Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Birthday of Loss

During our telephonic conversation today, A suddenly pointed out to me that when we were children, our grandmothers would give us fifty-one or a hundred-and-one rupees on every birthday, and as we would shyly take the money in our fingers, we would think how immense the sum was. But today fifty or hundred rupees is too little to even get us a decent pizza, let alone a proper lunch. He said how the cost of living had risen, and I pointed out how the value of money had lowered -- money being a microcosm for our entire value system. As I reluctantly turn twenty-four today, I mourn the loss of simplicity, innocence, values, the purity of love, and the uncomplicatedness of life. I don't want to sound lofty, but every day I regret the part of me that dissolves into the past, to be replaced by a more mature self that worries about bills, about keeping warm food on the table, about how the next book will arrive on the doorstep, and who will look after the elderly relative. Sometimes I wish I was young again, lying in green meadows with reckless abandon, and looking up at the blue sky with patches of white clouds -- luxuries which even as a lonely child growing up in the suburbs of North Bengal, I didn't have. Thanks to Anne, my imagination quite made up for it. Just as it is working overtime at this very instant, conjuring up images of scrumptious cakes and delightful wines in an imaginary homeland far away, that will remain ever elusive, and hence always starkly craved for.
After all, what is life, but a series of intermittently painful Sehnsucht?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reading List: August

1. My Mother's Lover -- Urs Widmer
2. My Father's Book -- Urs Widmer
3. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter -- Simone de Beauvoir
4. Quilt (Stories) -- Ismat Chughtai
5. Tess of the d'Urbervilles -- Thomas Hardy

I could have read much more this month, but frustration due to my current living conditions, colleagues who boss around by saying "He was borned on the end of September", and the discovery of the pleasures of the universe through travels with Doctor Who has slackened my reading. I do not regret the last reason, though. The others, however, drive me to the verge of homicide.