Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday Inertia, Gluttony, Whodunits and Fernweh


Ma asks what I want for breakfast. ‘Something scrumptious’, flashes in my mind in bold, neon Spongebob yellow Comic Sans font. My 'usual' breakfast (since a month) has been brown bread, a runny herb omelette and frothy coffee. My weird body clock with its slipshod sleep rhythm and food cravings somehow deduces that it is Sunday, and demands some calorie-laden, scrumptious goodness. But I am averse to dishes that required elaborate planning or waiting time enough for my impatient stomach to digest itself. I want something oily, filling, and quick. And soon I sit down to eat pasta with oodles of sauce while watching the early morning joggers stretch their lithe bodies after a fat-burning run. Show-offs. 7am.

Summer. Sunshine. Sundays. Siestas. This quartet holds true for me. I am quick to blame the weather if I’m caught taking a nap. But I've loved these naps even before I first came upon the word ‘siesta’ in Gerald Durrell’s book ‘My Family and Other Animals’; and considering my intense devotion towards this word, I often entertain the thought of being a Corfu inhabitant in a past life. As I sit down to Sunday lunch, I look at the clock and smile contently as in half an hour I will be in bed with a book and try to fight sleep, all the while rooting for the enemy. Rejuvenated after an hour, with replenished vigour, I feel a surging love for everything the world has to offer. But it translates to nothing more than a stretch of my arms and sitting cross-legged on my bed. That burnt some calories, I hope. 2pm.

Books. Five lay on my bedside table. And this weekend I’m reading two of them, John Updike’s ‘My Father’s Tears& Other Stories’ and ‘Great Expectations’ (I had ignored Dickens and most of classic literature in my formative years). After I lost my childhood to comics and adolescence to cheap paperbacks about summer romances (J-17s), blood-thirsty butlers with eye patches (whodunit novels), husbands who don’t YET love their wives or ruthless tycoons tamed by nubile young things (Mills and Boons), I resolved to undo some of the damage and read only ‘good’ books even if it killed me. But to my pleasant surprise I love these 'good' (read respectable) books. The whodunit thrillers and heaving bosom romances with lamentable prose were a thing of the past, and I prided myself on this transition. On a whim I decide to check the ebook library on my phone today and the book cover of a distressed lady in a brown coat holding hands with a sinister man in handcuffs catches my eye. It is “The Lodger” by Mrs. Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes. Set in 1913 London and inspired by the killings of Jack the Ripper, it tells the story of an old couple (The Buntings) who take in a lodger, but Mrs.Bunting has strong suspicions that their new lodger is the man behind the frequent murders that had been occurring in the cover of the London fog. The novelty of a thriller written in 1913, the psychological complexity and a healthy curiosity that it induces is very engaging, even though I fear a relapse into my previous fascination for racy page turners. But then, who cares? 6pm.

Online. Twitter. Tumblr. Facebook. Google Reader. Just the thought of them exhausts me and after a laconic browse, I single out the content that interests me. I came upon a quirky cartography site, a book review site that also posts beautiful art when they feel like it, and the German word ‘Fernweh’ (which means longing for faraway places, the poetic certainty that things are better elsewhere. I love it. I have it.). 8pm.

I don't write in my journal today. This is it. My Sunday. In all its inertness, aloofness, and passivity of limbs. I'll go back to "The Lodger" now. 11pm.

And yes, I found this on Tumblr today. I can’t help smiling.


No comments: