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Monday, October 31, 2005

A WORLD GONE M.A.D.

Scanning the headline ("MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD CALLS FOR ISRAEL TO BE WIPED OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH") I cannot help but think that the Iranian President obviously lacks even the 'finesse' exhibited by our President, who apparently opens his mouth only to change feet.

Ok .. so here is what I have been thinking about.

1. While it is unfortunate that the president of a country should state that he wishes to wipe another nation off the face of the earth ... I am not sure whether the outcries were due to the Iranian President having openly expressed the view (however asinine) that he holds for Israel in his heart; or if the noise level was high because of the poles-apart relationships that the two nations have with major world powers. Bush has never meant anything different regarding the fate he'd like to assign to the people of those who fall into his "axis of evil" ... he just hasn't stated it, so far, as clearly in words. But, then, what has he ever stated clearly in words? See my recent post on his pearls of wisdom.

2. When Ayatollah Khomeini put a price on Salman Rushdie's head - another terribly stupid act - it was denounced everywhere with a passion (or fervently supported by mullas everywhere with as much political motivation as the orginal fatvah). As a result of the controversy Salman, without any doubt a brilliant writer, began to sell more books than he had ever done (some even to illiterates: I recall seeing a copy in the house of a Pakistani MNA!). Was the Ayatollah's statement much worse than that issued by Ayatoilet Pat Robertson, preacher and wannabe President of the USA, who suggested 'taking out' President Chavez? Obviously his version of the commandment reads "Thou Shall Not Kill (except under subsection 'xiii' clause 'c')"

3. An unknown prayer-leader in a poor and uneducated part of Karachi launches a tirade against "the West" — which, for him, includes Australia and Japan, having been brought up on books published by the Sindh Textbook Board. He is quoted as saying (on the purported strength of holy texts he has been taught), "Christians, Jews, Hindus can never be our friends." Even some of the local media chastises him for hate-speech in this land of the moderately enlightened. After all, such a statement at a time of US-Pak friendship (Round 9), Indo-Pak Rapprochement (Round 7), and Pak-Israel Gathjo∂ (Round '?') is not politically correct. When David C. Atkins states

I propose that the U.S. immediately adopt and publish the following nuclear doctrine: In the event of a WMD attack by terrorists on the U.S. homeland or U.S. military facilities overseas, the U.S will immediately and without discussion use its immense nuclear weapons capabilities to destroy the 100 largest Islamic cities on earth, regardless of state, and destroy all of the military facilities of Islamic-dominated states. This will include all of the capitals and at least the 10 largest cities of all Islamic-dominated states and the "holy" cities of Mecca and Medina. In addition, North Korean cities and military installations will be destroyed.
there is an occasional low-volume moan and a cold, legal discussion of whether certain constitutional rulings in the USA are being violated, or whether Freedom of Speech covers such diatribe.

4. Years ago Idi Amin's henchmen slaughtered 6 nuns and missionaries ... and the UK Press roared: "Muslims slaughter Christians" ... a factual statement, but one that incorrectly (but purposefully) ascribes the 'cause of the killing' to have a 'religious' undertone, when the perpetrators were really engaged in an unpardonable and brutal act against people they termed "white supporters" ... and not on grounds of religious differences. Hitler and his Nazi henchmen slaughter a million times as many Jews: No headline says "Christians slaughter Jews". We get this amazingly imbalanced "Germans killed the Jews". Huh? Were the Germans not Christians? Were the Jews not Germans?

I am merely trying to see if there is a pattern here, so I hope readers will pardon my having borrowed a couple of the above examples from my earlier posts. Like Wilde, I plagiarize from myself all the time. (Oscar's wild plagiarizing is legend. This anecdote serves as an example of what his contemporaries felt about him: When he complimented James Whistler on a great quip with the words, 'I wish I'd said that.', Whistler brought the house down by replying, 'You will, Oscar, you will.')

[M.A.D. stands for Mutually Assured Destruction, in case you didn't know.]

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Friday, October 28, 2005

An apology for the last post ...

I admit that, as two of my friends have pointed out in separate emails, my last post was an insensible diversion. Bushisms are everywhere ... so, why, they demanded, did I have to waste someone's server space to repeat them here.

