The days are warm. He walks each day to work, is back by seven – which is early, going by his normal schedule – and spends most of the evening reading Sacred Games. He is taking it slowly – a book seven years in writing deserves seven weeks of reading – and is enjoying each scene, every encounter, the texture of each memory, the sting of every gaali.
He cooks his usual rice meal – vegetable pulao – which he eats with pickle and yoghurt, taking in the exploits of Gaitonde between spoons of rice and pickle, unable to decide where the feeling of spice originates from: the food or the book.
He likes this life, this solitude. He likes the empty house in a silent neighbourhood where he can spend his evenings reading, contemplating, dreaming. When he speaks with his wife on the phone, he mentions how much he loves being alone. Then don’t come this weekend, she says, pretending to be upset. He laughs, and says weekends are for her – he needs only the week for himself. Then you do not want me back? she asks; you do not want to spend the weeks with me?. He laughs again.
Late in the night, before sleeping, he jots into his journal some events of the day. He has been doing this regularly since he acquired a Moleskine notebook recently. He likes the growing collection of pages full of memories, and he often goes back to the previous entries. What is this journal, and what is that other one online? Why does one person need two? Both are needed, he tells himself, because there are really two selves. One that wishes to be alone, and one that wants to reach out to the world and participate in it. One for the week, the other for the weekend.