Cooking is bliss, washing after is pain. Throughout centuries, many a great cook lost appetite for trying out various cuisines owing to the greasy, tedious and thankless latter part of washing after.

It’s a kind of conundrum that the less you enter the kitchen while convalescing, the more you have to wash after getting better. It’s as if the vessels have a mind of their own and bide their time to add to my misery soon after I gain enough strength to be back on my feet. Three days after a debilitating cold or sunstroke, I walked into the kitchen to a mountain of unwashed utensils. Spent the entire evening sparkling them. They look better now; I don’t. Nevertheless, the Aegean stables my kitchen becomes every two days is a problem I have been trying to find a solution to for the past many years. I have tried various combinations: from waking up early to cleaning up soon after coming from the office, but to no avail. This part of my domestic chores seems to be wreaking a vengeance for my crimes of past lives. I have even checked out various websites on housekeeping. While they seem to have found a solution to their messy kitchen conundrum, I seem still to be groping in the dark for a way out. Things have come to such a pass that I suspect these housekeeping sites use Photoshop to do the trick, for its humanly impossible to get a sparkling kitchen, let alone maintain it.

Took a test from an online proofreading service firm. The test was easy. There was a story that needed editing and enhancing; a passage from a research paper, littered with grammatical landmines; an essay by an ESL student, who made no sense; and a couple of referencing tasks based on APA and MLA stylebooks. In the industry that I work, editing is quite a lucrative trade, but scarcely anybody knows the nitty-gritty. A sorry example lies in the fact that not any publisher has a strict protocol on stylebooks. What this does to the final product is anybody’s guess. Without a uniform style to adhere to, every individual pours in his perspective to the paper, leading to no two stories being similar in form, diction, flow or style. All stories on a page look like scattered islands. Editing is a serious business, which nobody seems to understand.

Watched a political thriller Seven Days in May, starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. Needless to say, the movie was superlative. It’s about a military plan under a charismatic general to topple the democratic government, and take over the reins. The plot reminded me of the autobiography of former Pakistan President General Parvez Musharraf. I bought a pirated copy around 12 years ago from a vendor near the secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram. The book was a gripping read, more so because I had lain hands on it months after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The book detailed the sequence of events that led to the eventual toppling of Nawaz Sharif government and the establishment of junta. Though written from a jingoistic point of view, the book had a little garnish of truth here and there. Musharraf tried projecting himself as a creation of circumstances and times, probably paving the path for a more lenient take by posterity on his tenure at the helm. In the Seven Days in May, Douglas learns of Lancaster's plans of toppling the government and over the course of the next seven days, helps the president to tide over the crisis. Will write a detailed review of both, the book and the movie.