Never on a Friday.
Me and Z silently judged C as she made ‘notes’ on Nadeem Aslam’s talk at the launch of his latest book recently. However, now that I am referring to my notes of the day, and judging by my propensity to make to-do lists any given moment of the day, I take my judgments back. Aslam is your average Faisalabadi who migrated to England during the late 70s, and lived the life of the Pakistani Diaspora in general; mamu went to Dewsbury; he himself went to an Urdu medium school in England until university, and learnt English through the limited experiences he had with real goras, while growing up. Speaking with a slight twang in his almost uncomfortable semi-British accent – of which the aspirations after the t were evidence - his manner of conversation left me quite blown away. This is why I wish I had written down some of the things he had said that night.
At the risk of sounding like a moron trying to be profound, I will jump to the bits that I can actually rephrase. So he talked about how he had over a 150 journals in which he had written things he had seen, heard, observed, tasted, felt (you get my drift) to be used later when he wrote - as metaphors, adjectives or in his descriptions. Although I am known to do things similar (flashback: plane ride to London last January when I took notes on a barf bag), I smugly nodded in agreement, thinking of all the times and places I had done this, but most of all when I was in motion: in the car, plane, bus, train etc. Thus, I can safely say my inspiration always comes in moving vehicles. And since I am secretly the travel writer, any form of travel counts; any place, any time counts.
Now before I start bordering on inconsequential, I learnt today that you can get a case of Stella for 6K, and if Munir is selling it to you at 8K, he’s a rip off. Also, Ali (not my brother) is a chay. Also, you can google map yourself and your friends on your Black Berry. Hotel bathrooms smell like lemons, only sickly sweet. Also, bright orange sugar particles are usually fish roe. And while all this extremely pertinent information is whirling in my head, simultaneously, in a parallel universe, I am visualizing my own bizarre versions of music videos to songs I sometimes sing in the bathroom. Nora Jones’s “the light changes when you’re in the room” makes me think of a man (preferably class 5 art teacher, sir Irfan, who I accidently called abbu, twice) sitting with a panel of switches and randomly punching the switches from red to blue to green for effect. Perhaps this is because he sort of did so this when we made a haunted house for the school carnival. Also, because I am the worst person to identify lyrics of a song, or better yet remember any of the words, the sentence which is so oft repeated in most songs “were running out of time” ALWAYS reminds me of a swirl of pink and red (like the time warp in the Austen Powers movies) with two people literally running ‘out’ of time.
This has to be the most random piece I have written in my entire lifetime, so I might as well add, I washed a bunch of dishes today with the underbelly of a lizard stuck to the kitchen window, parallel to my face. Also, I made perfect chai for my family, although it was with teabags.