What, a whole week went by without posting? Sheesh, I must have been in the daze of the Bengaluru bug-induced fever to notice things! Suddenly it's Sunday, the end of October and it's like I am waking up from a stupor.
Yes, last weekend we chugged off to Bengaluru to visit a few long-standing friends. Bengaluru - the site of my first and to-date last full-time job back at the beginning of this century! Wow, weekends spent roaming MG Road and environs, eating kachori chat at Maheswari Chaat behind Commercial Street, collecting precious books from the street vendors... good old times.
Understandably, MG Road was one of our intended destinations this time around. Brigades looked quite the same in the cool dusk - busy as usual, but as we emerged into MG Road, I couldn't even concentrate on the shops and stalls by the wayside. The Metro Rail overpass kind of engrossed my attention in all its huge, ugly and unfinished bulk. Walking alongside made me feel as though I were being stalked by a resurrected Godzilla. The promenade on the otherside has been completely gobbled up by the Godzilla, I think.
But there were compensations - Gangaram's is alive and thriving - all three floors of it. The wheezy lift that gets stuck at the first floor, the black and white mosaic floors and fluorescent lighting, the lovely floor of stationery that set me drooling as always, are all there. I quite forgave the Godzilla while I happily browsed inside. And Higginbothams is still ok too! After a recent experience I had in one of Thiruvananthapuram's erstwhile grand book shops, this was a huge relief to me. There I was in Tvm, paying a long-due visit to this particular book shop which I had frequented during my college days. There was someone at the entrance of the shop who I took to be the security staff. As I went inside, he too came in and discreetly stood behind the counter. It was then I noticed the absolutely deserted shop. As I was still browsing some 5 minutes later, the staff switched on the air-conditioner. This explained why he had been sitting outside the shop earlier. Now I was in trouble - I couldn't go out empty handed after having made the man switch on the airconditioner, but I could not find any title that was of interest to me. All that looked good, I already had and the others were mostly "safe" bestsellers and text books that did not hold any interest for me. Finally I combed the non-fiction section till I found a title and fled with it. It was so dismal because I remember it as a cheery, busy place with at least 2 or 3 staff members who tailed college students to make sure nobody filched anything while the others were busy at the counter ringing up purchases. I was quite depressed the rest of the day.
We got back from Bengaluru on Monday and since then I've been absolutely lethargic although the trip was not physically strenuous at all. Perhaps the Godzilla-given fright did it for me. For four days now, I've been having bouts of low-grade fever that start sometime in the evening and make me miserable, but not sick. Now if it was an all-out flu, I would've gladly crept under a blanket and stayed there for a week. But this one leaves me feeling fit and healthy in the morning, makes me do all the work, only niggling my back if I keep on my feet for a while. And then it comes, when all my work is done and takes all the enjoyment out of my rest with a full-body ache and burning behind the eyes! I mean how can I enjoy Gerald Durrell's "My Family and Other Animals" when I have to keep from laughing for fear of starting a bout of coughing that will tear out my lungs? It would also have been helpful to make me look sick - but naah - I have to wave the thermometer in people's faces to prove it. Sheesh!
So NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. I have my beginning chapter started in anticipation! The goal is at least 2000 words per day. I hope I can turn off the internal editor/critic enough to complete the goal each day! Wish me luck!