Monday, November 10


Today I plucked a rose. I put it in my hair. Then after-tea, a change of mood swelled. The curtain were blowing with dusty wind. I shut the windows. I like the breeze but dislike the dust more.
I took out the rose.
Then my husband returned from work with his friend, Mummy came out of her room, the TV was making boring faces.
So I retreated to the kitchen. Stirring steel vessels of maid-cooked curry. Moving glasses with loud tinkles. Clanking spoons. Sounding busy. It is also alone-time for me, this kitchen.
I hunted for the rose. I wanted it back in my hair. But it was lost.

Wednesday, November 5


So much dust everywhere. Dust on the salt containers, dust on the kitchen shelves, dust on the iron window-grills, dust on mud, mud on dust...

Especially when sunlight falls, shifting its shrewd eye from angle to angle, dust gets revealed.
Frankly I don't care. But I pretend to wipe dust when people are around. Because it justifies my lingering in the house the whole day, and it does not tire me. Every few minutes, I spring up, dust, then get some water, then when it becomes too boring, I enter the kitchen, look between the leaves of the paan plant and think thoughts...

Monday, November 3


I was grinding pepper corn into a thousand flakes. The smell of tumeric and cumin stuffed the air and I opened the window. An outside-pigeon moved out indignantly like a posh lady pushed to the corner.

My husband had been telling me how his parents=my parents, what is the difference, so when you do to my home it should be just like going to your home.

So I said I hate my parents and I do not enjoy going home to my house. And if we both have homes elsewhere- are we 2 strangers living-in? And if we are living-in, we may as well not since it is not fun at all.

This was in the morning, before I squeezed the clothes to dry and hung them on a wire at the back of the courtyard (the maid took off). It rained cloth-water which is unvirtuous since it means I have not been diligent in the water-squeezing. But Manju was not looking so it was safe.

The peppercorns are now flakes. The pigeon is gone. The sun has sketched lines on the floor. I will go to sleep now- it is afternoon. The clothes must have dried, crisp and almost edible.

Saturday, November 1

The Cow Ate the Tulsi Plant

The tulsi plant in the courtyard has been eaten. I always tell the guard to keep a stick for the street-cows. First, we used to heap the vegetable greens outside for the wandering cows. Green stems of cauliflower, fine stems of coriander, the last slice of bread.But now they have learned to walk into the wide stony corridors of our house. On the way, they chew on the court-yard plants and the garden fruit (no pumpkin is whole).One by one in the evening, they sail in like slow boats. I have asked the guard-bhaiya to wave his stick at the cows. And he always says, bahuji- gaiyamata ko kaise mare, aap-ahee bataiye?So now the cow has eaten the tulsi plant. It is Holi v. Holi. I could share this problem with Manju (my husband's younger brother's wife) who is staying with us for a week. But if I take one side she will take another and emerge more righteous. Then I will have to remind her how I wake up a few minutes earlier than her and boil the milk. I will have to point out the parrot I embroidered on the net-cloth. This is so predictable. So I just give her a vessel of pea-pods to shell. This keeps her busy and every time I catch her popping a pea into her mouth, she loses more moral points.