The Rime and the Mariner (VI)

Mi amiga

I kinda want this to be the penultimate mail in this series. You ask why? Ah-kay, we’re going to talk about this in this letter anyway.

We have talked a little bit about the historical roots of Indian culture, a bit about our languages, and a little about ancient Indian literature, and their relations to spirituality. I have been wanting to talk about a few schools of Indian philosophy, but I haven’t been able to sublimate it on paper. And my time is running out. This letter will have to do it.

Continue reading

The Rime and the Mariner (III)

Hello, sleepyhead. It is 14:30 here at my place, so I know it for a fact that you are definitely asleep now.

Let me begin on the subject of getting people things.

As I said, I grew up among monks, or sādhus as we call them in India (the feminine for sādhu is sādhvī.) One very big lesson I learnt from them is how to take. You see, these monks have no personal belongings. Yes, they do belong to a monastic order, and that order has property and everything, – but in principle, they are still hermits. And they used to talk to us about the quality of non-attachment.

Continue reading

The Rime and the Mariner (II)

I’ve been thinking about what I should write in this second letter to you.

I will have to make a choice between two things, I guess. Or perhaps I will end up talking about both.

I’ve been going back to our first exchange, and what I keep thinking is, – when I made you that promise that I’d help you know India, that — that was a very crucial moment. That was a moment of commitment. I made that commitment – said those words myself, and now I have to do exactly that.

Continue reading

Lockdown Papers: The Rime and the Mariner (Promentory)

The radio said there would be a storm. After all the long, hot days, I thought, I could use a storm.

There wasn’t much to do at home. In the kitchen, the potatoes were sprouting. One would think they were dead balls of vegetable, brown and waiting to be pieced and eaten. You leave them alone for long enough, they send out shoots and try to grow back into plants.

I was going down the west corridor when I saw that there was a curious picture on the wall.

Continue reading

Gia Nostal

Doordarshan has opened a fresh can of #thosewerethedays nostalgia as it has started to broadcast Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan and Baldev Raj Chopra’s Mahabharat on the screen. It is bringing back many yellowed afternoons for millions of middle-aged parents all over the country. They are having their kids sit in front of the TV and taste their bygone childhood with them. It’s a new thing, indeed, for generations brought up on DC and Marvel mythologies.

Continue reading