Friday, December 31, 2010


An anthology of small crimes,
lost and found in bits of rhyme.
From pitch to throw,
a little desperation, a bit of woe.

So thinly spreads,
irony or dread,
and brutal allay,
on easy prey.

This Day's Blurb.

Providential Direction.

(Sign pointing to Mecca)
Spotted, on a hotel room ceiling in Malaysia.

*No offense intended. I find the concept quite beautiful. Millions of men and women all over the world, united by the same faith, facing the same direction, doing exactly the same thing, at exactly the same point in time. Poetic, in so many ways.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Midnight musings and other exotic fruits.

It's almost horrifying how good I am at keeping secrets. Interrogate, investigate, poke or pry. Move mountains and oceans, shoot bullets through the sky. Yet I can lie, with not a blink of the eye. However, there is a catch. Aware as I am of its utility, I am finding my capacity for furtiveness to be more than a little disconcerting. Reason being, that I am the one person I know, least equipped to use it. Given to inflated (almost flatulent) concepts of righteousness and honestly, I have no use for this particular talent. Nevermind, I digress. The doubts that I've been tossing around in my head are about something else. What if the secret in consideration is not yours to tell? Does morality follow the law of association? Transitive dependency?

On a related note, I make a great addition to any kind and sort of reunion. Owing to the aforesaid capacity for secrecy, I am made the confidante in more personal/semi-personal equations than one could hope to count. I always have the dirt on everyone's deep, dark secrets. And I get to be the one to spill them when the time is right. Scandals makes an evening, if not life, far more interesting.

In other news, I have begun to attribute the unfortunate state of my social life to reading too much Freud. One can only go so far, classifying people as anally retentive/anally expulsive, and launching into immediate conjecture. The perils of over-educating yourself with things that have nothing to do with your line of misery work.

Also, I was recently discouraged against using any italics in formatting my minor project dissertation. Apparently, it is probable cause  to ascertain that the matter is plagiarized or lifted off an external source. *proceeds to bang head into nearest available wall/desk/mallet.*  Because I enjoy mallets.

The second of my natural talents is also getting me into trouble these days. By virtue of being the most sarcastic person around, I stand the risk of having everything I say be lost in translation. Have lost count of the times I ended up offending people by paying them a genuine, heartfelt compliment. C'est la vie, I suppose.

There is no dearth of things that I hate with the very core of my black, black heart. But there are few things that I hate more than winter. And winter is baring its fangs most viciously these days. Sadly, the second most important examinations of my life are just around the corner, and hibernation is not an option. Neither is active vandalism, it seems. Well, at least something has changed in 3 years. At this point, the only things keeping me sane are hot chocolate, my love of overcoats and badass leather boots, and the faint possibility of a post-exam holiday in a tropical country. Yes, more tropical than India.

If there is one difference that I had to point out in teenaged-me and 21-year-old-me, it would most certainly be that I am no longer angry. Anger is a strange thing. Though it often consumes, it also gives you a certain drive that is irreplaceable. When there's too much of it, it begins to define the person it proliferates in. But when the anger has dissipated, it isn't quite rebirth as much as rediscovery. A lot of things in life take courage, I reckon. It also takes a fair deal to see yourself stripped down to bones, and learn to accept and appreciate what's left. The line between what you will always be and all that you can become, is a thin one. Perhaps that's a good thing, but it is well to know exactly where it lies. The innate capacity to out-reason ourselves into believing anything we want, is and always will be a double-edged sword.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Book Review: Never Let Me Go

Author : Kazuo Ishiguro
Genre : Dystopian Fiction
Rating : 7.5/10
"I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold on to each other, holding on as fast as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The current’s too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart. That’s how I think it is with us. It’s a shame, because we’ve loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can’t stay together forever." 

When you pick up a book that's been called one of the best of the decade, loved by critics and readers alike, and been praised to high heavens, there are only two ways to go about it. You either read it with a detached sense of skepticism, or with the uncritical acceptance that seeks only to experience, and not to judge. Whichever be the case, Ishiguro does not disappoint.

Based in mid-90's England, Never Let Me Go is the story of three students studying at a sheltered boarding school called Hailsham. Narrated by one of them, the novel describes their lives right from their childhood, to the fate that they came to meet eventually, as adults. Most of the story is bound through a series of flashbacks, chronologically depicting specific incidents in the said timeline. The narrative meticulously details the lives of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy at Hailsham, during their formative years, as teenagers, and thereon.

Given my fascination for all things dystopian, I had some very good reasons to give this one a try. However, by the time I read through half of it, I found countless more. Ishiguro is exactly the kind of literary talent that leaves you with a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, for days to come. The narrative unfolds bit by bit, layer by layer... gradually uncovering the horrifying truth that lies beneath. The subtle, understated manner of writing is almost conspicuous in its simplicity. The tone of it is actually more disconcerting than the content itself. 

Reading through the book, I found myself continually drawing parallels with Murakami's Norwegian Wood. Considering the ethnic background both authors share, I don't know if it's entirely coincidental that I found them to have a similar style of writing. The same understated elegance, simplicity that is noticeable only by virtue of its severity, and even the manner of character-development. Most of all, I was struck by how both books leave you with an overpowering sense of helplessness. It's like the story winds itself around you, pulling you in so deep that you become a part of it. Then, through its equally subtle twists and turns, leaves you positively devastated. And somewhere between the disturbing truth and the false hopes, the reader just might chance upon what the book truly is about - the realization of everything that is not what it could have been. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What You Want / What You Need

Assuming that they're two different things, you can have both. Just not at the same time.Though that's usually beside the point, isn't it? 

The gradual depersonalization of this blog has been on for quite some time. Not because I have writer's block, or thinker's block, or any other unimpressive spin I could put on it, but because things changed. Things changed, circumstances changed, and most importantly, I changed. Life pulled Le Olde Switcheroo on me, and it takes time to get a strong foothold back. Reinvention and transmogrification come to signify my checkpoints in life. This year has marked a very pivotal one, and I am glad for that fact. But I'm not the same person I used to be. I'm not the person who started this blog, and have decided not to be the one to finish it. So this is me, back to doing what I love most, in the way that I can do it best. 

A farewell to those who have left, and smile and nod of appreciation to those who have stayed, and a warm welcome to those who are new.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why Amanda Palmer is Brilliant - Part 2

You MUST watch the video through to "The End".

The day before the minor project presentation, two of my team-mates simultaneously join a facebook community called "Chal yaar, jo hoga dekha jayega!".

Should I be worried, or amused?