Right, the fundamental honest truth is I am a reluctant blogger. Twice before I started blogs and abandoned them after a few posts. Perhaps the blogging medium isn’t mine to trawl, I told myself.
Then something happened. A few kilometers from my home, on what is called the Hennur Road, several shops mushroomed with an almost indecent haste. Several apartment blocks had sprung up in the neighbourhood and it was time to cash in on the boom. Nine years ago when I moved into Bilishivale, we needed to go as far as the Outer Ring Road and into the city for just about everything. Things have changed since then.
Almost every day consumerism acquires a new face in this suburbia. From a garden shop to one selling bicycles; from mattresses to pots and pans; banks and bakeries; groceries, veggies, an astrologer, a pet shop, furniture, a couple of restaurants and boutiques…all of it have arrived.
But this particular block was a joy in itself. An Honest Bakery and Ebenezer Tea Paradise, Prudent Enterprises and a Neckline Boutique.
And then my moment of epiphany: Heavenly Bliss Salon for Men.
What constitutes heavenly bliss for men? A shave and shampoo? Or, a shave and a shag? A head massage or a foot rub? A cup of tea and a skin mag? A good book or a bike ride? A good whisky? Or, perhaps it was none of these…I didn’t care either way but the name on its own demanded attention. The name called to be explored and delved into. And, so here it is: Heavenly Bliss Salon for Men.
A literary salon where some of the finest living writers would visit. [I may occasionally resurrect a dead one but that would be more need based rather than to celebrate centenaries and anniversaries]. As any living writer will tell you: give us our due when we are alive not thereafter.
Since it was a sign board that triggered this salon, it is only fitting that I keep the name. There are no gender issues being flogged here or any cudgels being taken up on anyone’s behalf. Out here there are no rules about what makes for heavenly bliss. It could be a book or a film. It could be a photograph or a poem. It could be an experience or a thought. It could be anything that gave anyone of us a glimpse of heaven. It could be just life lifted from its banality for a moment.
Every post will strive towards representing many facets of Heavenly Bliss. Speakeasy will feature poetry. Supercall will be Q & A with authors whose books have just been published and where the writing has been exemplary. On and off, there will be Pick–me-ups : reviews or book recommendations; Lace Light – travelogues and photo essays. But every post will feature a guest columnist. An Angel on the Rocks promising Heavenly Bliss.
And Happy Endings which could be a quote, a quip, a witty aside or a literary meal.
So welcome to the Heavenly Bliss salon.