Oh wow. Where to start? I have been everywhere this past couple of weeks and I don't know how to condense it all into one blog post. Therefore, bullet points of note!
> KAMSHET: Was beautiful. We took my car and I realised that I can in fact drive for four hours at a stretch without losing it. Tunnels still spook me out a little though. We were only there for 24 hours, celebrating one of JC's friend's birthday and there was lots of alcohol, a lake where you could swim (but I didn't, because it was kinda cold) and nice walks. I took loads of pictures (I'm really enjoying the new digicam) and on the way back, we stopped for chikki in Lonavala. Kamshet isn't far and I'd totally recommend it if you're looking for a weekend break. The road leading up to the cottage is fucked though, so that takes about an hour to navigate, factor that in.
> BRUNCH PARTY: Dudes, daytime parties are the way to go. I'm telling you. Okay, so mine was more like lunch than brunch, but still, it was so much fun. We had pot luck (I had just made a visit to Matunga, where I managed to source the puliodharai paste of my dreams, I'm happy to report my contribution was the first to finish.) Besides my stellar cooking, we also had pork chops, sausages, lots of alcohol, potatoes and pani puri. And, achievement of achievements, about 20 people showed up on a Sunday afternoon. Okay, so we wound up early, say sevenish and I felt a little post-party depression, like I always do. But it was nice and a good way to say farewell to JC and BB, both of whom were leaving the city.
> LONG DISTANCE: It sucks. And it's happening once more. JC is in the UK for another month or so and I'm all alone in the house. Which, okay, so far, hasn't been too bad. We're both slobs, so today I'm having the bedroom cleaned up of a massive pile of clothes and I'm doing loads of writing, plus I went to the Godrej Nature's Market place yesterday (on Hill Road) which is so brilliant, even if it is a little expensive and bought some fancy cheese and salami and cake mix and things like that. So you see, I'm keeping busy and according to my little countdown timer widget on my desktop, JC now returns in 57 days, 11 hours, 27 minutes and 46 seconds. I keep telling him about this countdown timer, he laughs nervously. But no pressure, sweetie! Take your time!
> CHANDIGARH: Was hectic, but major points for their nice Sarojini Nagar-esque market, where I bought two kurtas at this fabulous little stall (selling all sorts of export surplus kurtas, with labels like Next and Gap and so on) and two chunnis--one white with 'Lahori-work' and one blue with 'phulkari' work. I've become very into the chunni these days, just to toss over a dress or jeans and a t-shirt, they help when you want to travel in public transport in a less than public transport outfit, they're useful for preventing auto hair (which is dreadful) and in highly air conditioned places they make a pretty wrap. Plus, most of my outfits are black or a single shade, and it's nice to jazz them up. Ahem. Anyway. I also loved Chandigarh because they have these maps everywhere with You Are Here on them, and yes, I know it's a common map sign, I mean, I did call my book that, but it still felt very welcoming. I went to the Government Girl's College and Dikshant School and the English bookshop and met lots of young readers and talked about what it was like to be a writer for a living. I really like meeting younger readers, I mean in school or college, they let me slip into another persona, I feel more idealistic when I'm with them, unjaded, supercool, like the world is my oyster. I also really liked hearing what they had to say. With the school, the age group was 10 to 15 year olds, I made my talk very PG-13, didn't read from the book at all, instead I focussed on young adult reading and rules that I followed to write well. I think both the talks went well, the school gave me my very first 'momento', a large Buddha on a pedestal with my name on it! It has pride of place in my study now.
> DELHI: Where with Arti of Friends Of Books we did Kamla Nehru and IP College and I talked about blogging and how it can be used to hone your skills as a writer as well as being a good marketing tool. Again, the discussions were lively, the questions were thoughtful and I had a fabulous time. Also, I managed to squeeze some leisure time in and went to the Stiff Kittens Medicine Show variety act at the Mirage in the Surya. Unfortunately, it was a dry day in the Okhla region, otherwise the show was quite fun (look out for a review on the other blog soon) even if it did tend to get a tad draggy towards the end. Also met Small and Hobo and other people I love and talked till I was hoarse and Delhi was obliging enough to have lovely weather with the slightest nip in the air for the days that I was there, even if it did go back to being sunny later.
And now, back in Bombay, having my flat majorly spring cleaned. I bought some fish this morning, and TC got the scraps (he normally eats cat food, but I like him to get his proteins in fresh food as well) and so I have a supremely happy tabby cat, too full to even meow.
(grrr, Blogger Images is hideously slow today!)