2010/03/04

Idylls

For the last 15 days I have led a fairly domesticated life , going to office only for a couple of hours in the afternoon to avoid any glitches which have a nasty way of appearing whenever one is on leave . The mornings were spent on my third floor which has a pristine floor and my late mother's furniture scattered around - things that I am not permitted by her to cut up or give away . Some I would not - but one I would happily dissect and put to better use . Anyway the third floor has no doors and has windows running around three sides letting in light and air .

It also helps to put in a distance between us and the cacophony of the three maids going about their chores in the lower floor , interspersed with shrill calls from BRG who doesnt believe in the adage of letting sleeping dogs lie and is on a permanent watchout for Corners That Did Not Get Swept and sundry other issues which involve a lot of cross floor yelling , clarification and validation.

By the time we have finished our work ,the sun has shifted from the east leftwards and we have been disturbed by the light filtering through the sheer handloom curtains bought from Alcha ,a quaint treasure trove of textiles and craft in Santiniketan, has been alternately magenta , grass green, aqua blue ,turmeric yellow and a startling crimson , pooling on the white floor . We have also been distracted by the birds – bulbuls , doels ,mynahs , sparrows, the ubiquitous crows , shaaliks, munias and one baby eagle .

More on Alcha . It operates out of a bungalow in Santiniketan and stocks the most beautiful sheer curtains , bags , saris , kheshes , kanthas and pottery – all very reasonably priced . You cross through to the café on the other side down a crazy paved drive . There is a small lending library with a scatter of thrillers and some serious reading . The chocolates are not bad , the parathas are huge and they used to make nice bread pakoras at one time . If you are going to Santiniketan this has to be a must see/must buy on your agenda .

I have read like a maniac , having gone through a Ken Follet – Eye of the Needle , I was grabbed by this urge to read some more Follet so off I trotted to the South City Starmark and bought Jackdaws, World Without End and Code 10 . Having promptly finished them , I trotted off once more and bought 2 novels by Naguib Mahfouz – Thebes and Radubis . Read them through and balanced the last 2 with Candace Bushnell – Lipstick Jungle and One Fifth Avenue . Oh and Victoria and Abdul , The Old Patagonian Express and The Constant Gardner.

Which brings me to a book reading by Paul Theroux (who is a favourite) and my older daughter who in a burst of filial love woke up at an ungodly hour and sprinted halfway across the city to get my copy of The Great Indian Railway Bazaar signed by him . Incidentally she also asked him why he had been so cussed about India in the book . I am not sure what answer he gave her .

The flip side has been the amount of food I have eaten every afternoon at lunch . My cook who does not have the opportunity to feed me very often has been very creative - making karai daal and alu posto , dhokaar dalna, khichuri made with moog daal , cauliflower and green peas,pabda and chitol fish ,kadhi pakora . I have also baked samosas, chops, cakes and biscuits .

The break has helped to declutter my brain , take things easy and de stress . Of course I know that this is too good to last , but while it does - what the heck I'm enjoying it .


4 comments:

Hip Grandma said...

'My cook who does not have the opportunity to feed me very often has been very creative - making karai daal and alu posto , dhokaar dalna, khichuri made with moog daal , cauliflower and green peas,pabda and chitol fish ,kadhi pakora . I have also baked samosas, chops, cakes and biscuits .'

How about lending her to me? i am really tired of eating south Indian stuff cooked by myself and as per the taste of MDH.

Jokes apart it was really sweet of srin to get the book signed by its author. Hug her for me will you? I may next ask you to loan her to me. enjoy your break and let me know how your decluttered brain functios. I'll try doing it myself. (:-))!!

hillgrandmom said...

OOh, sounds like a beautiful break. Didn't you add a trip to the spa too?

dipali said...

Sounds truly idyllic! How about making this permanent?
Dhokaar dalna is something I've been longing to have- pliss invite me when the cook makes it again.
Your third floor sounds gorgeous- bolo, when shall I visit?
So sweet of Srin:)

eve's lungs said...

HHG - absolutely - I will loan her out to you. She makes good sambar too BTW. Alternatively you can hire me too if I make this permanent as Dips has been egging me on to. I'm not a bad cook either !Srin can be sweet when she wants to .
Sue - No sadly . But I did catch up on my reading!
Dips-We will have the next meeting in the chhater ghor . And I'll make the dhokaar dalna:).As I said she's sweet in small doses:))