Thursday, March 03, 2016

Another False Start

Things come back into being like the longing for old, and summarily interrupted friendships. Sheepishly. I wonder why I haven't been here for so long. Because even as I write, I realize the pleasure that flows into every word, and the little gleeful anticipation of these sets of rituals, this writing of self and world. I think I am now back, having cheated on this space with other glitzier ones. After having consumed all the possible pleasures of other kinds of displays of self that will no doubt continue in their own parallel universes, I think I find the need to be back.

I am writing a book. Or at least I think I am writing a book. It is an academic one, out of which I am attempting to squeeze out a narrative. After all, the impetus for the book emerged from narrative, and from the stories of call centre workers. Yet, there are other compulsions, other ways in which one seeks to be visible to people other than those that speak in the book. And these are ethical questions that I wrestle with. Wish us all luck.

On other fronts, being off Facebook is unsurprisingly cathartic. Someday when I have exhausted the number of projects that clutter my desk, I will think about Facebook, and its remarkable ability to render ugliness, beauty, and all wonder into two-dimensional status messages for consumption. And I am so guilty of it all. I consume myself, even as I consume others. In the month that I have held back from this aforementioned daily buffet, I find myself calmer, and more willing to be hesitant about the world. It's nice.

But yes. More here. More soon.

What other things can I tell you about that will possibly help us share some beauty, and some temporary kinship? Here are my top three:

-- I was incredibly lucky to attend the Kenyon Review Writers' Workshop last summer. To have a week to craft a piece a day is both laborious, and immensely luxurious. I knew this all along, that much like the annoyance that is math homework, one has to write everyday in order to get anywhere. But I forget. And remember at the moment of crisis. Just like the night before exams. This is my attempt to not forget. Some of these pieces that emerged from the workshop have been published in 3quarksdaily. Go have a look see. I write about the new yearanthropological sartorialistscall centre love, and an almost love, so go take your pick. And follow the website anyway.

-- The Chennai Photo Biennale has been on since February 26, and what a joy it is to have these bourgeois pleasures. And these moments of knowing the world haltingly. I was reading this rather long but rather nicely written article on the stupefactions of the permanently connected world, and contrasting it with my evening yesterday of walking slowly by pictures sans captions, stories untold, and petrified people and locales. Such a lovely break from constant presence and movement. If in the city, do check it out.

-- Cooking is part of this life again. A fog has lifted. For lunch today, I had a turmeric and lemon flavored couscous plate with roasted carrots and yellow zucchini, feta, almonds, and mint, with a tomato salad dressed with lemon and olive oil. For dinner, I had varan bhat. And let me not distract myself with the pleasures of this food not the Gods, but of the mortals. For this mellifluous combination of lentils, asafoetida, sugar, salt, and ghee which makes us grateful for this life.