That's our regular Blogdost ( and my good friend!) Aparna Velankar. She is the erudite person who opened up the Marathi world for me when she translated my first book ( she has translated three so far, and is working on the fourth). As a very successful author and journalist (Lokmat Group), Aparna enjoys a wide readership, not just in India but overseas as well. Here we are at the BMM dinner. I can't resist telling you about Aparna's Paithani tunics, which were so smart and attractive, she was constantly stopped by delegates wanting to know the source! I got it out of her, but am not telling!
I love Shravan with all its rituals. I feel chaste and 'pure', observing strict monday fasts and eating shudh vegetarian for a month. It makes me feel terribly virtuous! But more than that, I enjoy the discipline. This monday, I went to the historic Babulnath Temple at Chowpatty for the evening aarti. I was delighted to see how well organised the whole thing was, with young volunteers to keep the surging crowds moving along briskly in orderly lines. It was just the sight of the pumped up security at the temple premises that disheartened me. Well... this is the real state of the world today. Who knows which crazed person is lurking in the shadows armed with explosives? Babulnath has been a favourite haunt since my college days. It continues to retain its old magic, particularly the darkened lair where sadhus with matted hair play the dumru vigourously and the air is thick with 'that' smoke ( one can get high just by hanging around and breathing!). Post-aarti, appropriately uplifted in spirits, I took my children for a Faraal Feast ( it's a Shravan special), to my all time favourite vegetarian restaurant - Soam. 10,000 calories later, we rolled home, happily satiated - no, 'trupt'! Like I said - I love Shravan. Even if it makes me gain, not lose kilos , while I fast!