Thursday, 23 August 2012

in which I talk about 'self proclaimed intellectuals'

Dear reader, I am soo excited! Yesterday I had writer’s block and today my muse decided to come back from her little holiday! Any way I am just glad that I can write again without being a dreadful bore. J
I feel really inspired ….no really…totally…Inspired. I suppose that I should also mention that I am bursting to share this epiphany that I got at 3 am in the morning. I often get these brilliant ideas in the middle of the night. Unfortunately I never remember them when I wake up in the morning.

Any way back to the topic that I wanted to discuss…I have often wondered about a certain set of individuals. You may also be familiar with them “the self proclaimed intellectual” *waggles eyebrows*. This is actually not a unique species(the reason I call them that is because according to me they are not really human!), in fact one might find denizens belonging to this group in every classroom (they start young!) every café, every office (in the cubicle right next to you if you are terribly unlucky).

The way to properly identify a specimen from this species is their own proclamation; they aren’t very modest, the way they dress; they dress to stand apart usually in outlandish clothes that are most probably horribly wrinkled and mismatched. They have a curiously eccentric appearance and behavior; they are usually found in the most expensive and exclusive café that are generally patronized by snobs who consider themselves a cut above the rest because of their ideologies.

pseudo cartoons, pseudo cartoon, pseudo picture, pseudo pictures, pseudo image, pseudo images, pseudo illustration, pseudo illustrations

The reason for my writing about this obnoxious species is to help the unwitting innocent identify a member of this group and protect themselves. I have had the misfortune to fall prey to many belonging to many a pseudo intellectual. I am a normal(ok kind of neurotic but still normal) girl who likes to read good books and watch good films and plays. I am aware of the world around me and as a writer have acquired a sense of the ridiculous. I am however NOT an intellectual nor do I aspire to be one.

 It is true that I read a lot (ok! so I am a bookworm) and have a healthy appetite for fiction as well as non-fiction; yet , I am not at all found of Rushdie or Kafka( I got bored to tears whilst reading Metamorphosis and Midnight’s Children), although I have nothing against them. I love watching films especially film noir and indie movies but I dislike discussing them to death (like allegorical references, camera angles, influences etc etc…Ugh!), I read the newspaper everyday and do not agree with the government on most issues but I am not the adherent to any particular ideology. I like talking and have my own beliefs but understand that every person has a right to live his life according to his belief.

However there is an alarming growth in the number of pseudo intellectuals so much so that I have nightmares of them taking over the world! I refuse to be magnanimous and say that I am ok with them. I am NOT! The truth is that I am disgusted by their insistence on being the sole perpetrators of wisdom, intellect and morality in society.

There is a general refusal among the members of the species to hear any voice other than their own and their biggest defect dear reader is that they think that they have the sole copyright on wisdom and knowledge Aarrrgh!!! They are generally contrary just to be contrary and not because they have an actual opinion. Even the way they dress elucidates my point. Most of them dress in a careless manner but their sloppy dress sense has a studied and careful pattern.

I just dislike being told what to think by a group of individuals who don’t have a mind of their own. I my opinion, the pseudo intellectuals as a group are as harmful to society as neo Nazi skinheads, religious zealots and ultra right wing idiots. Plus they are excessively irritating, mind numbingly boring and also terribly out of touch with reality. The harsh reality is that a common hardworking man can scarcely afford public transport, much less a recreational cup of tea.

So, forgive me dear reader if I don’t feel admiration for the pretentious bore who making grandiose pronouncements about the problems that effect the common man or the ways to solve them whilst sipping an expensive cup of coffee in an air-conditioned coffee shop! * rolls eyes* In my opinion they are full of theories that have no solid background and their opinions have no ground as they have no facts to base them upon.

Truthfully, I pity such people, these slovenly dressed, chain smoking (mostly expensive foreign brands), Kafka quoting, so called liberal ( I have a theory that they are all closeted right wingers) reactive pseudo intellectuals. If that makes me a counter- reactive (is that even a word??? ) snob.. so be it! 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Random post about stuff

Dear Reader, I suppose that my silence after the last post was mystifying....I don't know about you but for me it was strange. I am going through the horrible phase that every writer dreads...."Writer's Block" Ugh!!! I HATE it! I haven't been able to write anything...this has been accompanied by a bout of know..the irritating kind where you could be well but you aren't.

So this random post could really be about anything, for instance my life. I lead a really boring life or can I just call it simple? I have an advanced degree in an impressive subject (if I say so myself *winks*) yet, I am still unemployed. I have devised ways and means to keep myself busy like volunteering but, it really isn't the same as having a proper job.

