July End Notes….

Well it’s August finally and I am glad that the end of the year is finally here. As most of my old readers are aware, I always have an affinity for the Autumn – Winter part of the year than the Spring – Summer months! Onwards, I say!

July was a much more productive month than most. The month infact saw two whole weeks of being chemo side effect free and I was able to get a lot more reading and writing done as well as socializing as always!

The reading this month was very good after some of the dry spells, the previous months. White Spines was an amazing read that only bookworms can appreciate; the joy of collecting and finding small treasures within the pages, especially if they are bought second hand. Greenwood made me think a lot, about the environment and you can read my thoughts here. Tomb of Sand blew me away; 3 weeks after having finished the book, I am still processing it to be able to write a full length review. Animal Farm is always a thought provoking book to read, as relevant today as when it was originally published. All in all a great reading month; I have a few reading in progress that is spilling over in August; Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, On Writing by Margaret Atwood and Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn. I am also excited about doing an in depth reading of Persuasions and Mansfield Park as part of Austen in August , hosted by Adam Burgess.

There was a lot of eating and merry making this month as well long walks in the evenings and here are some glimpses of all the fun that was had!

July finally saw the onset of the monsoons in this part of the world. I wrote a post about it on my Insta page, and I cannot help but duplicate some of that here, considering how vital this season is to the Indian sub continent. Monsoon brings many things to people of the Indian subcontinent besides of course relief from unceasing heat, that storms down from the heaven and rises from the earth, suffocating all living things in-between! It has many socio economic benefits – it is one the primary source of fresh water. It has a major impact on the crop cycle which in turn has a major impacts on the economy of an agricultural intensive country like India. And naturally Indian culture is replete with songs, poems and prose about this natural gift. Raag Malhar is a collections of Raags that is supposed to induce rains. Meghdoot, meaning the cloud messenger is the play of plays written by Kalidas in 5th century AD where a banished nature spirit asks a cloud to take his message to his wife. Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore has written profusely about rains and monsoons in this region. Bollywood has films after films that showcased the importance of these rains in the life of an Indian farmer, besides of several rain song numbers. Every home in the region has a special menu associated with Monsoons, fried fritters, tea and many local delicacies. Monsoons are not simply a season in the subcontinent, it is an emotion, it is an expression and it is integral to the identity of this region and her people.

I spent most of July listening to Jazz and more Jazz . I love the old Jazz classics and rediscovered my love for Glenn Miller and have been playing his albums in loop these past few weeks.

July then was truly a wonderous month, but I am so glad its August. I leave you with a poem for August called August by Mary Oliver –

When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.

How was your July? Do you have any special plans for August?

9 thoughts on “July End Notes….

  1. I love this description ‘Monsoons are not simply a season in the subcontinent, it is an emotion’. What’s your special monsoon menu?
    I’m also very keen to read Tomb of Sand and your response to it only makes me keener!
    I haven’t started my Austen book yet, I suspect it will run into Sept. C’est la vie.

    1. Thank You! It is an emotion; Indian art, music even folktales are filled with monsoon scenes. Before I fell sick I used to love these vegetable fritters that were dipped in a mixture of chickpea flour, water and spices and then deep fried and served hot with Tea and Chutneys. Past one year, my body cannot take anything fried, so my new favorite is a what is called Kichadi – its rice and lentils and seasonal vegetables cooked together with clarified butter and spices and served with indian pickles. Yum! Tomb of Sand is very unique Brona. I have not read something quite like it. I finished Persuasions and I want to attempt a literary essay instead of the BAU review so the write up will take time. And without finishing that, I am not attempting another Austen; my ideas will get muddled. So yeah, I may be giving you company in August with an extended version of the event! lol

  2. So happy to hear July was such a good month! Glad the monsoons arrived too. Hopefully they have chased away all the heat. Enjoy you August Austen reading!

    1. Thank You! Yes, the heat is much more bearable though the humidity is through the roof, but I am fortunate to be mostly indoors with air conditioning.

  3. Good to hear you had a little respite from the chemo side effects – any positives are welcome I imagine.
    I started reading White Spines but didn’t get very far; it seems a very niche book. Does it become more interesting than just a series of anecdotes about him visiting book shops??

    1. Thank You! Apologies for the late reply! Life kind of got interesting. White Spines is a niche book but it does get into publishing anecdotes and some of challenges faced by writers etc. I really liked it because of that reason.

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