The Ocean in My Yard

The Ocean in My Yard

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Book Specification

Item Code: IDF025
Author: Saleem Peeradina
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 0144000296
Pages: 230
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.8" X 5.1"
Weight 240 gm

Book Description

From the Jacket :

'It was easy becoming a voyeur.'

Saleem Peeradina, poet, artist, teacher and compulsive people-watcher-gets extraordinary views of neighbourhood life from the twelve windows of his Versova Road house. From the age of four he has been drawn into the thrills of a voyeuristic life, a passion that was nurtured in his young adulthood by his interest in poetry and painting. In The Ocean in My Yard he gives us rare and exclusive pictures of the dramas he witnessed almost unobserved, sketching the interior landscape of hearts and heads.

In lyrical prose interspersed with his own poems, Peeradina brings to life the vitality, as well as the predictability, of suburban Bombay of the 1950s and 1960s, where cycling down narrow lanes with schools buddies, or peering into a film studio to catch a glimpse of a movie star, or having a ball of shaved ice was heaven itself. All of this is offset, of course, by run-over animals rotting at the neighouring garbage dump. With passion, tenderness and sometimes detachment, he lucidly captures the experience of growing up Muslim in a large joint family: the adoring grandparents who light up his life all too briefly, the trio of eccentric uncles who confer on him the most favoured status, a difficult doctor-father against whose strong will he pitches his own, and a self-effacing mother whom he begins to appreciate only late in life. He also exposes religious and class issues and reveals how, even as a boy, he stood up against the ingrained sexism of Indian society.

As Saleem candidly serves up anecdotes of his sexual awakening-massaging his aunt's body to ease the tension after a long day in the kitchen-and trips to Anchor Cabins where his uncle conducted photography sessions that were to inspire his won nude paintings, we realize all too well how easy it is to become a voyeur, and how easy to fall under Peeradina's spell.

About the Author:

Saleem Peeradina is the author of three books of poetry and editor of a widely used anthology of Indian poetry in English. He is currently Associated Professor of English and Creative Writing at Siena Heights University, Michigan, USA.


Preamble on My Feet 1
Tommy 3
Moon in the Rafters 6
40-Watt Days 8
A Song Break 12
Nooruma 16
The Next One

The Scent of Chameli 21
Andheri 23
A Voyeur is Born 28
Garbage 32
The Garden of Delights 34
Food and More Food 42
Home Remedies 46
Another Hero 49
Death of a Well 51
Gallery of Originals

Erasing God 59
Initiation 61
Pani Kum Chai 64
IDD 67
Disenchantment 72

A Precocious Sensuality 85
Heartlocked 87
Massage 91
Fall From Grace

Premonitions of Doom 99
Doctor Saab 101
Man of the House 103
Tyrant 108
Everybody's Favourite Uncle 111
Haji Malang 119
Nudes 121
Story Books! 122
Put-Downs 125
Pappa 127
The Renegade 129
A Student of Wounds 134
Finale 136

Missing Person 141
Springboard 143
Bevda 147
Open Door 149
Love Story 151
Two Systems 154
A Gift or Two 158
Studios and Stars 161
Dilawar, Rama, Anthony 164
Girl-Watching 167
The Fist of Logic 171
A Calling 175
Misgiving 177
Sighting A Poet 182

Losing Face 189
Self-Disclosure 191
Shabnam 194
Shampa 198
Camilla 201
First Touch 205
A Room of My Own 209
Making it, Almost 213
Dilruba 218
Breaking Up

Flight 225
Flight 227

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