Firstly, this is not just a corny title, it is a self-conscious, referential, corny title.
Secondly, OMG, I’m leaving, like, tomorrow.
So this is a post to tell you that Blotting paper will be temporarily on hold. I’m thinking two weeks, but it might be more.
Someone (you know who you are, and hi!) asked me if I was planning to change blog locations because of my moving to the States. The question baffled me at the time, but it made more sense after she explained and after I thought about it a bit. A place — a new country — can mean a new or different person, with new or different interests, ways of writing and seeing things. Not that any such changes will happen instantly, but that something is bound to happen.
That said, I’m not planning to move from this URL. It’s a lovely, comfy place Phill has given me, and he also tells me that you can now type www.blottingpaper.toothsoup.com and reach this space (i.e. both URLs work).
The content of this blog will likely change and not change — much the way it has been changing and not changing these past couple of years. I can’t say for sure what it’s going to be like, but I imagine
- there will be fewer posts about events in Bangalore; I expect to still get email invites, and if there’s something absolutely wonderful happening, I will definitely advertise it.
- there will probably be some writing about my experience with the MFA workshops and other classes, and my totally awesome classmates.
- there will definitely be a post on the process of applying to an MFA program, as emails indicate I should do that.
- I will keep writing about the books and movies I’ve been reading/watching, though I expect I’ll be reading a lot more American poetry.
- I will be writing very serious anthropological essays about American society — Look how they walk! They talk! They eat!
Dear Americans, I can’t wait to meet you. Be nice to me.
This was to be a much longer post, but I have very little time. I still have to finish packing. Also: buying gift paper and wrapping the presents I got for my parents, my brother, and my cousin and his wife, to whom I’m very close. And shopping for little, little things.
These past couple of weeks have been insane. I’ve been shopping as if I had an only child and it was getting married. (Yes, it.) I have been buying presents left, right and centre (that’s an Indianism, isn’t it?) — mostly books for people I love. I have been meeting these people for lunch and coffee and booze and whatnot, for one last time. There have been hilarious instances in which I have said, ‘Bye! I’m going to miss you! I’m not going to see you for so so long!’ and then I see them the next day and do it all over again. I’m happy I got to meet a couple of friends who are so hard to get to: one who got married and now has this completely different life in which she has a driver all to herself and wears saris and makeup and I have to keep reminding her that people used to think we were twins; the other is a med student and well, you know how that is. One good thing about moving to another country is that the friends I couldn’t manage to meet/call can’t come after me and kill me. Well, most of them can’t.
On Sunday, we had a family thing at our house. Two of my cousins are also leaving for the States for postgraduate studies. One is leaving a week after me to go to NYC and the other is leaving two weeks later to go to LA. So it was a combined farewell lunch, which was hilariously fun. We ended up talking about all the crazy things we did as kids (not mentionable on this blog) and the three of us making insane plans to go to Mardi Gras and Mexico and Salt Lake City, for some absurd reason. Then came the Machado singalong.
If you’ve lived in Bangalore a while and have an interest in the music culture here, you will most probably have heard of the Singing Machados, especially Gerard Machado, who plays jazz. The Singing Machados are my second cousins; they’re quite a bit older and I don’t meet them much at all, but we’re related. The music gene is in our family, or in most of it. Most of my cousins sing and/or play an instrument. (I don’t, I suck.) Ever since we were little, Machado family gatherings have ended in a singing session, which includes bunches of old, mostly corny songs, and a few Konkani bailas. Hardly anyone speaks Konkani in my family, but song lyrics have their way of being remembered. The singing session hasn’t happened for a while, mostly because we (the cousins) have grown up and aren’t so easily corned into playing the guitar or piano for the adults. But I’m glad it happened this time. It was hilarious and fun, and somewhat embarrassing.
Oh, and I got presents. One of my favourites, and the only book (because I’ve been telling people not to get me books) is a rather lovely thing: