Friday, September 19, 2008

The Ghati in his Ghats

The ghati is in his ghats. In Panchgani after a long time. I am here for a national seminar on Postmodernism in Indian Fiction in Phaltan and I grabbed up this opportunity to catch up with Shirish and Nanda at Panchgani.
Panchgani is the land of five plateaus a ravishing tourist spot in Maharashtra and my association with this place is well over fifteen years since Nanda and Shirish joined Sanjeevan Vidyalaya as art teachers. There were times when I almost come here every year in my vacations. Now after my marriage this is the second time that I am here. I love this place for its silver oaks, schools, dense rain forests, its plateaus, valleys and mists. If you are a student here it is an entirely different world here and I would have loved to study here.
Arrived at Pune in the morning at around eight. I had boarded Indore Pune express after completing Amogh’s birthday bash yesterday. In a nostalgic mode, I asked myself how emotionally close I am to Maharashtra though I have not actually stayed here for a stretch of time. The earthiness and ordinariness of common people in Maharashtra is different from the counterpart world in Gujarat. Though I have always considered myself a ` Gujarati’ person speaking Marathi, I felt that it is Maharashtra which gives me that at home feeling. It is strange not to belong to either world.
Will leave for Phaltan, the land of Nimbalkars tomorrow morning for the conference and I am going to talk about `postmodernism’ in Indian fiction in English. My argument would be the postcolonial novel of Rushdies and Diasporas is not the true postmodern novel, because the postmodern spirit, as discussed by Lyotard is the true non-conformist avant-garde art which does not play it to the gallery. The Post colonial novel is novel which is to use Vilas Sarang’s phrase, ` prisoner of market place’ and prey to international fads. The themes of migrant experiences, diasporas, national allegories, colonial experience etc are done to death by the post colonial novel. I will talk about Suniti Namjoshi and Vilas Sarang as people who truly embody the postmodern spirit.
The previous blog entry was about reduction in medication and increase in physical exercise. But a week ago I went to consult pulmonologist regarding why I feel out of breath after climbing stairs. He did lung test and diagnosed `moderate to severe’ asthma and put me on a heavy dose of steroids and strict diet regime. The medication has unsettled me completely. My sleep hours have diminished but I feel more energetic and productive. But breathlessness shows no sign of improvement even today.
During the first week of medication, the doctor said that I would feel extra hungry and I would have cut down on sweets, fried, salty and spicy stuff. Ashwini put me on salad diet and after a week I shed almost seven to eight kilos of water! Now I am worried if I wont undo the loadshedding and become unmanageable....
I don’t know what lies in store for me in the future. Asthma has definitely returned to haunt my life in more serious ways after I moved to Baroda. And I am groping in the dark to latch on to something…… anything…

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