Saturday, October 1, 2005

Straight from the Tap
The milk boy delivers fresh milk---still warm from the udder---every day at 4:30 p.m. for the sum of 7 rupees. We’ve bought a milk pail expressly for the purpose. He pours out a half-liter, then dips back into the bucket with his cup and tops it off with a well-practiced flourish, a graceful mobius swirl of the wrist. The boy does, however, walk into our living room sans knocking, which is quite unnerving. He doesn’t stand in the hallway, doorway or even inside the general front door area: the door will suddenly swing wide and he’ll troop right into the living room. Andrew boils the milk for 2 to 3 minutes; it usually ends up foamed for cappuccino although I’ve been known to pour a bowl for cereal.

We Regret the Passing …
Let me take a moment of silence, head down and on bended knee, for the passing of my position at Cosmodemonic Shoe Co, Inc. My job ended not with the usual ritual pomp and circumstance---the farewell lunch endured, smiles and handshakes apportioned to every cubicle, and the yoga-India monologue recited---but by a gradual and somewhat confused un-entanglement. I worked remotely from India for the last two weeks, responding to certain e-mails, disregarding others, and detaching a little more every day.

Mysore’s Subtle Tyranny
Be free from the idea that you must only read books about yoga! Liberate yourself from the creeping anxiety that your free time must consist of chanting, Sanskrit and Sutra classes! Read John Grisham, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum! Rent and watch films you would never dream of watching! “American Pie 3!” “40-Year-Old Virgin!” “Orgazmo!”

Casual Piracy
Video Tech is on Kalidasa Road, across from the petrol station. I have to duck my head to enter its open garage-door storefront. Hundreds of VCDs line the racks on the four walls, the DVDs are tucked in a three-foot-tall recessed alcove behind the front counter.

I’m sure I pay Westerner prices---30Rs per DVD!---so they let me sort through the good shit behind the counter. I squat and sit on a stool in confessional and the kid turns on an overhead bulb: “Wedding Crashers,” “Fantastic Four,” “War of the Worlds,” “Red Eye;” incongruously, Renoir’s “The Grand Illusion.”

There’s a 1-in-10 chance my laptop simply won’t read the DVD as existing, and many copies are filmed directly off the screen. We’ve been fortunate, though, as none of the copies we’ve rented have included filmgoers’ heads. “Wedding Crashers” did have an extra audience laugh-track.

I sorted through a basket of music CDs on the counter yesterday. I left with three, for the sum of 15Rs each per day. One CD contained 15 Pink Floyd albums, one contained 11 Metallica albums, and the last contained 13 of the latest pop albums (Backstreet Boys, Jennifer Lopez, Black Eyed Peas, The Scorpions, Richard Marx, and … Nelly?) Tara wanted the two Black Eyed Peas albums, although I swooped the Backstreet Boys album (“Never Gone”) for myself.

Courtesy of Video Tech, last Tuesday I downloaded onto my computer 21 episodes from the third season of “Seinfeld,” and on Sunday the entire first season of “Sex and the City.” Decadent? Maybe. Downright sybaritic? One could make the case ...