent years, seem to suck out all the water and merely cause devastation with the wind – remember Vardha?  No, won’t do.  Let it rain as much as it can before winding up with the signature – after all, the year would be incomplete without at least one of those.

But what’s with all the school holidays I say? Monsoon has always existed, and I don’t remember my school dolling out these many holidays during monsoon a few centuries back. The maximum concession that was made during monsoon was that we needn’t have to wear shoes to school. One or two days per monsoon were customary, not like this – today is the third consecutive day of school break, and it isn’t even expected to rain much today, for Godssakes.  We have either become a fussy lot, or a lazy one.


I have often mentioned here that I used to be a Ms.Goody-two-shoes back in my childhood.  Every time I wrote that, I wondered if I was imagining it.   Yesterday, when holiday was announced for schools, in the morning, I had a momentary déjà vu of a day in my own childhood on which, I was informed of a holiday as I was getting ready to leave.  I remembered the feeling of excitement at the unexpected holiday, and the availability of many free hours – TO STUDY !  In a flash, I realised that my claim of nerdiness is not a figment of my imagination after all.

I tell my daughter who is whooping at the holiday declaration that she has a few hours to get on top of her studies, and she gives me a look that I am not likely to forget anytime soon. Sigh !


My reader is populated with posts of people talking about stuff they are grateful about.  I have a small flash of inspiration to follow suit.  Then I lie down and the flash goes away.


I have both work (two papers to edit, four proposals to write, one article to complete, one book chapter to work on) and chores (cooking, cleaning, bleah) piled up.  I wish I could tackle the former and ignore the latter.  I’d end up tackling the latter, yearning for the former.

Nerd, did I say?





North East Monsoon

Starts with a bang. Long awaited.  First day of monsoon, and the city is flooded.  Thunder rumbles, lightening strikes, water pours.  Schools declared holiday tomorrow. A tree branch drops on our car and dents it.

We are in business.


My thoughts of undetermined value

Both title and topic for this post are shamelessly stolen from Carol.  Whether or not you read her post (please do, it is thought provoking, at least blog post provoking), you must scroll through and see her painting.  I have been following her progress as a painter, she is brilliant.


I have a potluck lunch party with my high school friends tomorrow.  Actually, this bunch was not my friends in school, the members being ruckus-raising, happy-go-lucky party, while self’s nose was  buried six feet under books and academic circles that largely sought to one-up each other – “I got 99.5%  how much did you get?”!  Lest you believe I am badmouthing my friends circle of yore, I was the queen of one-upping, you’d have hated me had you known me then.

This group that I will be meeting tomorrow, continues to be a rowdy bunch, and I am so glad the older gobblefunkist died enough to now enter the pearly-gated fun group.  OF course, there are a couple from the other one-upping set in this group (obviously, I am there, ain’t I?) but the main party animals would drown the rest in their irreverent, uncensored ROFL existence.  The only snag is that this being potluck, requires me to bring a big pot of puliyodharai for about 20 people and knowing my proclivity/joy/talent for cooking, it’s not going to be a happy morning at the HQ tomorrow.

The reason Carol’s post inspired me is that she finds it difficult to trace her friends from the past. I, on the other hand, seem to be able to trace every person that has crossed my path, ever.  This is truly an age of six-degrees and somehow, anyone I remember from my past, I can trace him/her if I am gung-ho about it.   The reasons are that I know quite a few “connectors” (according to Malcolm Gladwell) and most of my contacts have not changed their names after marriage.


My neighbour’s dog died this morning. Of old age. The family was devastated and the young woman was wailing as they took the dog away.  I had a minor choke up when I saw her, and thought it  a lucky animal that gets cried for.  There are many human beings who don’t have that.  I know someone who is extremely intolerant towards co-human being, but unbelievably kind towards animals.  I find it amazing that this person is capable of so much compassion, but withdraws it from human beings.


I wanted to write about something else, but forgot what it was.  So…that’s that.