Friday, May 29, 2009

It is in moments of illness that we are compelled to recognize that we live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom, whole worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body.

-- Marcel Proust

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The meaning of life is...

Picture courtesy

Monday, May 11, 2009


This weekend has been rather full. It helps that it is the end of the semester and I do not feel like doing ANY work whatsoever. This of course presupposes that I have worked for the rest of the year and we will leave that mysterious question for another time. Suffice to say that graduate students are an overworked lot. We drink a lot of coffee and are up surfing the web all night. Some of us prop up the tobacco and (beep) industries and in a world of capitalist pigs yelling there is no free lunch, we scope out the free food. Oh and lest I forget, we think all the time. In a world of doers, we are the lone, surviving thinkers. Come on, cough up a sympathy vote or two, will you?

So coming back to my uber busy life, the weekend has been rather full. For one, I saw the sun on Saturday. Nay, not just saw, but soaked, sweated and simmered in the Texas heat, currently at its mild and winking best. (If you think this is hot, then wait for July you suckers). So I saw the sun. It was ten in the morning and I had to cook for a potluck. I had been up drinking mescal (as in mescal the alcohol; nothing to do with mescaline the psychedelic alkaloid) the previous night and watching back-to-back episodes of The Real Housewives of New York City with the manic yogi. It’s wonderful how bad television creates such a reassuring notion of self. I, who am not that. Certainly not bad reality TV (very good reality TV in fact), certainly not shrill and most certainly will not have a boxer I feed cheese, omelets and eggs. So yes, after many alcohol-ridden rounds of astounded shrieking at Kelly Bensimon, I finally went to bed at three in the morning. I was up at the crack of dawn thanks to the mescal (read 10 am) and set out to my Saturday chores. Post-office, groceries, cooking and cleaning. The rates for postage are up this week, so I bought myself many stamps for all the letters I am never going to write and for all the people who will never have the privilege of writing back. Such are the seductions of capitalism. The stamps have the Simpsons on them.

The potluck was rather fun; we sat out by the park benches, chatted and ate. I made some paapdi chaat; tortilla chips make for rather real paapdis. We also had in no specific order, fruit salad, idlis, salads, brownies and a peach tart. Also many babies, a strong wind and a recalcitrant table-cloth. Many near food fights later, I headed out to my Argentine tango lessons in east Austin.

I am sure I have mentioned this before at various points of my sporadic blogging career; dancing is so much fun. However, a few notes to the wise if you plan to take aforementioned tango lessons. (a) It’s not an alternative dating venue (b) People are really serious about this stuff! (c) The average male age in there is 45 (and I bring it down). So, in an effort to be serious, I bought myself really nice tango shoes with 2 inch heels. Now, for those who know me, I am not bad on my feet. As in I do indeed have one right and one left foot. But, in my super confident, I am Ruby the bar dancer mode, I decided to practise on my heels for Class no. 5. So I kicked and I moved and I ocho-ed and molinete-d with gay abandon, feeling for the first time in my life, more than five feet four inches tall (five feet six inches to be precise). At the end of the class, we all knew what Michael Jackson meant when he crooned “…that woman is out to kill….blood on the dance floor”. And well, yes, the blood was all mine.

More dance tales in the next instalment. Until then, a little queej à la KUT’s John Aielli (who keeps offering to give away tickets to people who can name the color of the shirt he is wearing on the day – it’s always yellow folks); if you can name the colours of my fantastic tango shoes, I will write you a letter with a Bart Simpson stamp on it.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Poem 42




g can




the m








-- e. e. cummings

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Just because it is now night....

In the Quiet Night

The floor before my bed is bright:
Moonlight - like hoarfrost - in my room.
I lift my head and watch the moon.
I drop my head and think of home.

-- Li Po

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Much like many others of the "liberal arts" ilk, I tend to the metaphor. Something is always something else. Something is never anything by itself. It is tied to other things, it is like other things, it's properties can only be understood in relation to the properties of something else.

For example, this week, I think that living life is like dancing the tango. One must follow, but energetically. One must listen to the music and let the steps come. One must hold on, but not lean on. One must keep the head held high. One must find the core. One must keep connection, but be aware of the self in the process. Above all, one must be light and one must dance.

On other fronts, I am learning to tango.

It is a beautiful day. The shadows are long and lean on the brick facade of my neighbours' buildings. The trees are lovely and the colours warm and gentle. Strains of music play in the background of my living room. My skirt has tassels that flutter.