Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Time, Slow Down!

Courtesy: Clipart
Every time I return to my blog, it’s like homecoming. I unlock the doors, open the windows, do some dusting and think Damn! It’s good to be back. It’s just been an extended break of scurrying around getting certain things on track. But here’s all the stuff I’ve been writing when I was away –

Some guest posts for my book, Encounters. You can read them here –

Here’s an interview on my writing process.

Here’s a short story for Encounters promo.

I was asked to write about my inspiration behind Encounters. You can read them here and here

I’ve also been coaxed to do more marketing for my books. So now, you can find me tongue-tied on twitter. My handle is @SumanaSKhan. I think.

With all this, I realise it’s already June. Half the year is gone and I keep wondering where was I? It’s scary the way time is galloping away at breakneck speed. It’s not that I’m doing anything terribly exciting to feel this way – I’m mostly as sedate as a grazing cow – but where is time running away? Wasn’t it just yesterday when my year-old niece was trying to bite my ear? Now she speaks to me over the phone - ‘Why are you crrrrazy?’ Eh? When did she grow up so fast and start asking pertinent questions? Where was I when this was happening? When I first met him, a friend’s son was all excited about turning 12. Now, he’s suddenly talking about Economics and University. What the hell? 

I tell you, there is something wrong. A leak in the space-time continuum for sure. It’s a complicated relationship – space & time. If you are closer to an object with great mass, time slows down (you can read about it here). So the leak must be in my home. Great mass. Hmm. Lo and behold The Husband. KK was lounging around, playing online chess on his iPad. Is it any wonder that time is not working under this roof? Yeah okay, between the two of us, our mass is quite significant. I suspect we have our own gravitational fields. This theory was somehow stolen by Seth McFarlane for Family Guy.  

‘Hello’, I snap my fingers at KK. ‘Have you noticed something strange?’ It’s a rhetorical question because KK wouldn’t notice even if a polar bear sat at the dining table and grunted at him to pass the salt.

I can see that the question has slid over KK’s head.

‘Time. It’s going away too fast and yet, we are kind of still,’ I try to articulate.

He tries hard to say something meaningful. Finally settles for a head bob. I enumerate examples to prove time is slipping away at breakneck speed and yet here we are. Poking at the iPad and wondering what day it is. It is true – neither of us can remember which day of the week has dawned, unless some terribly important event is scheduled for that day. KK’s frame of reference for an elapsed day is food – “The day we ate dimer torkari”, or “it has been X days since I had aloo posto”.  

I don’t even have any frame of reference. KK thinks that could be the problem. He postulates we could be on a Thursday, and I’d still be thinking it’s a Monday and bam! After all, just a few days ago, when we were filling up some forms, I thought I was a certain age, but it turned out I was two years older. I was sure KK was being rude...but he proved he was right through mathematical calculations; I verified these on the phone calculator, on my laptop calculator and the scientific calculator with the plastic flip-lid. I admit, there was a bit of a meltdown. How could I have lost track of two years...not that I had any milestones or goals. I mean there were days when I’d wake up thinking I’ll just head to Marakkech or board the Trans-Siberian Express...just to get new experiences. But those thoughts would perish soon after the coffee – packing, airports, beheadings – the hell. Then I’d think it’s perfectly okay to sit in one’s home and look at the magpies. But STILL...losing two years just like that...just staring out of the window? I voiced all this while stomping around the flat and the next thing I know, KK was scrambling for a flight to Peru. Last minute meeting apparently.

On a previous occasion, when I had freaked out about being just a collection of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen atoms...and so what the hell was earth-life all about...KK boarded a flight to Pune. Again, “meeting”. I can detect a pattern when I see one.

I had the same organic chemistry conversation with Appa over Skype. Mid-way, Appa looked out of the window and said a UFO just whizzed by, he was sure of it; no, it was not a firework because no rocket can go like that. I’ll give him the benefit of doubt because the next day, Deccan Herald did carry an article about alien sighting near Periyapatna.  That’s about 65-70kms away from Mysore...a few seconds for an alien spaceship I suppose. Or maybe it was just an uncanny coincidence. Appa must be like...that was a close call...that UFO passing by at the right time. 

But back to my time puzzle, I decided not to freak out. I spoke in measured terms about harnessing time. Well, time stood still for KK at least- he fell asleep on the iPad. 

Let me know if you also are facing the same time problem. It's a conspiracy I tell you...

© Sumana Khan - 2016


  1. My god, by Jove, have you crept into my mindspace and then noted everything down to be written as a blogpost! Uncanny.

    "Then I’d think it’s perfectly okay to sit in one’s home and look at the magpies. . . ." - These lines stand true for me as well. I realise that I like being home than take the trouble of packing bags and all. But then the next second, I feel guilty that I am sitting on my ass and have become too darn lazy. Years are just whizzing past. Sigh.

    I want to go back when time and energy was ample.

    Lovely to stop by after a long time, dear Sumana.


    1. You are in Goa, Susan. You have no excuse to pack up and go out :D