• Chai, Maska Bun, Cycle and Stories with Pocket Diary Book Club

    The riverfront stretches like a long road for a solitary man to walk upon, sit down and look behind him. The water didn’t stop flowing. It didn’t stop for even a second, looked at him and said, hi. No, it just kept going on without rush and it didn’t stop flowing.

    That man sat on a bicycle, and started riding on the road. He pedalled forward.

    He felt one with the river and an existence of his own separate from his blue brown companion, both flowing together, on a journey of moving to unknown places.

    After retreat, we were asked questions, “do we have an edition this Saturday?”

    We said, no. But we felt that there was something else we could give them.

    A community is a home where we read and learn together on most days but there are special days, to dance, to cycle in the rain and get in gadi to go have chai and maska bun at Irani Restaurant.

    This was one such day.

    But we did read Anxious People and It wasn’t a bomb.

    “… It was a box of Christmas lights that one of the neighbors had strung up on his balcony. He had actually been thinking of leaving them up over New Year’s Day, but then he had a row with his wife, because she thought “there are far too many lights, don’t you think? And why can’t we have ordinary white lights like everyone else? Do we have to have flashing lights, all different colors, so it looks like we’ve opened a brothel?”

    He had muttered back: “What sort of brothels have you been to, if they have flashing lights?” and then she had raised her eyebrows and suddenly demanded to know “what sort of brothels have you been to, seeing as you know exactly what they look like…?” and the row had ended with him going out onto the balcony and pulling the damn lights down.

    But he couldn’t be bothered to carry the box down to the storeroom in the basement, so he left them on the landing outside the door to their apartment. Then he and his wife went off to her parents’ to celebrate the New Year and argue about brothels …”

    Sandeep Ji read Italo Calvino’s Book of Sand about Writers Who Draw

    At 5 am, we were apprehensive, a shower of messages, “Is it on? Do we leave? Its raining heavily in my rain? Will the event be cancelled?”

    At 10 am, going home, we saw the time, we were there for 4 hours and nobody realised.

    If it hadn’t rained, we probably wouldn’t have experienced Irani’s chai/coffee and maska bun with Kya makhhan hai! waah! waah!

    At times, we readers can keep our books in the car, forget all about them and ride away with new people on new paths.

    Date – 17.09.2023

    “If one wanted to depict the whole thing graphically, every episode, with its climax, would require a three-dimensional, or, rather, no model: every experience is unrepeatable. What makes lovemaking and reading resemble each other most is that within both of them times and spaces open, different from measurable time and space.”

    ― Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler