So no, I did not exercise today. Or sketch or write in my new lokta bark diary.

I just read ‘Something Like an Autobiography‘ and felt like I wanted to climb mountains. But no, I didn’t. I’ve had enough mountain climbing for the year. And let me tell you before anyone else does, I am not a climber, I am a dawdler. I was happier when we stopped to have a cup of black tea, or when someone passed us by and gave me a chance to trill out the long ‘Namastaaay’ of Nepal, and exchange a word or two and take a hundred breaths or so.

I’ll write all about that long trek to Annapurna Base Camp someday. Someday maybe when the trek doesn’t seem so long. Doesn’t make me feel so old. And my feet stop hurting. And my ego stops hurting. I made it, yes, but it took me a while, and it was torture.

So all those photographs of me in Nepal are going into the trash. My face swelled up for some reason, I became a pumpkin face instead of a potato face, my ankles, my knees, my calves, all my joints swelled up. Some nights I had breathlessness and panic attacks. My eyes watered, my nose watered. No, I was not happy.

I missed seeing old films, silly films. Our home seemed vast after after all the tiny rooms in mountain guesthouses.

I came back determined to exercise more diligently. But no, I did not exercise today. Or sketch. Or write. I just watched ‘Paigham‘. Where mill workers fought the evil mill owner for a long, long time before he saw sense. Dilip Kumar was absolutely fantastic in one scene where he is making Vjyantimala jealous by recounting an incident when he was close to another girl in his village. Vjyantimala plays off him superbly too, doing the hesitant, nervously jealous act of the new girlfriend rather well. The mothers in the film all hobbled around and fainted or dropped dead at every possible moment of crisis.

Well, I did a fair amount of hobbling on the trek, and for a couple of days I even had to push myself forward by sort of swiveling one hip and then another, but I didn’t faint or drop dead, and I got back, and all I can say is ‘Hurrah to will power’. Or some such thing. Because actually there was nothing else to do, but get back. Or get lifted by a helicopter and blow up 6 months of living expenses.

For some reason while crossing a snow patch gingerly, I had a craving  to watch ‘8 & 1/2’ again.

And Kurosawa makes me want to quit everything and get back to films, filmmaking and more films.