I saw Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits a couple of days ago, and, watching it, I realised I had already seen parts of it around 10-11 years ago. The giant with the ship on his head, and the invisible barrier to the Fortress of Darkness (or whatever it’s called) – it all seemed familiar because I’d already seen it, and the images had been distinctive enough to stay in my mind.

The other such experience I had (that I can remember) was fairly different in the details. Again, around 8-9 years ago, I heard half of this song (I don’t remember if I heard it on the radio or on a player) only once, and the refrain stayed in my mind literally for years, exactly as it was, and I would ocassionally play it in my head to see if it reminded me of any artist I knew. Then, around three years ago, as I was reading Bob Dylan reviews to decide if he was my kind of artist, I saw this song called ‘Shelter from the Storm’. And I went, wait a second ... And guess what, it was that exact song, and the refrain (‘Come in, she said, I’ll give you/Shelter from the storm ...’) is as memorable today as it was then.

It is rather wonderful to find such snippets, unconsciously filed away, only to re-emerge when one least expects it. And of course, it is gratifying to realise that, even all those years ago, one had better taste than one gives oneself credit for.


Speaking of snippets of memory, something else. I have a very bad memory, and so I was trying to rack my brains for my happiest memory yet. To my surprise, I found it.

When I was little, we had these two huge army trunks on our terrace. One of them was filled with crap that should’ve been disposed off years ago (and which was disposed off when we sold the trunks), and the other was half-way filled with utensils, and half-way with my books – everything from old and new comic-books to pulp horror and sci-fi stuff. And every summer, I would remove all the utensils from this trunk, line up (or garishly pile up, depending on the day of the week) all the books at the sides, plunk myself in the middle of the trunk with a bottle of water and some fruit, and read. It was fun.


It has started raining now, a week or so ago, and after a bout of the dull and depressing kind of rain, which makes one want to stand at windows and sigh deeply, it is turning into the proper rainy season (which is a phrase I like much better than ‘monsoon’).

Whenever there is a thunder crash, I feel an urgent need to giggle, because each time there is one – that loud, deep growl – I expect a particular four-note electric bass riff followed by an Elvis-parody voice saying, ‘Look yonder!!’ (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, forget it.)

I also like those storm clouds gathering on the horizon, because every time I get out of the house they make me feel like an extra in the Lord of the Rings movies.

But I am also a tad miffed at the rainy season, because soon I will have to stop wearing kurtas, because my windcheater doesn’t cover one. But one must not forget that there will be lots of rainy evenings, so lots of opportunities for hot chai and bhaji (which is basically pakora, but not quite).

But all things considered, I can’t wait till it’s winter. I started an essay last winter, but the winter ended quite unexpectedly, and I’d really like to complete that essay.