1. Why do I have no faith in the system? After I fought with the Bloomsbury aunty I was sure I would not get a replacement for my faulty copy of 'Burnt Shadows' by Kamila Shamsie. On Saturday, after a week drought of post, my brand new proper copy arrived along with 5 other awaited parcels of internet shopping. Am waiting to finish 'Fugitive Histories' by Githa Hariharan which is my current midnight feast before I get stuck back into the wonderfully compelling Burnt Shadows. So many books so little time.
2. Actually that isn't strictly true. I finished Zoe Heller's 'The Believers' in one night, a birthday gift from a friend. And then 'The Inheritors' by Neel Chowdhury in three nights. I would recommend both and have every intention of getting everything else Heller has written. She has a wonderfully descriptive way of writing, setting the scene as if the reader is a fly on the wall, urging the protagonists forward, cheering the underdog, debating every side of the story. Eminently readable. 'The Inheritors' was interesting in that it was about the high flying business and social worlds of Calcutta marwaris, a quantity unknown. But it had its shortcomings in the simplicity and neatly tied ending, which made it predictible after a point. Good not great. I find myself speedily going through my very diminished book pile at great speed. Cannot wait for my replenishment run.
3. Talking of replenishment runs, I am off to India for 7 weeks in mid-Oct. I intend to make use of all pampering facilities and extended jaunts to buy books for who knows when I shall have the chance again. My bags aren't packed but the collection of stuff to be carried is now living in piles on the bed of our guest room. To look at it one would think we were moving permanently, not just going for a bit. As for whether this mountain shall mould itself into our Samsonites with ease is a question that no one can reliably guess. We are taking bets as to how much excess baggage we shall have to shell out for and how much stuff we shall have to discard at the airport.
4. In India I am doing the bharat darshan version of things, introducing my son and relatives & friends to each other in Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai and Delhi. Varying days in each city but none so short or rushed that we shall feel harried or cheated. Numerous flights which shall be erased from memory no doubt by the wonderful hospitality of family in each port. For the first time ever V and I will vacation together in India, having 2 whole weeks in which we do not scatter around the country like headless chickens. Our speciality so far has been 8 day trips (3 in 2 years on average) where we travel the long legs together and then scatter, only to re-group 7 days later having given pieces of ourselves to various cities. Not so this time when we will spend the 2 weeks entirely together before I continue on to the last two cities for varying lengths of time with bubba in tow.
5. Sadly this trip will necessitate big changes to how much we manage to do in each place. No more scurrying around cities trying to see/ eat/ buy everything in sight. I figure that since I cannot/ do not want to go to the mountain, the mountain shall just have to come to me. So family and friends shall have to come see us and thanks to all that economical labour food too shall be delivered and/ or carted home when leaving home in the cold winter evenings with tiny person in tow no longer becomes an option. I look forward to staying indoors, warm and comfortable, with dvd's to watch, hot indian food to imbibe and gurgles to respond to. Shall I blog while I vacate mes amis? Or will I be revoltingly boring droning on about my wonderful vacation and should spare your sensibilities for when I am back to the hard edge of life in London? The honest vote is now open.