Last Night In Delhi?

You know, this is supposed to be a vacation. Yet it is almost 2:AM here in Delhi and I am up: finishing a short story that is due to the editor last week; charting out a lecture on TB that I’ve suddenly agreed to give in late March; charting out another lecture on research methods I’ve agreed to give in early March; editing a document for work; charting out a film script I’m supposed to have written by the end of this month; and fretting over a hundred books I told myself I was going to start writing in India.

No wonder I’ve got high blood pressure!

Thank you, Manu, for pointing out that my electric sitar is indeed tres cool. I play it every night and it gives me great joy to do so. Sadly, I must leave it in Delhi as I visit other parts of the country, but we shall be reunited when I return for my book reading…

…Which will be on Tuesday Feb 28th from 11AM to 1pm at the literature class of Professor Harish Narang at Jawarlahal Nehru University. I’m not sure if it’s open to the non-university community. But if it is, and any of you are in town, do come by! It will surely be entertaining to see me try to keep my pornographic personality in check in this most conservative of venues.

Today I sat mesmerized for hours by Indian TV. Again, I stress the diktat of youth; it permeates everything in media. The music videos are outrageously sexy and sensual, with the hardest bodies of the most beautiful people I have ever seen. I am told that this evolution is a very recent one, perhaps 3-4 years old. Almost overnight, sexual youth overtook traditional, conservative agedness.

But the stereotype of Delhi is not dead. While I am less assaulted by both touts and pollution than I was 10 yeard ago (maybe I look less naive and am more robust? Nah), there is nonetheless a presence of fatuous bazaars and blinding poverty –though the latter less so, as the government has reportedly been emptying the slums and forcing people to go…where?