Monday, March 30, 2009

Back To Writing

I'm back in Austin. The moment I come to Austin I have this great big itch to write. In Houston, I get caught up by everyday life, which is more orderly there. Here in the Austin apartment, dishes pile up in the sink, foodspills on the kitchen counter, clothes and shoes and things on the floor, on the sofa, just about everywhere. All I have is a bed-size space to myself, but my mind is wandering all over the place and I return with stacks of sentences. Of life.

Murphy is curled up like a cat with Yadav, the two are sleeping. For breakfast, I had a samosa. There's a doughnut shop here that makes samosas at night and we had bought a few last night. Yummy.

I forgot to pack so many personal items this time because I was obsessing over Murphy. Did I pack Murphy's toothbrush and dental paste? Did I pack Murphy's towels, his grooming brush? Did I pack Muurphy's treats? Did I put a bottle of water along with his bowl and his bag of food? I hadn't packed my own toothbrush, not even my comb. Of course, everything's closeby and I can always buy them here, and Murphy loves shopping. What I'm kicking myself for is forgetting to unload the dryer which had all my gymwear. I was at Academy last evening to see if they had the same style I had bought last year, mine had a very nice cut and I have even gone out for dinner with those Nike gym pants. I'll try Sports Authority today. I slept in jeans last night (or whatever was left of the night). For a long time, when my husband used to travel a lot, I would feel terribly vulnerable to be wearing just a nightie. So I'd always sleep -- fully dressed -- like a cowboy.

OK got to get back to my writing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Best Way To Die

In a perfect world she should be able to die when she wants to. And it should be as casual as having her nails or hair snipped. She’d like to be able to step into an assisted suicide salon and say, would you please snip my life today? They could harvest her organs, attach them inside someone who’s more in sync with this crazy world. If she were living in a country where she might be able to get her hands on some sleeping pills, she could take an overdose as she had once upon a time and had to have her stomach pumped out. Unpleasant stuff, especially because she was forced to drink coffee. She hates coffee. Can’t stand the smell of it. Even phenyl tasted better, though she should not have tried drinking it. That's for killing insects. It would take a lot more than a few sips to burn her inside out. Should she slash her wrists again? How deep into the flesh must one cut for it to be effective? But that would require a certain amount of aggression to do a good job. She massages the thin scar that now looks like a white bird in flight on her arm. Hers was a feeble attempt, a call for attention. How should she do it now? When a hurricane left her city without power for many days, people set up generators in their garages. Some inside their homes, killing all those who inhaled the fumes. Since then, she has been thinking that she might get herself a generator. Freshly showered and dressed in her prettiest clothes, she would lie comfortably on her bed and get the generator going. But it would be a while before anyone notices and her body would have begun to decompose. No, she wouldn’t want to smell so bad and besides, she would have liked to have donated her organs. There must be some better way, she thinks.

Have been meaning to write a story on that, but I got waylaid by another idea. I thought I'd jot it down, to remember :) My thoughts are far from death. Had a bowl of double chocolate ice-cream at Marble Slab Cremery at Red River in Austin and I'm wide awake and all set to write through the night. Murphy and Yadav are watching a show on TV.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Garbage Picker, the Fashion Model, and the Novelist

Two truck sized garbage bins stand side by side at the back of our apartment complex in Austin. After walking Murphy, I drop the biodegradable blue bag of poop into whichever's lid is open. This afternoon, what at first glance seemed like a man dropping in something into the garbage bin was actually a man picking out things from the garbage.

Should I go for another walk around the block carrying my bag of frankincense? The man digging in the garbage bin had seen me, but I couldn't see his face because he had his cap pulled over it and the collar of his jacket came right up to his ears. Only a glimpse of black skin showed that he was not white...in this predominantly white neighborhood.

Would it be more offensive if I walked away?

The man pulled his cap down even more, gathered his bag of small treasures and left.

I dropped the poop bag in the cornermost section of the garbage bin.

I was thinking about the man a lot. If he had the right opportunities, what would he be, where would he be? Could he have been a novelist?

