Swallows, Frangipani Boy, Chick Lit

1. My attention is constantly wavering. A couple of barn swallows ( who I am assuming are here for the winter) are gliding up and down with the air currents, their wings spread out in one instant and then close to their body for a dive.

2. My son collects flowers when we take him for a walk. He asks me to help him put a frangipani flower behind his ear. He smiles as I do that and shows off to his Baba. This means that the ‘Blue is for boys, and pink is for girls and so are flowers’ age has not started for him.

3. Spent the weekend reading Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan. And it is a hilarious romantic comedy set in the 80s, in Delhi. I will be buying other books by AC, now.


Exchanging small talk with people we’ve just met may be an unfortunate necessity, but with people we already know, it seems to suggest that they’re people to whom we have nothing to say. And yet if small talk is just talk that’s idle, insignificant and without stated purpose, then surely a substantial portion of the chatter that goes on between couples, friends and (or especially) families must count as small. Banality, however, need not always be insignificant. There’s nothing earth-shattering, usually, about missing the bus, what you ate for lunch or the new dress you just bought, but these are just the mundane tidbits that make up so much of the talk between intimates. In fact, such conversations about trivialities can arguably happen only with those close to us—only the members of our inner circle do we presume to burden with the minutiae of our lives.

Taken from: Small Talk by Dora Zhang, via The Point

via Bobulate by the inimitable Liz Danzico

Again! by Emily Gravett

Again! by Emily Gravett.

But before I write more about this book, I’d like to tell you more about our ‘Storytime @ Home’.

At the end of the day, when we trudge wearily towards the bed, the little one jumps up and down on the mattress with a book. Once his father has done his share of storytelling he’s put to bed with a kiss and the attention shifts to me. After the telling of one story, comes a request for another, ‘Punha!’ (which in Marathi means Again!) or ‘Ajun ek’ (which means ‘One more!’). And in between nodding off and waking up to find him staring expectantly for another story, he’s past his bedtime. 

Now substitute Cedric the Dragon for my son and Cedric’s Mum for me. And that is the story of Again!

Book Wishlist

1. Alexander McCall Smith

  • The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency
    • The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
    • Tears of the Giraffe
    • Morality for Beautiful Girls
    • The Kalahari Typing School for Men
    • The Full Cupboard of Life
    • In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
    • Blue Shoes and Happiness
    • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
    • The Miracle at Speedy Motors
    • Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
    • The Double Comfort Safari Club
    • The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party
    • The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
  • The 44 Scotland Street Series
    • 44 Scotland Street
    • Espresso Tales
    • Love Over Scotland
    • The World According to Bertie
    • The Unbearable Lightness of Scones
    • The Importance of Being Seven
    • Bertie Plays The Blues
    • Sunshine on Scotland Street
  • The Sunday Philosophy Club Series
    • The Sunday Philosophy Club
    • Friends, Lovers, Chocolate
    • The Right Attitude to Rain
    • The Careful Use of Compliments
    • The Comfort of Saturdays
    • The Lost Art of Gratitude
    • The Charming Quirks of Others
    • The Forgotten Affairs of Youth
    • The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds
  • The Corduroy Mansion Series
    • Corduroy Mansions
    • The Dog Who Came In From The Cold
    • A Conspiracy of Friends
  • Other:
    • The 2½ Pillars of Wisdom
    • Unusual Uses for Olive Oil
    • Mma Ramotswe’s Cookbook
    • La’s Orchestra Saves the World
    • Precious and the Puggies
    • Trains and Lovers
    • Precious and the Monkeys

Alain de Botton on books and reading

“Heartache may be bad for the soul, but it’s great for bookshops. It’s when we are at our lowest romantic ebb that we are likely to do the bulk of our life’s reading. Adolescents who can’t get a date are in a uniquely privileged position: they will have the perfect chance to get grounding in world literature. There is perhaps an important connection between love and reading, there is perhaps a comparable pleasure offered by both.

A feeling of connection may be at the root of it. There are books that speak to us, no less eloquently—but more reliably—than our lovers. They prevent the morose suspicion that we do not fully belong to the human species, that we lie beyond comprehension. Our embarrassments, our sulks, our feelings of guilt, these phenomena may be conveyed on a page in a way that affords us with a sense self-recognition. The author has located words to depict a situation we thought ourselves alone in feeling, and for a few moments, we are like two lovers on an early dinner date thrilled to discover how much they share (and unable to touch much of the seafood linguine in front of them, so busy are they fathoming the eyes opposite), we may place the book down for a second and stare at its spine with a wry smile, as if to say, “How lucky I ran into you.”
― Alain de Botton