The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

Menu Close

Tag: musings (page 1 of 2)

Come Say Hi

“Why didn’t you come say Hi?”

Umm, it is a little tough to explain.

It is pretty likely that I was really happy to see you, as in literally “see” you. And I sincerely wish that your life is great, and everything is well at your end.

(I wonder, though… that if that weren’t the case, and if you were weathering challenges, would you tell me?)

And so, if we were to run into each other someplace, I suppose we would exchange pleasantries about the weather, mutual friends, children, school updates, etc. All important and significant details, I know. And I am good at this stuff, I really am. I learned early enough to converse, talk to strangers and acquaintances, make people comfortable. Someone once described me as being “delightful in most social situations.” But these aren’t my favorite kind of conversations. They feel rather onerous to me. I feel the burden of being “socially delightful.” It isn’t that I don’t care about you or your life; I genuinely do. But I don’t know if I am really interested in exchanging mundane details about our mutual lives.

Is any detail mundane, though? Not to the individual in question, no. I find the mundaneness in my life rather beautiful. It is comforting, grounding. But I am not necessarily excited about sharing it with others.

Does that make sense?

Also, I have come to think that I (or we?) am an outsider to everyone else’s life but my own. Friendly outsider, perhaps? So I can lend a ear, a shoulder… but can I do much else?

Maybe that is the point of these general encounters. To listen without judgment. To be a friendly witness, a silent and warm presence.

What I’d love to know is what you think about life. I would love to know about your imaginings, fears and victories. I’d like to know how you fell, and what made you rise.

But these conversations are organic, and best left unplanned.

Besides, not everyone is necessarily up for that conversation. So we continue to subsist on superficial talk. And it keeps things chugging along nicely.


Because I have many posts roaming in my head, not a single coherent one, PLUS I wish to write.


I completed reading The Price of Salt, a romantic novel by Patricia Highsmith, last weekend. Also finished Shopgirl, a novella by Steve Martin. Yes, the lovable comedian and banjo player, the same guy. I loved both books so much. The Price of Salt is the tale of Terese and Carol, two women who fall in love, and of course, it is not an easy road to traverse, given that they lived in New York in the 1950s (I think). Shopgirl tells the story of a shy girl Mirabelle who ends up with two suitors.

I guess each person draws what appeals to them the strongest from a given book. Shopgirl is written with such sensitivity and loving detail… I was touched. It just might be one of the best books I have read in a long time. The Price of Salt reminded me a little of Brokeback Mountain, a book that kinda broke my heart with its description of a love so simple yet profound.

Love can be hugely overwhelming and explosive and time-consuming and emotion-consuming and hunger-consuming. Sometimes it does not even mellow with time and age, instead smoldering like a hot piece of coal that refuses to die out. I am finding it difficult to imagine a love that rapturous… Hmmm. My love story is a little flame that burned brightly, supported by good vibes and wishes and humor. It had no fury or drama to it. Probably I braved drama in an earlier lifetime, so I was spared it this time around.

I got thinking last night – what if love is simply a deep attraction? Is that obvious? Attraction isn’t baseless, which means that if/when the basis dies/disappears/changes, love may very well fly out of the window too. Unless you find another basis, possibly?

Ahh, well. Nothing is a given in this manifest universe, except Death. There you go… Not meaning to sound morbid at all, but you get my drift. Or so I hope.

March of the Moment

The ferocity with which the mind grasps at the past is amazing. Years have rolled by, people have moved, lives have been transformed permanently… and yet it only takes a whiff of a scent, a snatch of a song to go back to where and when it all began. For an instant, it feels like time never moved. Thank God for the relentless march of the moment – if only the mind would keep pace with it.


As I read through one of the stories I penned in 2003 (the Cairo one), it struck me that I was present in all the characters. I saw shades of myself in Lily, and I saw shades of myself in Kais. The same goes for the other story I began in 2001-2002 – there I was, in each one of the three characters. Looks like the Creator can never separate himself/herself from the creation – instead S/he flows into every aspect of creation, coloring it in his/her unique way, and fashioning it in his/her own image… nice.