Notes on May

  1. The evening birds never come to drink water, the morning birds do. The evening birds are always flying, towards home perhaps? And they fly quietly, like they have time.
  2. The koyal near my house sings sweetly but it doesn’t take very long for it to get aggressive. It begins mostly at 5 am and does it continuously. I have a feeling that it knows I am writing this.
  3. One evening at Glen’s, it rained like it does in May in Bangalore – moodily, heavily, nicely, laughingly, groaningly. I sat and watched it feeling dizzily happy and not realising that my helmet which was left hanging by the seat was slowly getting filled with rain. When I saw it, a big laugh came out and then I said, ‘Why do you do this, Vjjjj?’
  4. Reading Natalia Ginzburg is a gift. I unwrapped it slowly one evening and wept bitterly. Her essay ‘My Vocation’ made me tell myself that I am ok, it’s ok, everything is ok, as long as I just keep writing.
  5. I want to write like Alice Munro and Deborah Levy and Natalia Ginzburg. They wake me up in beautiful ways.
  6. Chai immediately after coffee is heavy, curdling.
  7. Having female students in my life is very important. Without them, teaching doesn’t make sense.
  8. Cold water bath after 12 suryanamaskars is slicing, gasping, happy.
  9. I like avocados and eggs.
  10. The sun falls beautifully on some days. Last evening it fell like a disturbed egg yolk. It broke and then the orange oozed out in various places, places it wasn’t even setting in. I was puzzled by this and went looking for the setting sun in the west, couldn’t find it. But its colors were beautifully soaking in the east. I like that this is possible.
  11. After days of being terrified of writing, of running away from the humiliation of my own words at 6 in the morning, of wanting to erase all the words I have ever used in excess – in emails, in articles, in texts, on twitter, on instagram – I scrolled down my old posts on FB and discovered that through the good days and bad – even though I have always told myself I suck at this – I have always still written. For now, that’s enough.
  12. Dorothy Parker said ‘I hate writing. I love having written’ This is the month where I realise that I like eating. I don’t like having eaten. 
  13. I don’t trust the words I use with people anymore. They are too much.
  14. I want to watch a Simone De Beauvoir and Sartre film. She lived. She really did. I want to do it too.
  15. Elaichi shrikhand is back in my life.

 

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