Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The week that went by

I must confess, I have been rather laid back during the last few days. Close to uninspired. Not-enough-motivated to key in a few hundred letters on my keyboard. I must have perhaps caught a longish nap. Then suddenly I had a quick dream. Eyes! They appeared to tell me something. Before I could gather the meaning of those arcane signs, my dream was already a faint flicker. It was gone, as quickly as it had appeared on my horizon. Frankly, I don’t dream too often these days but whenever I do, it is almost always brief, fragmented, in cut-glass types. Concise. Leaving me gasping for more. Every single time.

Very few people understand us in our lifetimes. A select few. Earlier I used to reckon, in my most naïve thoughts, that people really understand the silent gasps beneath our laughter and endless chatter. That is -- however -- not always the case! I understand people tend to mistake you, miscomprehend you, misread you, unless you express. They may know you but they often don’t understand you. There actually is a great difference between knowing and understanding something, as Kettering sees it: You can know a lot about somebody and not really understand him. Or even try to. Often enough the real pain is breaking of the shell that encloses understanding.

Philosophical meanderings apart, I attended a superb lecture by the very acclaimed writer and one of my favs William Dalrymple at India International. The author delivered a talk on the Indian mutiny as a prologue to his latest book, The Last Mughal. Dalrymple is a maverick. A sheer delight to read. In The Last Mughal he has written an account of the Indian mutiny such as we have never had before, of the events leading up to it and of its aftermath, seen through the prism of the last emperor's life. He has vividly described the street life of the Mughal capital in the days before the catastrophe happened. In his one-hour talk, I stood transfixed, like many others. Simply Brilliant. This guy puts his finger deftly on every crucial point in the story -- which earlier historians have missed – and intersperses it with his characteristic wit. At the end of his lecture, the mixed gathering -- comprising of Delhi’s Who’s who -- authors, historians, writers, scholars, diplomats and journalists gave Willy a standing ovation. I kept standing for the entire hour. The auditorium was jam-packed!

I also went for a dinner over the weekend. It was sizzling Italian. I love their cuisine. Antipasti followed by pasta. I don’t know Italian but I guess antipasti means before pasta. Excellent food based typically on the Italian gastronomic specialties. I think it consisted of a variety of ingredients -- aubergines (stuffed, baked, grilled), green peppers, tomatoes, vegetables in oil and mussels. The food was yummy. My friend – I forgot to add -- was as ever delectable.

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. Outside we always fight for other things.

Sameer

9 comments:

Gauri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi said...

Back with a bang. We missed you sameer. Another superb piece.

Keep posting but don't make us wait so long. Your posts are addictive.

Gauri

Anonymous said...

true, almost addictive

Ronit K, Mumbai said...

Sameer,

It is not about the quality of your articles, it is the efforlessness, as I will like to call it with which you do it. Stringing together your thoughts, book reads and dining out: Now that is amazing.

Ronit, 29, Mumbai

Nigel Shaw, Salt Lake city, US said...

I can almost identify with those thoughts of yours. You are right to point out that not many people understand us in this life. I have hardly read about India but I chanced across your blog and stood TRANSFIXED like you did in Dalrymple's book reading event.
Here you are thousands of miles away but you write as if you writing for me.

I googled India and have been reading about your great country. Have bookmarked you.

Way to go.

Nigel, 46

Garmond, Charlotte, NC said...

Have been reading you for a long time. I think you write exceptionally well. You must be a very very beautiful person.

Garmond, 33

Anjali said...

Another gem from our gem-boy

anjali

TR Sarhat said...

I can predict that you have all the makings of a great writer.
This is beautiful prose. Almost poetic.

TR Sarhat
Hyderabad

hussam said...

I sw ur profile on Orkut and was led to your blog. I was like: WOW.

You too good.

Hussam

KUL, Delhi said...

I like your writeups when you are funny
Like them when you sound poetic
like them when you write in anguish
Like them as they are
Because you are always a notch ahead of others

KUL -- tomgirl_23