Day Zero of Solitary Writing Camp

I am excited about the air hostess with small eyes made slanting almonds with loads of eyeliner, and her strong voice that teases everyone, promising not sex, oh, that would be too obvious but maybe longer conversations, giggles and shared secrets and the pretty East Coast Road which I see between bouts of dozing off and the pink damp walls of India Coffee House with its picture of Dr. Ambedkar framed in flashing light bulbs and Pandit Nehru with his more sober plastic flower garland and vadai sambar for 20 rupees with a garnish of chopped onion in the round market of a cantonment area which could have been Khadakwasla, or Delhi but is Kalpakkam

india coffee house

and arriving at a new place in the dark  and being welcomed with orange bedspreads and a huge sit-out and eating alone on a dark terrace some more delicious food, the 5th full meal of the day which includes pineapple and cream and watching 1 episode of Gilmore Girls Season 1 and 45 minutes of ‘Hawas’, knowing that Bindu and Neetu Singh can stave off any loneliness one might feel in the densest of forests, though this is not a forest, only lots of  trees around a house in Chinna Kottakuppam and a very long muddy winding path away from the town.


Day One of Solitary Writer’s Camp

3.47 am. I wake up in panic. Everything is dark, quiet. I cannot get out of this place unless someone drives me. I cannot possibly stay here. I cannot breathe. I stand out in the verandah. A bird is crying loudly. I begin to breathe again. I sleep. When I wake up again, it’s food, ‘The Lost Girl’ by DH Lawrence, more food, a 15 minute walk down a muddy path until I pretend the dark when it comes will scare me, when it is only that I don’t want to walk anymore, and at night, 3 episodes of Gilmore Girls Season 1 and 30 minutes more of ‘Hawas’. Yes, I did work on a few pages of the script.

Chinna Kottakuppam

Day Two of Solitary Writer’s Camp

10.23 am. It’s raining. Everything is beautiful. I walk for 25 minutes in the sun after lunch and 20 minutes after dinner and believe that takes care of all the amazing food and deserts I have been consuming with no count of calories. I watch Gilmore Girls until early next morning. Yes, I did write a few more pages.

Day Three of Solitary Writer’s Camp

It’s gloomy, cold. Then sunny. Then dark. I do bouts of dozing all day. Watch 8 episodes of Gilmore Girls. Eat a lot. Don’t walk at all. Stay in bed most of the time. I think the script is bollocks.

Day Four of Script Writer’s Solitary Camp

I am lost. I get myself another writing table. But I don’t want to write. Dhanno says ‘You went away to escape the noise, but do you know, you make the most noise, you are the noise. It’s very quiet without you at home.’ I am very quiet when I am not at home. The good thing is I began ‘Whose Body’ by Dorothy L Sayers. It’s such a small book, I have to ration my dose of Lord Peter Wimsey.

whose body