All I can say in response is that I'd just wanted to (may PAWS pardon the expression) kill several birds with one stone: Collect, in a single post, some personal favourites from among Bush's Bloopers; make Sabeen and Insiya laugh some more; put up a picture of the US President pretending to be in Communication with God, Who, if Syedna Bush ibné Bush is to be believed, is probably Hovering in the area just outside the photographer's lens, Dictating the co-ordinates for their (His & his!) next strikes.

But, mainly, it was just a move to take my own mind off the earthquake tragedy and an unimaginable aftermath that has even led one of my 'bravest' friends, Salima Hashmi, to end her last mail to me with: "this may be the undoing of all of our lives".


And, in any case, one often gets tired of being sensible.

While the Indian TV stations and print media - which are mainly what I had access to for the past fortnight - did devote time to the earthquake, the reportage and stories, by and large, referred to areas that were 'theirs'. Natural disasters, however, do not differentiate between 'ours' and 'theirs' and show no respect for 'Lines of Control'.

I am reminded, here, of how, years ago, in Singapore - then under the dictatorial hold of a prime minister whose name sounded to me like the message he conveyed to its citizens ("Leak On You!") - I had visited a classroom and was amused to see 2 maps of the world displayed on the wall: one showing physical features - mountains, rivers, seas, oceans - the other showing political divisions. Beneath the maps some kid had scrawled the captions God's Map of the World and Man's Map of the World.
Unlike those horrors that Man frequently unleashes upon Man, these calamities are oblivious to differences of Religion, Caste, Creed, Colour, Gender, Age, Social Status, and - contrary to what some soul-less souls would have us believe - even to issues of Morality and Sexual Orientation.

Masjids and Mandirs tumble as easily as Synagogues and Churches, during Earthquakes. Tsunamis lay low Places of Worship and Centres of Commerce with the same ease and non-chalance as they do Child-prostitution Centres and Gambling Dens. A hurricane blows away a rich ranch-owner's Cadillac with no more effort or concern than it spends on a poor hawker's cart, unaware of the 'respect' even the former's chauffeur 'demands' of the latter. The ultimate distinction we insist upon making, that between Humans and Animals, also disappears in the wake of such catastrophes.

Despite the fact that the Indian media, when reporting what was happening on the Pakistani side, primarily stuck to faithfully reporting that the death toll and suffering were much higher across the LOC, it led a rather peeved Indian at a party to tell me (I guess my choo∂idaar pyjama and khaddar ka kurta had fooled him into assuming I was an Indian, too) that "by constantly saying Pakistan was worse hit, India was almost acknowledging that it had given up the claim to the territory that was rightfully its own". I presumed he was referring to the "disputed" territories in and around Kashmir, but was completely baffled when he added, "And my statement covers the entirely illegal state that was wrested from us in 1947 through the stupidity of Gandhi and the connivance of that liberal, Nehru." So, I guessed, he was referring to my entire country. Oh, well. We never did claim exclusive rights to insanity, did we? Self-preservation raised its head and, politely indicating that my glass was empty, I headed toward the general direction of the bar, while he continued to mumble phrases that cast serious doubts on the parentage of some of the most brilliant men and women India had given birth to. All I could murmur under my breath, as I slunk away to safety, was a suggestion I would have liked to make to him more loudly, had he not been bestowed with a 6'4" frame ... a suggestion he could only follow if he were a contortionist.

The only time anything more about Pakistan, than just the mounting death toll figures, got into the Indian news was when Pakistan's 'acceptance-rejection-conditional_acceptance' ping-pong, with reference to Indian offers of aid, was being discussed. Or when NDTV decided to embarrass me and other visiting Pakistanis by repeating audio clips of our slightly uneasy and tired sounding Foreign Minister, trying unsuccessfully to shake off the persistently pursuing Barkha. (Incidentally, on my return to Pakistan I discovered the 'acceptance-rejection' story to actually be perceived and reported 180° differently from the Indian version. Aaah. Never the twain shall meet!)

That aside, my own understanding of the situation in "Pakistan's quake-hit territories" - if these distinctions must at all be made during such large-scale human disasters - was also poor because I had little or no access to 'independent media' (hahaha!) most of the time. QTV, the one channel available at the place I stayed, is not my idea of a news source, because some of the beings who appear on it outfox Fox. Also, by then, I had decided to 'play ostrich', unwilling to let this gigantic source of depression aggravate my health problems. I had turned my focus, by now, to obtaining much-needed comic relief, for example, by reading The Apocalypse of John, always a fun read at such times and a work that cries out for a joint illustration project by Hieronymous Bosch, Salvador Dali and Gahan Wilson.

Back in Karachi and watching our numerous TV channels for just 2 days in a row shook me completely. I was overwhelmed by the images that were shown, although some reporters occasionally discarded all sense of decorum and insensitivity by taking away a dying victim's last shreds of dignity.

Not making things easier to handle were the numerous first-person accounts and reports from volunteers at the frontlines, many repeatedly entering everyone's email boxes because of that dreadful "Forward' button. Loaded with an anger that increased in the narrator with each experience of frustration and helplessness, these - as often as not - used the opportunity to push forward their own political agenda. Some even took the kind of liberties with Truth that were once the domain of marsiah writers alone. One email ended with the self-righteous author adding a rather tasteless blurb — Qeematoañ mayñ zalzalah angayz kamee! — for the quilts his company manufactured, promising to ship the product, without additional charges, to charities of the donor's choice.

All this was topped by a 'silent' meeting with my colleagues, the first after my return, one of whom has lost an incredible 29(!) members of his family. Another has lost 7, and fears worse news as more villages become accessible.

So, entirely motivated by not wanting to go mad, I just decided to send in a mundane post. To my two friends (and any others) who found my frivolity at this sad juncture unbecoming, I can only offer an assurance — that this was not, in any way, an effort to belittle the gravity of what we are going through — and sincere advice that they, too, need to laugh if they wish to remain sane.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bushiaapa Bonanza

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test."



Right, Dubya. Also, if you close your eyes and pray you'll find on opening them that you'd just closed your eyes and prayed. And we're not even touching Grammar, here. Thanks for the comic relief you provided us through these gems in an otherwise painful (thanks to you, again) world: "I think we agree, the past is over."

 "It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it."

 "When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and you knew exactly who they were. It was us versus them, and it was clear who them was. Today, we are not so sure who the they are, but we know they're there."

 "More and more of our imports come from overseas."

"The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants."

 "I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself, but for predecessors as well."

 "The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself."

 "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"

 "I'm hopeful. I know there is a lot of ambition in Washington, obviously. But I hope the ambitious realize that they are more likely to succeed with success as opposed to failure."

 "States should have the right to enact reasonable laws and restrictions, particularly to end the inhumane practice of ending a life that otherwise could live."

 "You must learn to read. One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."

 "They misunderestimated me."

This video-clip may help you understand what kind of people elected this moron into power.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Heading Home Healthy

The medical tests are over. The results are in. Thanks to the giant strides made in the world of medical sciences, we now know, without an iota of doubt, that I have been 'unwell'!

Honest; that is the unanimous verdict!!!

OK. So this is what happened: I stopped taking my daily dose of Dapsone and gorged myself on gluten-rich food. The dermatologist had expected me to break out in a rash, within 3-4 days, either confirming the earlier Dermatitis Herpetoformis diagnosis or, through yet another biopsy (aaarghhh!), delving deeper into understanding the mysterious revolution raging in my innards.

A fortnight later, things are still fine. My body has not turned into what, until only a month ago, had looked like something Pixar could use for modelling the terrain in its animated version of Verne's From the Earth to the Moon.

In the Dermatologist's opinion, "Whatever it was, has gone away."

Barring the nagging fear that the ailment could have Vesuvian tendencies or, worse still, that The Creatures from Under the Skin may be lying in wait, like Saqi's Tadpoles (for those not familiar with the poem this refers to, I am reproducing it at the end of this post), I couldn't be happier. Bundu Khan, the family's favourite Karachi spot for Seekh Kabab and Paraatha has been denied me for too long. And I can also indulge in the occasional sheermaal from Burns Road (named after the Scottish poet and not for the effect its Nihaari has on one's sitting end).

So, with mixed feelings, I am heading home today. The joy of being with Nuzhat, and others close to me, as well as being surrounded by my books and music, cannot be denied. But the sadness of leaving behind unbelievably warm friends and relations - and hosts, about whom I could only write with justice if I had TT's way with words - is overwhelming. It's almost like 1947 all over again. Kal ajab see voh gha∂ee thee … phir rahaa tha dar bah dar; Aaj ajab saa yeh samaañ hae, jaa rahaa hooñ 'ghar' se 'ghar'.

If visa restrictions went away, and travel between the two countries became possible with the same ease one encounters when traversing the 'soft borders' within Europe, making it possible to spend most weekends here by driving down from across the border, I might even be tempted to take the plunge into my version of a life of hell: Living in Lahore and Driving. By the way, the return airfare, for the 2-hour journey between Karachi & Delhi, is a ridiculously high Rs. 21,000 … which is 70% of the return airfare between Karachi & London! Can anyone explain the logic behind this to me?

On to the poem I promised.

Sher Imdad Ali's Tadpole 
but there was in that murky dim pond such an air on the half-blossomed lotus
that it filled his eyes with rainbow colours
then of course there was the inviting, seductive water
giving in to its magical pull throwing off his clothes he plunged
into the stagnant water and got entangled in weeds.

millions of tadpoles
like soft raw headed foetuses
rushed in all directions
frightened by the clamour of shark waves
Sher Imdad Ali was in the water up to his chin
the lotus of his desire still far away

lightning flashed
and a tadpole
with the speed of a deflating balloon slipping out of someone's hand
like the dagger tongue of a lizard
whizzed into the tunnel of his gaping mouth

days passed
seasons changed
years went by

a voice keeps hounding him
LET ME OUT LET ME OUT OF THIS DUNGEON
dozens of doctors surgeons X-rays were to no avail
he changed homes cities countries
all without relief
in his blood the same voice ripples and tosses
LET ME OUT LET ME OUT OF THIS DUNGEON

Sher Imdad Ali
his stolen property taken from the water
hides in his house in fear

outside the water lurks
and in it
like yellow pipal leaves
yellow frogs
angry bastards
lie in wait
This is Mahmood Jamal's English translation, taken from his published selection: The Penguin Book of Modern Urdu Poetry. BUY THIS BOOK! This plug is as much to interest you in our poetry, through this fairly representative volume, as it is to prevent Penguin, or the author, from screaming "copyright infringement".

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Yet Another Health Update

Since my arrival in Delhi, I have seen several specialists — an Endocrinologist, a Dermatologist, and a Gastroenterologist — and have undergone a variety of tests, including a biopsy, and a procedure at Apollo Hospital's Department of Nuclear Medicine, which proved entertaining and educational.

The entertainment bit: The B.Sc. in Nuclear Medicine, who was administering the procedure, had a rather lilting accent. Out of curiosity I asked him where he came from? "Bhitri", he said. Having heard this name so frequently from my Maamooñ (I recall Kodarma as the only place mentioned more often) this led to a general conversation while I waited for a capsule to dissolve inside me. After 10 minutes he said he was puzzled as to why I had been educated in India, because my medical form showed my address as Pakistan. I told him that I had not studied here, or anywhere else, at all. He then asked where I had learnt to speak Hindi so fluently. Not wanting to get into a Hindi-Urdu discourse, I said, "In Pakistan." He then had me in stiches (wrong phrase for someone visiting a hospital, I realize) when he asked why Hindi was taught in Pakistan. I left him with this information to use as he will: "It's the most popular 'foreign language' taught in the jehaadi madrassahs, you know."

OK. Back to the update.

A few results have arrived and have indicated nothing of much concern, except for a really bad stomach condition, discovered during my endoscopy, called H. pylori. This year's Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to its discoverers on the day I arrived here!

Synchronicity or Coincidence? Anyway, if Tarun Tejpal wins the Nobel Prize someday, I can claim some equivalence (don't you just hate it when your friends are so much better than you?), by at least having had a Nobel Prizeworthy disease.

Sorry for this bit of Kathaakaari. I'll stick to the facts from now. Tests also revealed a slight thyroid problem that, subsequent tests have indicated, was a passing aberration. Treatment for the H. pylori, via a strong dosage of antibiotics, ended today and I will now be checked for its effectiveness. The diabetes is well under control. A biopsy report, on scrapings taken from my intestine, will come in next week and will govern the treatment and the duration of any further stay here or the need for a later return. As for my earlier-diagnosed 'Gluten intolerace', the condition seems to have subsided and no fresh lesions seem to have appeared since my arrival.

