All the determinations didn’t do it, the chastising didn’t work, the puzzlement of why I didn’t want to record the me of now for the me of future to be friends with (yes, that line from Joan Didion has wormed its way in (and omg!  I just put an apostrophe in its to check the correct spelling, it’s got to be senility!!) rather splendidly) didn’t help.  What’s brought me back are two beautiful authors.  I found them serendipitously, if you can call working my way through online libraries for almost a year now that, but for sure, not one author so far has made me want to pull up the blog and record for future self the discovery.

Discovery #1 is Sonali Dev.  I had just finished yet another lousy book (honestly, are there two Linda Howards out there?  One writes about these smart, strong women and the other just makes me gag).  It was past midnight and why I was looking for another book at that time beats me, but I clicked on the Bollywood Bride to see the cover page.  It had Susan Elizabeth Phillips rec on the cover calling SD a fresh new voice.  And so I said, ah I’ll just read a couple of chapters and fall asleep.  I was up until 3:30 am.  The writing was just gorgeous.  It was not the Indian context, it was the emotion.  Ria and Vikram are going to be in my head for a while.  They completely took over my brain that day, I couldn’t wait to get back to the book and kept sneaking time during the day to do so.  And for me, the story is just one part, the way the story is told – I remember catching myself at some of the beautiful prose.  Not highbrow, just so touching.  Nothing that’s wormed its way in (see above), but just woven together so softly that you remember the whole and the warmth, not the parts.  My library has only one other Sonali Dev ebook.  I have to pace myself to make sure I don’t binge read and destroy it.  Did I love the book utterly?  Um, no.  There were a couple of plot holes, there was so much sadness before true love does its thing.  But I am so eagerly looking forward to my next SD novel.

I thought I wouldn’t want to read another book after BB, but the back cover of the book listed a couple of NYT authors, so I went ahead to check them out and this was my second find – Kristan Higgins.  I’m falling asleep, will continue tomorrow



Had a lovely time listening to Shankar Vedantam while doing the dishes.  He has such an interesting voice, I think I’d hate it if he were my professor.  But in these stories, it really works well and is gentle on the ears.  The first episode was Is he Muslim?  My takeaway from it was the absurd power media has in creating implicit bias.  Has that always been the case, though?  Iirc, one of the main reasons Mahatma Gandhi was involved with so many newspapers was to be able to reach a vast majority of people to spread ideas.  When you understand the power these guys have, it seems silly to spend it on reality shows.

I then went into Steven Dubner and Freakonomics.  SD seems to have the same voice inflections as SV!


I was having a good willpower day, on most fronts except hoopla, over the past week. My weight’s seeing 145 after months.  I don’t feel bloated and actually a bit energized.  And that willpower wilted in the face of cheesy pasta.  Feeling the bloat.  Will get back on the wagon tmrw.

BFU made a movie about Indians coming to NC.  The best bits were the coming to America stories, they were moving and powerful.  The rest was a hodgepodge.  I was limited in my praise.  She tells me scores of people come to her after each showing, hold her hands, have tears in their eyes and thank her for making this movie.   She says they get the heart in the movie and are not nitpicking.  Have to remind myself I don’t need to know if I’m wrong or the others.  If they like it or BFU is only seeing compliments, then more power to them.  This doesn’t have to be binary except for my ego.



I started the blog post yesterday, must have left it untouched.  I went to see Babaji today, even knowing how much he has declined, I was not able to stop my tears when I saw him.  He was sleeping in his chair when we walked in, and woke up a few minutes later.  He appeared startled to see so many faces and kept going around each face in a cycle.  One girl was holding his right hand.  Ratna told me later this was to prevent him from thrashing around and hitting himself.  He was twining his feet together and others ahead of me were massaging his feet, trying to keep them apart.  I took over from the previous person, the first time I had the privilege of touching his feet.


What James Clear doesn’t talk about is sustainability.  I said this was the kind of person I am, set a minimum threshold, and followed through for what, a week?  And then cycle down.  Discouraged.  And the Naladiyar is boring 😦


Went to a Kathak solo this evening with DD.  Folks from the previous era came over to say hi and do the you’ve grown so much thing with DD.  One asked – are you in college? Where?  UC B?  I rue the next words that came out of my mouth.  Ha, the other end.  Why Bhagavan?!

The kid who did the solo was amazing, her fingers were mesmerizing.  I was so worried er ghungroo were coming off.  She was losing energy in the 108 chakkars, but pulled it off, her teacher exhorting her to not stop.  And there’s something about these efforts that brings tears to my eyes.  Solo kid was accompanied by kid on a flute, so incredibly clear and gorgeous.  Flute kid has older sister too.  Older sis is now in Stanford, has a summer job and so was not present.  When people’s kids go to these “name” universities, their voice drops, a minor hesitation.  They hurry through the name hoping the rest of us won’t hear it.  Is this in my head or really real?  Dadaji would have been so proud.   Flute kid’s mom, I’ve met twice since I went back.  She just glows.  Solo kid’s parents drove her to YC class from Sac every Sunday.  That proves it, they were both given the child raising handbook.  Oh well :/


It’s going to be almost 100 days of #45.  I was listening to Patrisse Cullors on Politically Reactive.  She said Palestinians call Israel 48 as a form of protest and similarly, she’s going to use 45 to refer to Twitler.  I couldn’t find anything in Google to corroborate the 48 story, but going with 45 as it feels slightly less gaggy.

I don’t laugh anymore when watching Colbert or Maher or even John Oliver.  It’s more a pained grimace.  And Maher – I’m disagreeing more with him that I ever did before.