Thursday, August 25, 2005

Nostradamus vs Me

This was me prophecising on June 11 2005.
So, dude is a person who is, a dud from the east, I can say, because the definition of dude, applies mainly to easterners in the west.
So, dont be surprised, if you get a crossword clue someday which says:

Across:8: Fellow: Useless one from the Oriental(4).

You now know what is the answer to that clue.
And here is The Hindu Crossword, 8380

Look for 15 Across(I said 8 Across, but thats OK, I guess)

And here is the solution to the same.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Do you stumble?

If not, please do it from here

Easy to use and very useful. Thanks to my colleague for introducing me to it.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Mon, Mol, Mother, Memories and God

It was a cloudy night at Bangalore. Windy night as well .Lightening. Rain 'God' threatening. But no rain."It rains only in those places where good people are there", my friend would say. One more night with my 'regular dinner' partner. One more night when time had to be killed over the dinner table. Table, can I call it a table!?

"Man, I am reading 'History Of God'", my dinner partner would say."It is about how the idea of God and religion evolved" and he would mention few religions, whose name I dont remember exactly now. I have a poor memory these days. If I finish reading a book today, ask me two weeks later, I may faintly recollect only the main characters. After one month, I might just remember the main plot. It just amazes me, when I hear people talk about books they have read years back. It just means that either
a) The book would have deeply affected them that they remember most of it, or
b) They generally have a good retentive power and so would have retained most, if not all of it, or
c) They must have liked the book and reread it many times.

"So what are you reading now!?", he would ask me now. And I would mention the name of the book.And I would tell him that I am halfway through it and am gonna continue reading the rest after the dinner. Then he would tell me, "It is one of the amazing books I have ever read man, and it left me crying. It was deeply moving. When I first got the book, my friends told me to read the last chapter of the book first. I read it. It was about sex. Then, I read the whole book from the beginning and now when I read the last chapter again, the feeling was so different from what I had got reading the same before.Amazing man, amazing.."

There you go. Now, I know what to expect of the last chapter. Its about two people having passionate sex. So what use in reading it further. Why to spend more time on it now!? These are not really small things.All I know is there is sex at the end!

But, for me, Paradise Pickles and Preserves was more puzzling. She talked vaguely about so many things. There was a sister returning home after a long time. A brother Re-returned. Their dead mother. And there was a God. There was an evil, 'baby' grand aunt obsessed to televison set, there was a cook,and there was a dead child. Too many loose ends. Too much of confusion. Straight oposite to what my partner said, I read the first chapter after finishing the whole book and then it made sense then!

The story was not that great. Then whats a great story, dont ask me. All I know is there is sex at the end!There is a divorced mother. Twins from seperate zygotes.Mother suffering from asthma and also getting humiliated at her mother's house after her divorce. Arrival of the twins' cousin from England, the cousin dies in a mishap, mother feels the need for a man in her life(she thinks that wud change her life's fortunes and she could escape the miserable position she is at her mother's place), and this relation she has with her carpenter ruins Him, her, her kids and the whole family. Thats the gist of the 340 page novel in few lines.

Now, what makes it beautiful is the way in which she has presented it. Certain lines,words, things and phrases('die-able viable age' for example), she would use again,again and again,and everytime we see those lines,words,things and phrases again,again and again, one might admire her for the knack of using those lines,words,things and phrases and the way they fit into the context appropriately.One thing that she has done intelligently is the story is said both from what happened in the past and whats currently happening. That makes it easy for her to use those lines, words, things and phrases again,again and again. There are many small 'small' things which you can really enjoy while reading it, like the baby watch which shows ten-to-two and when she uses this this fact repeatedly, subtle way in which she expresses her views about communist party, Naomi Ipe writing "I love you" everyday in her diary in remembrance of her unreciprocated love,Pappachi's moth and the influence it had on other family members: these are the 'small things' which make the novel a very good read.

The chapter headings are funny and different, like 'Cochin Kangaroos'(who the hell expects them there!?), they are mystic and compelling, like 'The Crossing', 'A few hours later'.(Let me finish this chapter before I sleep today) I guess more than the story, the way of presenting it would have been a key factor for the novel's success. Again, it has every element to make people cry: there is a dying divorced mother, there are twins getting seperated early in their lives, and more than that it has a dying God. But I didnt cry at the end. All I know is there is sex at the end!

Interesting. I dont remember how I was when I was 7, what I did when I was 7. I only know the place where I lived, but even the house I lived, I have forgotten how it looks. I faintly remember the face of my neighbours, and I remember very few names of the friends I used to have then. But, Rahel and Estha do remember Ayemenem a lot.And thats 'cos what happened at the age of 7 would transfer their lives forever.

Everything can change in a day!