Buoy the population of the soul
Toward their destination before they drown
~ Robert Pinsky
October 2020
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Small Is Beautiful

This article (in a very cool digital media magazine called FLYP) makes me want to go get plans for a Tumbleweed house, and to start building one ASAP.

But wait, this is not a big or a new thing for me at all compared to folks in the above article for having a base station in New York limits my living space to < 500-700 sq. ft anyway. So much so that I have crashed in hotel rooms where in the bathroom was twice as large as the various matchboxes I have called home with my magic mountain of paper.

Since "small" living actually is very intuitive to post-Midnight's (aka post-colonial) Children like me who grew up without too much stuff (not having enough books was the only downside), it was quite amusing to note the curiosity that was to be had on the internets when Tata (of "OK Tata Bye Bye" automotive fame) recently unveiled plans for "Nano" housing (with ~ 300 sq ft floor plans) for the masses in suburban Bombay with a starting price tag of ~$10,000 (or ~Rs. 5 lakhs - still a lot of money for folks at the bottom of the wealth pyramid)

My Daily Notes

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Seven Things I Love

I started making this list on my Blackberry soon after I had read my friend lucas green's list over at his wonderful new blog "Porous Borders" (now used for secret snacking in the pits of Kapitalism), and then Elizabeth went ahead and tagged me with this meme, so I couldn't put off post this any longer...

I love re-reading Nazim Hikmet's "Things I Didn't Know I Loved" once every few months - a brilliant list poem hath never been made than this one

I love how vistas curve away from sight when one is traveling by train - in Italy last year this time, a trip between La Speiza and Vernazza, the blue Mediterranean appearing and disappearing as the cliff hugging train snaked through tunnels - like watching water elide into water on a windowpane on a rainy day

I love Bach's Cello Suites - all of them, the stark punch-in-the-gut simplicity of them - Bach's Herr Jesu must exist in some form or fashion for these suites exist

I love revisiting old letters (and post late 90s, emails) written by younger selves - sleeves of time that now smell like the paws of a faithful dog - useful to “feast on your life"

I love inscriptions, notes, lists, and sometimes even poems one finds in used books - the scat of things said in place of something that always remains unsayable

I love light in autumn, the way distances open again after a long summer. And I love to "wander along the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing"

I love reading interconnected novels set in the fictional towns - R.K. Narayan's Malgudi and Wendell Berry's Port William being two notable examples – a nomadic existence’s desire for fixity I suppose

My Daily Notes

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Things He Carries

"“Are you carrying anything that could be dangerous to the other passengers?”At this Shahid clapped a hand to his chest and cried: “Only my heart.” ~ Amitav Ghosh in "The Ghat of the Only World”: Agha Shahid Ali in Brooklyn"

After nearly two years spent living in a cube 5x5 ft , he is migrating to a bigger cube. And this means a hallway lined with cardboard boxes - with grocery store labels "Huggies Natural Fit", "Keebler Cookie Crunch" etc drowning out his inscriptions - containing nearly all his movable (& extremely heavy) wealth, i.e., books.

There is melancholy in the empty room - dusty shelves standing empty. And a question as to whether the arc of his journey from that arrival with two suitcases, revolving round and round on a baggage carousel in a airport (even they had books - two each of fiction and poetry) to this departure (or displacement?) eight years later, with its five hundred or so books in twenty odd boxes, makes any sense?

He once wanted to read all these books (and hopefully write better as a result) but he hasn't made the effort to do so as yet. Why not? And so this question now burns on its fuse inside, and will continue to do so before inertia and time do their work. Outside a fine rain falls, autumn is at hand again. And these are the things he carries as he lifts and places in the boxes the last of his books.

My Daily Notes

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