14 May, 2021

New York Diary

The dread is general, abroad in the city; I can see it in the thousand-yard stares of people roaming the streets: the Pussy Grabber has won. And Leonard Cohen is dead.

New York Diary
Midway Bijlis

It’s been one of those weeks in which the solace of psycho-babble acquires real meaning: when was the last time you were truly happy? That’s easy. Sunday afternoon. I had just escaped the India Idea’s Conclave, and gone, on the recommendation of Deepti Kapoor, to Patnem beach. My flight to New York was not till later that night. I had a few hours to myself in a shack called Home. The beers were not cold—the bijli had gone—but Xavier brought them frequently. I had a wonderful Hungarian novel called The Door by Magda Szabo. I gazed out at the glitter of the sea through white muslin curtains. The hysteria of the Hindu Right—trolls, Vedic experts and pseudo-historians—was behind me; and the hysteria of the American Right was yet to break. It was a shoal in time peopled, as I imagine the afterlife to be, by Israelis and Russians.

The glow of that day followed me across continents. A...

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