Showing posts from January, 2008
Miscellany II

This weekend was a bit of a treat – two books and a movie!

Iris Murdoch’s first novel Under the Net is a book I should have read 18 years ago, for one of my college papers. I managed to take the paper without reading Murdoch…and it took me all these years to get back to her.

It’s not a book that grabs you immediately; rather it reeled me in slowly and almost without noticing it, I was quite hooked onto Jake Donaghue’s escapades in 1950’s London. There are parts that are philosophy (a theory that says language is a series of falsehoods, that it cannot describe any particularity without falsifying it, that however much we try to crawl under its net, we are condemned to a travesty of truth each time we open our mouths or put pen to paper), parts that are first rate comedy and parts that are some of the most lyrical descriptions ever (the night of drunkenness that ends in Jake, Finn, Dave and Lefty swimming in the Thames is a chapter worth reading all by itself).

Under the Net i…
Only child

I caught the American soap Brothers and Sisters on air the other day. It left me quite bemused with the workings of sibling relationships. And reflecting on a life without. Like mine. An only child, I often wonder how different I would have been as a person if I had brothers and sisters. They say China’s one child policy has bred a generation of ‘Little Emperors’, spoilt brats who are completely the focus of their parents’ attention. It is of course, a stereotype – the spoilt only child. But looking deep within, I wonder – do I fit the stereotype?

I do believe there are parts of me that are, only because I don’t have siblings. A certain selfishness at the core is one – the inability to share anything of personal value to me with people outside my parents and now, after years, my husband. Personal value of course is not really about money or material things like that (or at least I would like to believe). It’s more about things like personal space, attention, even to some exte…

A tag! Am a bit queasy about getting this personal on my blog, but hey what the hell! Laksh, here’s to getting to know each other better. A: Available? Nope…not in the way ‘available’ is commonly understood.
B: Best friend: My hubby - knows me better than anyone else and the person I can be myself with, the most.
C: Cake or Pie? Pie
D: Drink of choice: Chai
E: Essential thing used everyday: Cell phone - can’t live without it
F: Favourite colour: Changes every other year; current favourite – pink/ purple
G: Gummi bears or worms: Neither – what are gummi bears??
H: Hometown: Trivandrum
I: Indulgence: Travel
J: January or February: February (has a more settled-in feeling)
K: Kids and names: None
L: Life is incomplete without: Books, travel and a dream.
M: Marriage date: Oct 18 (had to think a bit here…been 9 years!)
N: Number of siblings: None (as my next post will testify)
O: Oranges or apples: Neither; need something more tropical. But if I had to choose, it would be apples – it isn’t as …
A clear fertile abundant mind
Serendipitous answers to questions deep
Journeys physical and even more, metaphysical
In solitude sometimes and with company often
New words, newer ideas, startling and bold
Eschewing staleness, sameness, hardness
Courage to cross taboo-ed boundaries
And fortitude to stay the course
Randomness and haphazard moments
With little desire for the method behind the lunacy
A disappearance of inevitability
And discovery of wondrous escape hatches
Most of all, zest and spunk
And a generosity of spirit unrestrained
Two slim volumes were my staple during the last week of the year - Ian Mcewan’s quite uncharacteristic The Daydreamer and Milan Kundera’s Slowness. Two very different books with very different sensibilities that brought my year to a close.
The Daydreamer is a book that is bound to resonate with anyone who has ever daydreamed away endless hours as a child. The ability to just sit around, stare into space and imagine a whole different world was for me the best part of childhood. McEwan brings alive the fascination and wonder of those times and through the stories of the daydreamer Peter, gives the word possibility a whole new dimension.
Peter Fortune is a 10 year old very quiet boy, with a set of busy parents and a kid sister Kate whom he alternatively adores and despises. All in all, a pretty normal boring sort of suburban kid life. But Peter’s world is anything but normal and boring and with his child’s imagination, he conjures up stories and worlds in his mind from the most inn…