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   It is on occasions such as these, after a long weekend and on the morning of returning to work, (July 28, 1988)

That I feel I should retire. Pack my bags, or, better still, leave my bags behind, and go to the bungalow that I should have built in some sylvan surroundings in the middle Himalayas or on a quiet beach washed by the Arabian Sea. And though I have never been able to decide where this bungalow would have been, I have definite ideas of how I would retire.I do not want to retire into a rocking chair and a controlled intake of alcohol and cigarettes, I want to be active, though at a different level, think, write, read, discuss, grow vegetables, flowers, bake bread, take walks, breed and train dogs, try and discover God, though not concentrate too much, or even a little, on life thereafter.I want to learn the names of all the trees, their Latin and local derivatives, as Kushwant Singh does, I want to recognise birds, the vintages of wines, the moods of the sea, the changes in the seasons, the ragas in Indian music.I want to get away from the same circle of friends (if it is Saturday, we are going to see Khushru Bharucha), to meet new people, to discuss with farmers the chances of a new crop, to admire the skills of a carpenter, to get to know young people, younger, to develop new skills -playing chess, operating a computer, blowing into a trombone, distilling spirits, distinguishing gems, making cheese.

I want to get up at the crack of dawn, not to go to work, but to listen to the BBC news, to go to the market, to select fish from fish, to spend the hour before breakfast in the garden, watering the plants, removing the weeds, adding new manure, pruning the rose bushes, to have a breakfast made up of all home products, milk from the cow in the pasture, butter and cheese from this milk, bread from the oven in the kitchen, cheese from my own skills, fruits from the garden. Above all, I want time, time to read the papers, not speed through the headlines, to go carefully through the list of new books that Mr. Shanbagh has sent, to watch an old Humphrey Bogart movie at 10.30 in the morning, to go out for lunch, to sit in friendly shops and talk to the shopkeepers, to go for long drives, to put up all the curtains, turn on the airconditioner, and sleep through the afternoon. And, occasionally, to travel, at home and abroad, to sit in Indian trains and European trams, to eat in Vietnamese restaurants and drink warm beer in English pubs, to climb into the Himalayas to the sources of the Ganga. I think of all these things the morning after a long weekend. But I also realise that I can have all this without retiring, except, perhaps, the cow in the pasture.

 
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