Sunday, October 12, 2008

regarding the world with a jaundiced eye?

Outside my window the autumn sun lights up the buildings in the next lane. A squadron of dragonflies does formation flights over the mango tree. Pujo weather, except that the Pujo has come and gone and I’ve spent it right here, flat on my back watching the light change on the trees, listening to the dhaak and the mantra paath in the mandap downstairs. Lots of commiseration from friends for missing the Pujo eats, but what I really missed is the adda in the old red-painted thakur dalan on Ekdalia Road. We sit there every year from shondhi pujo to shnidoor khela, catching up with friends and acquaintances, comparing notes on the year gone by, revelling in the entire milieu of laal paar and chunot kora dhuti and the flock of pretty women bustling to and fro on errands too abstruse to be comprehensible, grinning at the family banter, wondering at how the kids have grown with each passing year, just soaking in the atmosphere. For someone like me, who’s not very big on family ties, it’s an annual immersion in the clan and at the same time, an affirmation of the self.

So this year I’ve missed it. Or most of it. I did get one Sunday afternoon with friends and beer while the sound of knashor ghonta floated up and the ladies fluttered in sudden panic over being late for the pujo. The rest of the time, really, I was just too sick to care.

But being sick isn’t so bad. I can’t remember the last time I spent an entire week at home. One. Whole. Week. Haven’t even stepped out of the front door. How strange. No office, meetings, dinners, cocktails, gym, library. No Saturday-lunch-and-shopping, no let’s-try-that-new-place-for-dinner. No stopping-by-the-office-to-send-off-a-report. Nothing.

Instead … a succession of books. The Kite Runner. Sea of Poppies. A Dibdin. More fruits and fruit juice than I’ve tried in the last ten years – apples, pears, grapes (SUCH grapes!), papaya, grapefruit, custard apples, pomegranates. The Better Half, who normally never enters the kitchen, is cooking up a storm. Watching television – it’s been so damn long since I did that. Or just lying in bed watching the light change, hearing the cheep of sparrows as the sun climbs and the long cawing of rooks as twilight deepens. All sweetened by the additional sound track of VSP pitter-pattering about the house singing to herself, happy that Papa’s not “going to office” for the longest time.

I could get used to this. Far too easy.


eve's lungs said...

What is wrong with you ? Bad back ? But then why would you drown yourself with fruits ? Get well soon.And Shubho Bijoya .

??! said...

Fruits, huh? One suspects a liver-related malady.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

E Lungs, peruse the title of the post. Shubho Bijoya to you and yours.

Kim/Amelie, I applaud your deduction sans observation. The title, m'sieu, says it all.


Phantasmagoria said...

Yellow has made you mellow.

We approve!

eve's lungs said...

JAP - I had reflected on the title of the post but the reference to the quaffing of the beer made me hesitate ..

Australopithecus said...

jaundice! having jaundice is bad. people insinuate that one is a coward, to one's face.
In the wild west when someone says oh! you are yellow.."them's fighting words"

austere said...

Nariel pani, too, perchance?
Take care.

Rimi said...


Pray don't, Uncle J. Some of us live in harder times, nine-anna-half hours behind. Between cleaning, laundry, ironing, remembering to shop, shopping, paying bills, cooking, taking care of ill self, and schoolwork, it's a miracle if we have time to catch a fleeting glance of ourselves in the bathroom mirror.

I haven't checked my angelic visage for at least the last four days, now that I come to think of it.

But our trees are turning pretty. We have Colours, cold comfort (pun intended) though it is.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Ph, we of course live for your approval.

E Lungs, beer was before the path results.

Oz, I prefer mohey rang de basanti

Austere, noted, thanks.

Rimi, pray don't what? And frankly, between the colours of fall and Calcutt'a mellow shorot , the latter always wins for me.


Ron said...

Aha re. Pujor shomoy jaundice badhale ki kore? Tsk tsk. I was in Kolkata, though only for 3 days. Much fun. Shubho Bijoya. Get well soon.

km said...

How about you stay home for another three weeks and write ten more posts like this?

puloma said...

JAP- Shubho Bijoya. Sorry to hear you are sick. As always, of all the blogs I read, I love your style the best, even jaundiced.

progga said...

I've always wondered - when you have a jaundiced eye, does everything look yellow? Like a less attractive version of la vie en rose?

Partho said...

What's this nonsense I hear about a one-week rest? If you'd indeed been "hep"ped up, you need atleast three weeks. That's official.
Meantime, write more of them mellow 'uns.

S said...

get well soon, and shubho bijoya!

Phantasmagoria said...

KM gets you teared up and I get sarcasm. Go figure!

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Ron, Shubho Bijoya. Perhaps I'm enjoying the break too much to get well soon.

KM, you're getting me all teared up, bud.

Puloma, speechless.

Progga, more mellow than yellow, as Ph said. Must be all the fruit in autumn.

Partho, "mellow" may be a problem with all my added bile, but shall try to oblige.


J. Alfred Prufrock said...

S, compliments of the season to you as well.

Ph, sarcasm? Would I ever dare?


??! said...

The title, m'sieu, says it all
*Slaps head in amazement at stupidity*.

Also, now here's a mystery.

How did Ph's "KM gets you teared up" comment come before you actually posted the said comment? Is Ph now a precog as well?

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Kim, work it out. Hint - I can edit my replies.