Monthly Archives: January 2018

Sunset Club

Khushwant Singh

This was the first time I actually read a Khushwant Singh book. It was the blurb that got me. The idea of three octogenarians in Delhi discussing everything from the weather to sex to politics was intriguing. Not because of the topics themselves, but because I have wondered about the lives of old people, the daily rituals they hold dear, and their perspectives of a changing world. Khushwant Singh was 95 when he wrote this (!) and therefore this would be very close to the real thing. I wasn’t mistaken because I would be very surprised if the character of Boota Singh wasn’t at least semi autobiographical.

Pandit Preetam Sharma and Nawab Barkatullah Baig make up the remainder of the trio, called The Sunset Club, who meet at Lodhi gardens on the Boorha Binch. The book captures a year in the life of these gentlemen, with occasional rear view looks into their past. Through their discussions, the reader gets a sense of the pluralism and the contradictions that make up India. It finds a parallel in their own lives, which are themselves a showcase of many contradictions.  More

“Let them know you’re thinking about them”

You’re familiar with that – it’s one of Facebook’s birthday reminders. Until some time back, I used to religiously wish folks on their birthday. But I have stopped that, it felt like cheating. To me, this sort of wishing reduced the significance of the event and the wish, and almost brought it to the level of an already degraded currency on the network – the ubiquitous ‘Like’. I know, this can be argued quite a bit. At a very simplistic level, wishing someone on the birthday could be like a little shot of dopamine for them, and easy for you to provide too.

But I have at least two perspectives against this. Call it over-analysis if you will. The first is where I draw a parallel with travel. In the case of places, increased access and convenience tend to bring in people with motives different from an earlier set. From travelers to tourists. Right or wrong is subjective so let’s just say that the character of the places, and their residents change. Arguably, the first set of folks had a deeper bond with the place and more of an interest in its well being. And so too, with the wishes on Facebook. My birthday is off Facebook and I know that those who wish me now really have me in their thoughts.  More

612 East

Being in the vicinity of two favourites – The Fatty Bao and Bombay Brasserie – meant that 612 East, even weeks after it had opened, got a bit of a stepmotherly treatment from us whenever we visited Indiranagar. But one evening, we resolved to go. Since we planned to reach around 6 and leave before 8, we didn’t bother to reserve. Quite a mistake, especially if you want to sit in the terrace section. We were offered a regular table which we would have to vacate by 8, but chose to sit on stools closer to the edge, with our backs to the giant screen – for the view and the lovely evening breeze! This was easily the best part of the experience. In the cab, we had been discussing how in a few months, it would be 15 years since we first got off the bus from Kerala. The setting was perfect for rumination. :)

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