Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Another landmark birthday has passed and I go through notes I have made about the things I wanted to do before it came and went. I did cover a few of those things, but they are just an abysmal percentage.

Yes, I do make these lists, they are supposed to pin down all the things that I want to do while my monkey mind is running rife with the things that need to be done.

I have written in the list that I need to write my mega novel and can you believe it I have not even thought about what to write, so what is this mega novel I am talking about. Just ‘khayaali pulao’(dream pulao) as my mother will say. So coming back to the time to do the things that really matter, do the yoga, join the pottery class, see the finest movies, write that novel, (all these are part of my list, among other things) how do I do it?

Another day goes and I wonder where it all went. I wake up thinking I have the whole day in front of me. I don’t do a job you know, but being at home attending to mundane things is an even bigger job. Now, for example, I sit down for yoga and the front doorbell rings, and the phone does as well. The mind, that is all spreading into peaceful waves to get into the state of well being induced by yoga, suddenly scrambles onto alert and the question is which bell I attend to first as I scramble to my feet and into my slippers. From alpha waves to beta-be-there for the bell, that’s what happens.

It is the magazine man at the door, and on the phone an inane caller who wants to know if I want a loan on my credit card. I almost say, “Lend me your ears so that I may scream into them!” I count to ten the Western way, breathe deep to ten the Eastern way and quietly tell her to not disturb me again like this, please. Please. Vinti hai. (This is a request).

‘Oh mild woman, when will you ever learn?

With people such as these you have to be stern.

They take a hold of your life and storm into your time,

Don’t let them, babe, commit this crime.

Never mind. So that kind of explains it-this flying away of time from within my fingers as I clutch and clutch and ask of it please stay, another day will pass, and I will be left holding nothing in the end, just my dust, in my crumbling hands and I picture this whole thing and think to myself at least there should be a book here, the life and times of a woman of the twentieth century in India who manages to survive into the twenty-first as well, or some such thing. To show that I have been here and done something with this life.

I want to leave a footprint, not carbon of course, have to watch that in today’s day and age. Maybe what I want to say is that I want to leave my hand print, in ink and on paper.

I have felt myself going round and round and unable to stop myself from doing all the things I do out of habit or out of a sense of compulsion, or out of a sense of evading that which I know is important to my life. Because to make that happen requires so much from me. I have to focus and concentrate and do some deep writing. I cannot let my mind wander and just wallow in my dreams. I dream of how good it will be to have a home in the mountains and a laptop to work with and tea to drink as the breeze whispers a song in the trees. If there is a breeze of course, but then I have a choice, I can hear music on my iPod. Technology and nature, what a combination! I always wanted to have the best of both worlds. But that is possible only if I do something meaningful to make the dream happen. It won’t happen just like that. And that means writing in the here and now and making my novel materialize.

I can dream or I can write my way to the dream. Or maybe not write my way to the dream, but at least to somewhere. To the top of the next mountain maybe. And then I will look down with a sense of having climbed, at least. Not dream of climbing and sit at the foothills forever. Once I am there, imagine me with the laptop, the chai in hand, the sun streaming down to the river tinkling by (we are allowed to make meaningful additions) and the song in the tress. If there is a breeze, otherwise, iPod hai na!

You can see how potent this dream is. It keeps reappearing. So I will not chase time anymore, nor try to catch it by its collar, nor race with rotten rats. I will just hunker down to write that great novel. About a time and a life. A time in my life. The life of my times.

What is this life if not time? The seconds are ticking away.


10th July, 2007

No comments: