Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Awld Tom goofed

He was wrong. April is not the cruellest month. March is. At least in India, where the fiscal year runs from April to … right, March. Peter Finch in Network was a model of restraint compared to how I feel now. Factor in the infinite wisdom of a system that demands weekly reports on a 5-year project. Oh Death where is thy sting etc.

Coffee breaks don’t work either. Because Bloglines has lost its charm. There must be more than 50 blogs on my list and I can’t bring myself to read any of them. Well, most of them. Which is why I don’t comment either, not that any of you would have noticed. Yes, I’m feeling very Eeyore at the moment. Or Marvin, depending on whether you read Milne or Adams.

What I am reading is The Wind in the Willows. In good company. Mostly on the way to school or at bedtime. (Not my school or my bedtime, thank you. Though I HAVE been known to fall asleep before the person-being-read-to.) Due to severe critical analysis, we have not made much progress. Apparently the passage on the first page where Mole “scrabbled and scrootched and scraped” is the most riveting piece of prose ever. Despite my very high regard for the critic in question, the passage palls on me after the 7th or 8th reading.

Then she laughs in delight. And it’s all quite all right again.

Sunday, I had an epiphany. Lunch at the new Mainland China in the South City Mall. (Food not great but quite acceptable, the starters were actually quite good. In any case, where on earth would you get a spread like that for about 300 bucks a head? They probably charge that much for a soda in Bombay! AND the guys know how to pamper regulars, we always get a tasting platter of some new dish.)

Lunch was followed by a long browse in Starmark. Now if they would only put up a counter that served Irish Crème coffee … Problem – I desperately need to buy new bookshelves. Or at least a couple of trunks.

Well anyway, the Starmark expedition required a trip to the car to cache the loot. While the rest of the expedition wandered off to other floors. (It’s a HUGE damn mall, specially by Cal standards.) Follow closely here, boys and girls. Big mall, many floors, reportedly 160,000 people passing through after 4:30 on weekends … so easy to lose people there, innit? Whereupon I retired to the car with the Sandman. Very nice.

Two niggling points. Amid all the glitter and the admiration for the vast atrium, my usual guilt about a comfortable life resurfaced. How many kids could you send to school with that kind of investment? Oh well, at least the mall isn’t built with public money.

And the other … as I left the washroom I complimented the attendant on keeping it spotless. He smiled a big smile and said thanks, feels good because nobody bothers to appreciate it. Which made me feel all cheery and benevolent until I thought, would I ever be able to do a job like that? Dear gods, eight hours of that could drive a man insane. Day after day after day. Damn.

**** ****


Space Bar said...

not that any of you would have noticed.

how can you say that when people dust off the dancing shoes and do a jigs in celebration each time you surface to make a comment?

oh, and these severe critics? they need a dose of dahl.

Phantasmagoria said...

One is doing that jig space bar speaks of on the inside. Now GO comment on my blog! Since you were missed and all na.

Tabula Rasa said...

dahl as in the roald variety or dahl as in the whole/split/skinless variety? the idea of watching someone do a jig with the latter is an appealing one.

phaNty (:-D):
i got a comment unprovoked, hahaha.

look pa, no links!

Phantasmagoria said...

TR: Tsk. Really. Tsk. After all the nice things I said about you.

Space Bar said...

tr: roald, of course. what would a school-going severe critic in her right mind have anything to do with the other variety (though in dahl's hands, of course, much could be done).

and stop crowing about unprovoked comments.

IdeaSmith said...

At last! At long last, a post I could relate to and feel like it was written by someone I knew. Glory be.

Loved the bit about 'The Wind in the Willows'.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Space Bar, I'm really more used to sarcasm than sincerity. But I shall try to adjust.

Ph, I hear and obey.

TR, VERY pocha one about the dahl.

I-Smith, as is usual when you hold forth, I miss the drift here.

Now I shall sit back and watch you guys bicker.


progga said...

Deep happy sighs about the references to Marvin and Eeyore. Should we give you an empty hunny jar and a ragged balloon-skin?
Good to see you writing again - even if it's once in a lunar eclipse.

PS: 53-letter word verification, dammit.

km said...

uh-oh. Network reference? That bad, eh?

/Wind in the Willows is *such* a beautiful book.

Tygr Tygr Burning Bright said...

starmark at south city is notsoverynice. Lord sinha road has better and bigger collection. how old is person being read to?

eve's lungs said...

- not that any of you would have noticed-

we did .

Bless the baby - we had such riveting moments too over similar passages ,in the spring of our parenthood (sigh)