Under medical observation, I was asked to discontinue Dapsone and eat a variety of 'normal' foods to see what I specifically react to. I was to rush for a skin biopsy as soon as the expected lesions erupted, so that the daanaaé raaz would reveal their secrets. I was provided with strong anti-histamines to take immediately after the biopsy and, at that point, also to restart Dapsone. I lived in fear every day, keeping both medicines in my wallet (once the repository of better things). I scoured my body - on one occasion, I even did so with a magnifying glass - for the tiniest of spots to appear. Images of my earlier condition haunted me in my sleep. I had no idea how much, more that the taste of breads, I was missing the feel and texture of all things wheat. Fondling the phulkaas each morning was a turn-on. Stroking paraathaas could have been even more so, but the local name, praañthaas , proved counterproductive for the libido.

However, buttered buns, in the mornings, were pure ecstasy. Geetan peeked slyly out of her bedroom one Sunday morning — after hearing me going "Mmmnmhmm ..." at my early-dawn breakfast in the adjoining dining room — probably suspecting I was having it out with their maid. Even their generally friendly but very pschycotic dog, Astro, got off his first syllable to run in and confront me with a quizzical growl. Note: In the interest of preventing scandals in this house I have stopped bringing buns back home ... and, honest, TT, that maid's attempted suicide the following day (True, dear readers — I am not making this up!) had nothing to do with me.

So far, after a whole week of sinful "Gluteny", no signs have appeared. A Kermitian "yayyyyyyyyy" would be an excusable interjection at this point, na? Hopefully the problem has disappeared and not just temporarily abated. Of course, it is possible that, with so many lesions in a variety of shapes sizes and colours, the 'real' problem could easily have been masked and I was/am not gluten intolerant; or was merely having a terrible, but temporary, reaction to drugs, creams, and lotions. Even to Gluten. If that was the case, I will forever regret not having gorged myself on the variety of breads, with their mind-tingling smells, during our recent South of France vaction. Over the next week, more things than just the skin will, hopefully, be clearer — and I will be back home again, soon. (Too soon?)

The time spent in Delhi, between tests, has been truly awesome and would have been even better, but for the depression of the recent earthquake weighing heavily. What more could I have asked for, than devouring real Dossas, Idlis and Uthapams with old seafaring friends Vipin and Mukta; being pampered by Geetan; exchanging views on books and life (generally spelt s-e-x) with Tarun; sharing family gossip over Barista's amazing coffee with workaholic niece, Sahar; 'talking tech' with Arun; discussing and listening to music with Shubha and Aneesh; and dining out with childhood friend Salma and her family.

Oh, I finally managed to take a moment off and call up Rinku, to apologize for not being able to find time to get together. Discovered that she lives just a few houses away, in Soami Nagar. Will probably go out for a late night walk in the park with her and plan something interesting (I hope Shamim doesn't have to be paid royalty on the use of this word!) during our partially overlapping stay in Lahore next month. 

Of course, Delhi has so much to offer on the cultural spectrum that I could live here forever and more. This is something that, for years, I had only felt about London — the city that, IMHO, only needed to add mango-tree lined avenues to rival Paradise. Today, I'd choose Delhi without batting an eyelid. Have attended an evening of Susmit Bose, India's Bob Dylan - with a passing resemblance to Pete Seeger: with a combo like that how can an activist singer not succeed! The event was arranged (and FREE for the public, as most such things are here) by Shabana Azmi, on the release of Susmit's new CD: Public Issues. Yes, Ragni, I have got you a signed copy! The event took place at the buzzing-with-life Habitat Centre, where I might even be able to attend Yaadoñ Ke Baaraat - a celebration, through readings and music, of Josh Malihabadi's prose and poetry, unless I leave for Karachi before the 20th. But I will try to see Birju Maharaj perform at Puraana Qila, today. What I really wish I could stay back for - but Nuzhat will kill me if I do - is a Daastan-Goee session on the 23rd. Where else but in Dilli could one expect tha

And, at long last, today I will get to see "TV Doccy", niece-friend Nazli, the bubbling, running-madly-in-all-directions, wonder-woman who made this therapeutic trip possible by arranging my medical appointments with the best doctors, and constantly following up on them, despite - for a few days - being admitted to hospital herself. Final results of the biopsy and other Hitchcockian reports arrive on Monday. Will update.

