Monday, February 26, 2007

By virtue of being too screwed this week to actually write anything decent; and having photo archives clogged up since sometime early in winter pretending to be autumn. From Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Friday, February 16, 2007

stranger to the snow

The first time. Seven years ago.
The four of us. Two days up from the heat of Delhi in May.
Cutting steps in a wall of ice with a khukri to cross over to the Valley of Flowers.
A day later, climbing up a steep path through high banks of snow, breath freezing in the air, we reach a lake reflecting seven mountains, pilgrims stripping down to jump into its deep blue unfrozen waters, surrounded by snow at thirteen thousand feet.

Do things stop being magical just because they really happened? On our way down from the mountains, a sadhu gave us a matchbox full of weed, unasked for. We were young then, so young. Strangers to the exotica of love and snow.


The first real snowfall this year, snow that stayed on the ground, was on Valentine's Day.
Apt. The snow fell like love once used to be.
Long awaited but unexpected. Confused, the night before, about whether it was hail or sleet or snow.
But come morning a city soft and pure and white, and highly dysfunctional. Wheels going round and round but no traction anywhere. Lie back and make angels with your flailing limbs. All colours shine brighter against the snow.

It doesn't last. Churned by the wheels and the footsteps of the city, dirtied by its grime and exhaust and oil, the snow turns cement grey. Everyday. It piles up on the sidewalk like miniature mountain ranges. In the night, even colder, the mountain ranges ice over, the fluffiness of the fallen snow solidifying, like cement again. Kick it at the risk of hurting your big toe. But if you walk on those cement mountains they will bear your weight. Water will bear the weight of a man, and his water-proof boots, and the few pints he's drunk, and all the songs he remembers from a land without snow.

The landscape of love turned mundane, the mountains on the sidewalk, feels like it will last forever.

Sun and salt and shovel, it will all melt away.

- You make it sound so horrible, says my friend, pensive at the unseasonableness of love and snow.

But when we stood at a high window today, as the sun shone in a bright blue sky snow melted; and the window was a slow constant waterfall that we stood behind, and the rooftops of the city were white below us.

- Love is meant to flow, not to be frozen.
- I'm waiting for the spring.

I am no more a stranger to the snow. But in this city where snow turns to cement, love now feels strange.

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 12, 2007

only in new york...

... could someone get away with writing this -

... In Olmsted's day Brooklyn was called the City of Churches, and today you need only to walk through its streets or rumble through its heart on the subway to know it has an old and deep soul, deeper at least than any other place in this world that I've ever been.
- Fred Goodman, The Secret City

I like Brooklyn, but this is ridiculous. Where else in the world have you been Mr. Goodman - not as a tourist, that is? Manhattan?

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 10, 2007


... this world should be overcome, this world in all its deep loves, in all its terrors, in all its countless ways of going wrong.
- St. Augustine

No, it shouldn't. Not when a quiet night with the cohort turns into a night of dancing at the Catty Shack. Not when Kishori Amonkar sings Aaj jaane ki zid na karo in the bathroom, not when the skies are so blue, not when the mind explodes with ideas, not when Stefano Bollani plays the innards of his piano. This world should not be overcome, but reveled in. Deep loves, terrors and all...

The manhole covers will be back soon.
Rukavat ke liye khed hai.
Listed on BlogShares