exercising, Homer, and troubling stories


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Daily exercise and Homer… I don’t know if I can keep this up, but I am spending 20 minutes running in place each morning, plus some light exercises like sit-ups (6 this morning!). My plan is to continue this. Also, I have been translating a line or two of Homer’s Odyssey daily for the last three days in addition to my usual study.

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I finished reading In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin. I savored it. Mueenuddin tells troubling stories that are simple on the surface but have complexities inside them. I liked all the stories. The one called, “Lily,” hit home with me. The story is of two people who meet and fall in love. Lily is a jet setter type American who parties hard. but has an interesting interior life.  Murad her eventual Pakistani husband is rich, elegant, and sensitive. The story is divided into two parts. The first is their romance and marriage (which shocked me a bit… I didn’t think they were heading towards that). The second is the story of the inevitable break down of their relationship. Both characters can be attractive to the reader. But in the second part we see their weaknesses. Lily is unable to keep up a respectable life with her husband. For his part, Murad is no where near as flexible and exciting as he appeared. Lily wants to make their sex life varied and interesting. He is much less experienced and very conventional in his love making.

What troubled me was as Lily grows away from Murad, she violates a promise and reads his private diary This actually happened to me in my first marriage. This story helped me understand that a bit better. But like all of Meenduddin’s stories, it troubled me. Drawing this reaction is one of the things I think is admirable about his writing.

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