Recently, I got into discussion with another blogger who scoffs at fashion models. Inferior, she says of them, because their 'only claim to fame is their looks'. Hmmm. Why do people feel that anyone who has gone to the top with just their face and figure has to be empty-headed? Unless their brains were damaged at birth or through accident or some other way, most humans are born with a tremendous amount of talent and intellect. All varying degrees of course, but as humans, aren't we all equal? I'm unable to decide what profession or person is superior and what is inferior. Is the astronomer gazing at the craters on the surface of the moon more intelligent than the esthetician studying the pores on the human skin? Is the artist painting a canvas more brilliant than the one who paints on her face? For all I know the street sweeper may be a born politician, and many a politician might have done the world more good by sweeping streets. And as for novelists, I think we are also scavengers and garbage pickers ourselves, digging in other people's and our own garbage for goodies.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rima, Bipasha, Razigan (I'm in a driveling mode)

Rima, Razigan,Bipasha,
Gory as it might me, it's good that PETA is raising awareness by capturing such inhumane acts on video and playing it on their website. From there on, I started thinking of the acres and acres of land that had to have been dynamited and flattened for manufacturing facilities to produce all these cameras and airplanes and wireless towers and computers. Imagine the lives of the terror-stricken big and small animals trapped in land that's being cleared for our use, for our highways and homes. What fear and pain do the poor creatures undergo? I know of week old puppies pooping out their intestines, frightened by the bursting of fireworks during Deepavalli. Does it become less horrific if an animal gets skinned alive, burned alive, chopped up alive by bulldozers and other machinery than by the bare human hand? How different am I from the woman wearing a fur coat that was torn off a live animal? Hmmm..I think, thinking is a hazardous occupuation for me, for I'm unable to think from any single viewpoint and I have been tying my mind in knots trying to understand our role and responsibility in this world.

Bipasha, a long time ago, in Montreal, a groundhog died under the wheels of my car and I sat on the middle of the street and sobbed and sobbed. A stranger lifted the limp body from my arms and helped me back into my car. At that time, I was sampling meat even though I was raised a vegetarian. I enjoyed the taste of chicken especially when prepared in Indian curry masala style and if the final product bore no resemblance to the live animal. So I was OK with eating an animal as long as long as someone else was doing the killing and its body parts came packaged -- neatly sliced or minced -- on little white trays in supermarkets??? I went back to my vegetarian ways. But, tell me, Bipasha, since I eat vegetables and grain, should that stop me from protesting the destruction of forests and vegetation? Hey, you can be a non-veggie and still fight/plead for the humane treatment of animals. Since you enjoy chicken, raise some at home, give them love and enough space to run about and then kill, eat them if you wish. I honestly don't see anything wrong in people eating meat...we do worse things to the living animal. the ones that end up in slaughterhouses are the lucky ones...the animals that are alive and attached to carts and carriages and hobbled and whipped, probably wish they'd be slaughtered.

Razigan, I'm very much an escapist myself. Besides, I have had my share of life's horrors and I, guiltlessly, wallow in happiness, mostly. But ever since I wrote The Finger Puppet, I see a change in me. For the better, I hope. Some riot, some write. Both useless endeavors, really, because all the great minds and all the great revolutions have done little to bring about any great change in the human. I wholeheartedly agree with your mama about the human being, Rima. By the way, I'm dying of curiosity to see the specially for me post on your blog.

Lovvve, Anu

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Glorious Morning

Just got back from a run with Murphy. And light as my body is when I fly up the stone steps of the apartment complex, remnants of the horror I felt on seeing the PETA video on the fur farms, weigh me down. Normally, anytime I see or hear of something of that nature, I just want to fold up and die or I quickly blot out the terrible things and get back to my clown self. This time, I find myself wanting to do something about it...

OK, got to get some work done, I'll pop up here a bit to stay in touch with you all. I'm absolutely loving the Toshiba Portege. Last evening, I was traipsing about holding it in one hand and I tripped on a coathanger on the floor of my son's apartment, I flung out my arms to steady myself -- without dropping the laptop!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bipasha/Comments

Bipasha, I received your multiple comments, many thanks. I have my comment moderator on, so any comment after 2 days (I'm going to change it to perhaps a week) has to be approved by me. Sounds pompous, but if I don't have the moderator setting on, then I'd never know if someone has left a comment on my earlier posts. I hate to miss even a single comment, and I'd feel terrible if I didn't respond or acknowledge. All of your comments are very valuable, especially from those of you I have never seen, because through the black print I can have fun imagining your personality :-)

By the way, I love that. Word of Mouth. How very appropriate for The Finger Puppet! I really was so disheartened that I never got to even see my book on display when I was in India in 2008. I'm so happy to know that 'ardent readers' are discovering the book.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Carnival

So there was a carnival at the Alliance Francaise. As usual, I dug my heels in and refused to go. Beloved Fate came to my aid and injected me with flu symptoms, I was coughing all week, but my husband was determined to drag me out and he pumped me with garlic soup and loaded me in the car. A few swigs of Pepsi at the carnival and I changed into a butterfly, flitting about, talking, laughing, dancing. I had to be plucked off the dance floor and brought home. And I was still dancing. Oh I can get high, so high, without taking a sip of alcohol.

My laptop should be here on Tuesday....the word's lightest and weighing only 2.4 lbs!

lovvve, Anu