in a new city today.

a busy city, a city meant for tourists, a city that feels like an overgrown town - old, broken houses, roads that aren't really roads, people herding cows through flyovers; it's a foggy afternoon and the river crawls through what used to be beautiful: bright, bright clothes, sarees of every colour all along one bank of the river. the other bank is dry, collecting garbage and forgotten.

we enter the taj mahal from the south gate. we weave through a small slum in the back to get there: women standing in line with plastic matkas of every colour by a handpump, children getting back home from school skipping stones in the small open drain by the side of the road.

i feel like an intruder, but our guide insists on the shortcut. it saves time, he says. it's a good view, he says.

it is.

of the white mausoleum in the fog, it's a good view. it's majestic, but the magic is lost on me. it's pretty, but the beauty is lost on me.

this city hasn't called to me. this city, i don't feel like it wants me. i don't know how to embrace it. it doesn't have a vibe. not one that i can feel, anyway.

it's a first. 


(i haven't written about barcelona or paris yet. i want to, but i don't want to. i don't know how. yet.)



for all the times i have felt better about my roots, for being aware of all the things i take for granted that most of my girl friends have to negotiate and bargain with their parents, for being given the opportunity to find out for myself what my boundaries are; 

for all these things and all these times, there are the occasional crushing opposites: the times when inevitably i am told by a well-meaning relative or an equally well-meaning total stranger what the "socially appropriate" thing for a woman is. when i have no choice but to give in, even when it's something i don't even give a shit about. 

and because it's the principle of the damn thing, here i am, offended, hurt, and blogging oh-so-cryptically about it.


fool on the hill and i feel fine.

When tomorrow comes:

I'll wake up early and make time for breakfast.
I'll work out lots and stick to my diet.
I'll do the kind of work that won't make me feel mediocre.
I'll snap less at people because I won't have the time.
I'll write stuff that will make me happy.
I'll learn how to bake the perfect croissant.

Until then, I'm going to sleep this hangover away and keep the sun out of my eyes as much as possible. 


A bout de souffle

I just bought a copy of the herald tribune in PARIS!!

More later.