Monday, July 29, 2013

The reasons why

The 25th of this month was a momentous day for me.

I walked up to Mukteshwar and back in record time- just a little over two hours, including a stop for chai. I bought enough maize to satisfy all my bhutta cravings. Shona behaved herself. On the uphill climb, I did not need to make either one of my scheduled rest stops.

But all this paled in comparison to the fact that I was making it  up to the Post Office on that particular day. You see, despite relying almost entirely on technology, my workplace is old-fashioned when it comes to finances- digital signatures are looked on with suspicion. Every month, I am given three days notice to post my invoices and bills. I never make the deadline.

My long-suffering boss then calls up, and we engage in a conversation worthy of a comedy.
'why haven't I received the tracking number?'
'because I haven't sent it.'
'why haven't you sent it?'
'Because the PO didn't give it to me'
'Why didn't the PO give it to you?'
'Because I didn't go there'
'Why didn't you go there?'
and here my answers end. 'Tomorrow' I reply
'But why' he asks
'TOM-orrow' I say

It's not that I don't have a reason. I usually have a very good reason- and a different one each month. The trouble is,  these are not very acceptable by Accounts. Here are a sampling:
  • Its winter and the path is slippery with ice. You can not pay me to risk a broken knee.
  • Its summer and I get a migraine walking in the sun.
  • Its the monsoon and there are leeches on the path.
  • Mian is not here, and I spent all morning chatting with him.
  • Mian is here and I've better things to do than trudge 3km uphill.
  • Mukteshwar has a chicken shop, Bhowali has pork. I felt like the latter, but missed the bus. 
  • I wanted to go to Bhowali, and woke in time for the bus, but Shona refused to erm 'do her business' and I could not leave her alone.
  • It's..well..it's that time of the month, and my back feels like it's made of fragile glass. 
  • It's that time of the month and even if I could teleport myself there, I wouldn't, because I am damned if I make anyone an iota happier when I am grouchy. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Not a quiet life

Most of my friends think that I lead the peaceful, almost meditative, kind of life here.

They could not be more wrong. Life at home is full of high drama- with nearly equal parts of comedy and tragedy.

Don't believe me? Watch.

video

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Honorary Pahari

It has always been a sore point with me that I am still considered an outsider in the area. When people ask me if I feel accepted, I always reply 'well..it's been two years and I haven't been invited to a wedding yet'. And its true.
But now I think there might be other indicators of acceptance.
I was returning home from the railway station with a young friend who's visiting. K had taken me there in his taxi and was bringing us back.
'Are you planning to show her around' he asked.
'yes!' I replied. 'We will walk up to Mukteshwar by the trekking route and walk down by the road'
'That's about 10-12 kms' he said.
He paused and looked at the fit and radiantly healthy young one and at my blobby greying self. I braced myself for the fitness lecture that was sure to follow
'That's far' he began 'We are used to such things. Do you think she'll be able to do it?'

'We'. Acceptance is sweet.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Where have I been?

I wonder that myself. Actually, it seems sometimes that I am living in the equivalent of a writer's retreat, where I have nothing to do but churn out the stuff. The truth is that I AM churning out the stuff, but it's all work related. Once I am done with that, I am tired of the keyboard.

And yet, I cannot bring myself to declare 'finis' or even a pause for this blog. It has too much of me in it. On the other hand, it's dishonest of me to keep it up and post once a month- and even that is when my sis calls up and tells me the date of the last post.

What to do, I wonder. For now atleast, I will fall back on the usual- Shona photos!
  
A sleepy, very sleepy bhaloo
 

Slightly more wide awake- Shona's friends came visiting. From L to R, Devrani, Pascha, Shona