Things have been busy around here.
Things being busy is of course, not a situation that one is unfamiliar with around these parts. When one decides to leave a comfortable employment that is bringing in the good stuff by the handfuls and and jump into a Ph.D. programme that pays less than a job at a McDonald's outlet, one does not have any doubts about busyness of things. But there are days that are busy, and then there are days when one does not find time to listen to Mahishasurmardini or write a post on P.G. Wodehouse's 131st birth anniversary. One would go so far as to say that he was being flattened by workload, but since such a statement would be deemed untrue in view of the bulge around one's midsection, one refrains from saying so.
The reader, however, should not jump to hasty conclusions. The writing of a 90-page thesis may have temporarily impaired one's ability to write in first person and active voice, but that thesis is only partially responsible for the recent scarcity of blog posts. A Ph.D. student tends to procrastinate, and the presence of a sackful of thick Wodehouse novels in the house doesn't actually add hours to a day that is already deficient in that aspect. Then there have been other distractions - photography, painting, pumpkin-carving,
gambling conference in Las Vegas, movies, and last, but not the least, research.
But, as one said before, one must not miss birthdays. It's not every day that one turns 31, is it? Oh, one is not talking about P.G. Wodehouse anymore - he stopped growing older quite some time ago. The individual in question is one whom this author is in the habit of referring to by means of the perpendicular pronoun. Exactly 31 years ago from
one two days before today, the city that is often known as The City of Joy truly became worthy of that name.
The birthday is now over, and the surprise cake that the friends brought to the lab is now finished. Gifts have exchanged hands. Envelopes have been opened and the greeting cards within them viewed. Now is the time for homesickness. New York has some excellent qualities as the late P.G.W. has so often mentioned, but come October and she cannot hold a candle to the other city mentioned in the latter half of the previous paragraph. And then, if one is in the suburbs during Durga Puja, one has an experience that would be difficult for any other place in the world to match. One longs to be back in that small suburban town one calls home. Just for the next ten days.
Especially since the colony Puja is celebrating its 25th year with unprecedented fanfare this year. The goddess is already in place in a pandel decorated with scenes from the epics depicted entirely with old newspapers and magazines. There are lights and loudspeakers and
drum dhaak beats and unimaginable chaos and pandemonium in the narrow crowded roads.
Oh only if one could leave this orderly, silent place and be part of that chaos and crowd and noise now!
Just for the next ten days.