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Monday, October 10, 2005

God: Save us from your followers!

As I switch channels — unable to cope with either the pictures of the recent havoc, or of the monotonous display of quivering bodies of another kind on the countless music(?) stations — I catch a popular compere on QTV, asking another member of the Morality-grows-on-your-chin Brigade, if the quake was a "Test of Faith or even Divine Retribution", the 'capitalization' almost audible!

Another click. Another channel. A saffron-draped man ends his bhajan, pauses until his much-practised serene after-glow look has time to register on the TV camera, then asks the viewers to pray for forgiveness lest "they, too, be punished for forgetting the 'All-Pervading' and focusing on materialistic desires like the quake victims." The audience sits, heads bowed in shame. The phrase, "materialistic desires", reverberates for a while: Audio-technology, combined with Advertising can be a potent combination. But not enough in this age of words being replaced by a thousand pictures. For a fleeting moment, my mind fills the gap and conjures up grotesque Daliesque images: Bleeding children, with begging bowls full of Kentucky Fried Chicken Chunks, and wound-festered infants sitting in the rubble and nibbling Oreo Cookies, while loving parents, in tattered clothes, weep with joy as they look at their progeny from the power-windows of their gleaming overturned Hondas.

Such insane views and insensitive comments are not just the domain of 'backward' India and Pakistan: one only has to google Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson to find out that similar freaks exist in the world's most 'advanced' nation, where the President claims that God talks to him and instructs him to invade His creations elsewhere.

What, I wonder, do such warped persons think the 400 schoolgirls, who were killed in just one school, could have done to deserve this? And why would any merciful god have punished those who rushed in to save them? I can only suggest to those who believe in such a possibility that, perhaps, the children were "Collateral Damage" in this act of Divine Fury, directed at the real sinners - the leaders of a Religious Right that unleashes acts of political and personal aggression against those who challenge them in any way, or disagree with their version of Faith.

Surely, with their misuse of the Hudood Ordinances, falsification of blasphemy cases, killing of worshippers who belong to another sect or belief system, sodomizing or brutalizing of children trusted to their care for 'religious' education, torturing of wives in ways that even the Marquis de Sade did not imagine, the inventing of 'traditions' and issuing 'fatvaas' to suit their personal purposes - and the covert incitement to countless forms of terrorism - it is they, the mad religiosity perverts, who deserve such fury far more than the poor souls they successfully misguide.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dilli, jo ayk shahr tha ...

I am in Delhi (shouldn't that be Dehli --- or even Dilli?) and expect to be here for only a couple of weeks if all my medical investigations go well ... The next 3 days will govern what the rest of the trip will turn into. Regardless of the outcome, a trip to Delhi is always like an intravenous dose of Jolt Cola! I am feeling more alive than I have ever felt since the surgery in Feb. While doctors are taking care of the body, staying at Tarun's is a boost for the mind. Shubha and Aneesh arrive on the 6th, so that should take care of the soul.

Am excited about dinner tonite, at Rahul's, and am looking forward to meeting Khushwant Ji whose mental motor is still running full-speed, at 91!!! (Note to myself: Must remember to photograph his bedroom door and put the pic into a later post.) Daykhna qismat keh aap apnay peh rashk aajae hae ...

Started on Tarun's tehelka-aamayz first novel, The Alchemy of Desire. It's fast gaining international success: he is being compared to Lawrence, Hemingway and Marquez; translations are becoming available in a number of languages; the French edition is in its 3rd printing in one month. Many are already betting that the next Booker will be his.

Nothing, not even being with friends in one of my favourite cities, exists without a downside. Internet connectivity is a nightmare in this house, made several orders of magnitude worse because of my having to use an effing PC Desktop. But for everyone used to the bliss of unanchored WiFi --- even if s/he was a Windows-using masochist --- this would be painful. To top it all, the mouse feels as if it has been part of some macabre behaviorist experiments. I've just got to make technology work decently around here. Or find a cybercafe that provides a good mix of broadband and espresso.

Have just asked someone to connect a NetLink AAW (Apple Airport Wannabe) here asap. With my PowerBook connected to the Net, all the news that's unfit to print will be back here.


So, watch this space ...

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