Tuesday, March 27, 2007


We were having dinner this evening, me and my friends' kids. There are three of them, all between the ages of three and six.

"Are you going to a house with no babies now?" the baby asks me suddenly in the middle of his spinach.

"Yes," I tell him. "In a few days I'll go back home."

"That's OK, baybloo," their mother laughs in the background. "In a little while, KK bhai will have babies of his own."

"Yes," his five-year old brother pipes in. "But first he needs to find someone who can lay the eggs with the babies."


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Miracle fair

In a move to greedily celebrate the newfound splendors of spring, my friends and I took their kids to the park this afternoon. It’s a large stretch of land, equipped with swings and slides and wrapped around by a golf course. Within the park there is a small wood, its trees still bare and sparse, and a bike path which, if you walk down it a little, brings you to a bridge running over a stream plump with winter’s melted water. The kids, for so long cooped up inside the house, love the place. They run and bike and fall and scatter, abandoning themselves to the forgotten pleasures of having a space big enough to contain their energy.

I walk over to a bench and sit down to read. It is late afternoon and the sun is slowly dipping into the horizon. All winter I have imagined a scene like this, the sheer luxury of going to the park and reading, but the book I brought with me lies unopened by my side. I just sit and admire the weather. Not quite used to spring, or perhaps not having the words to describe it, I can’t explain exactly how beautiful it is. It is enough just to be sitting here, watching the children scooch down the long chutes of the slides as their mother stands on the other side, waiting lavishly with nectarines. After winter’s constrictions, the utter beauty of spring has taken me by surprise, disabling all need for the talk and elaboration that animated/imitated life in the previous weather. Now, it is enough just to sit here and watch the swings as they travel to and fro between the sky.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Tesoo (and the dahi bara)

Mera Tesoo yaheen araa
Khanay ko maangay dahi bara
Soookh gayaa mera Tesooo
Ek taang pe kharaa kharaa

- Tesoo, from Vishal Bharadwaj's new film The Blue Umbrella

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Letter to Myself

Somebody came up with the idea of writing a letter from your eight year-old self and I thought I'd give it a shot.

Dear KK,

First of all where did you get that funny name? It sounds like a villain from a Hindi movie; white suit, white shoes and smuggling brown sugar on the beaches at Mud Island. Do you still watch Hindi films?

It’s strange that you asked me to write to you. I really don’t know what to say. You probably remember how shy you used to be. Well that’s me and you can try and coax something out of me but I don’t think you will be able to. I don’t trust you enough to open up to you. I know you’re being nice and you’ll probably encourage me to just say what I feel but I won’t speak to you. I don’t speak about my feelings with strangers, even if they claim to be me. Do you remember what that was like?

I guess you don’t, since you have a blog and write freely to the world. How did that happen? How did you change so much? I can barely leave my room when guests come to visit and here you are chattering like an aunt. How about ice-cream, do you still like ice-cream? Are you married? What about Chotu? Is he still around? I just went and pinched him while he was sleeping. Ammi smacked me. Do you still get smacked? I see you haven’t lost my trick of smiling at questions you don’t want to answer. What about your job? I could never have believed I grow up to be a doctor. I hate science. It doesn’t make sense to me. I like reading. Do you still read?

You asked me what I thought of you, whether I like you or not. I do. You are kind but a little far away. I like how you think before you speak to me and don’t try to bully me with your own opinions. I like how you listen but I don’t like how quiet you are. Is it still because you don't know what to say, because the right answer only comes to you days after the moment has gone?

How much does being a grown-up change you anyways? What do you know that I don't know?

Well, I guess that’s about it for now. I could lie and say that it’s bedtime and I have to go but to be honest, it’s boring writing to you. You haven’t told me anything about myself that I didn’t already know. Also, you’re 27 years old and I’m just eight. Where’s my present? How could you show up after nineteen years without a gift?! Have you learnt nothing from our parents?



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