I often get this feeling that I have't really grown up. I haven't had the chance to see the real world! I have travelled a bit, yet I feel like it was all not real. Sometimes, I feel like an observer of my own life. I read somewhere that all of us are the leading men/women of our stories, yet sometimes I feel like a supporting character!

So my question to all the wise souls in the cosmic void is- Do we really know who we are as in 'our inner selves'? I suppose all of us want to have a purpose but do we really know if we have a purpose or are searching for one? 

Friday, 17 August 2012

Love and memories

Dear Reader, today I want to tell you about the first man I loved. I have to say that there was something extraordinary about him. We had this special connection, the kind that makes people communicate without words.

He was tall, handsome had amazing hair and was a smart dresser; you know...he had the kind of unstudied elegance absent from men in general! *rolls her eyes*. He made me feel like I was the only one in the room and his hugs were the best. I felt warm and safe in his arms and he always smelt nice, a unique mix of cloves and starch. :) Even now when I close my eyes and concentrate, I can feel his arms around me and smell him.

I am sure you want to know who this perfect man was and why did I ever let him go? He was my mom's father and absolutely amazing. He died many years ago but I kind of never let him go! I suppose I should say his memories are still fresh in my mind, it is like looking at something through a sepia coloured glass.

My Grandad was the first man I ever loved. I love my dad to bits more than I can say really! However it was my grandad who won my heart first. He was this hugely important man and yet had time every evening to take walks with me. I remember being held in his arms, the texture of the tweed of his coat and the fine silver hair on the back of his neck.

There was something special about him. I loved him not because he was my grandad, I think it was more to do with the incredible feeling of being cherished. I think all of us want to feel that don't we?

Even now, so many years after his death, I still feel his love..... kind of like the sensation of lying on the terrace in December under the winter sun wrapped in a warm blanket. A love that will live on till the day I die and then echo from generation to generation through my children and then their offspring. That's how powerful love is, isn't it?

I miss you Nana papa.... though none go with me, I am never alone, you are always there.... with every step I take.

                    ~A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart.~

                       Author Unknown

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Endless wait....

Dear reader I can't help but wonder about LOVE so many times. I want to confess that this important four letter word scares me like nothing else ever has!

It's true! I am a woman in my early 20's and I have never fallen in love. I suppose that it is inevitable for you to even believe it.

You might wonder why I have suddenly turned to this particular topic eh? Well it's very simple, I was watching this movie 'Antaheen' it is one of the most captivating films that I have ever seen. A gripping screenplay and visually stunning, the film draws you in and it is nigh impossible to withdraw.

The story is about the 'endless waiting for love'. It got me thinking about the reality of LOVE. Yes, I know that great writers and poets have also written a lot about love, about how futile and frustrating it is to be in love with someone. Most of the bloggers who are successful and have a great fan following talk about love and their love lives all the time(some of them even base their blogs on the topic). As for musicians, their bread and butter is this powerful yet weakening four letter word.

I just want to state a shocking fact- How many of us actually fall in love with the right person? It is said that only the extremely lucky ones have their love returned. Most of the cases of loving are unfortunately one sided.
So really, why do all of us want to fall in love?

As a single girl, it is irritating for me to be reminded again and again how blissful love is. As a straight and single feminist I find it extremely offensive when people say that all I need is a man to cure me of my ideology! I don't really need a man to feel content or happy!I am happy as I am.

Although, despite my feminist leanings, I love watching romantic films and reading love stories. Does that make me a closet romantic? Maybe! Yet in-spite of having greatly enjoyed 'Bridget Jones's Diary', I am not desperate to have a man in my life like the title character. So I'd like to think that I am practical.

However, I just can't help but wonder about LOVE. Why do we all yearn to be loved? Is the answer really simple? I think not. All I can say for myself is that I am one of those waiting to experience the sensation of being in love. It might be endless in my case or I might strike gold. However, as the famous saying goes "It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all".

I end this post with a question for the cosmic void, Is LOVE only an endless wait for the right companion?

Saturday, 11 August 2012

In which I muse about the Risqué writings!


 Dear reader I start this post by apologising for trying to be introspective in my last post. I realise that it is during these bouts of self discovery, that I most sound like the crashing bore that I usually am! *Grins*

Now for the question that has bothered me for the past day -Why does sex sell??? How many times do I have to ask this question??? *Rolls the eyes* I was reading a novel a couple of days ago and it was rather engaging; I liked the story and the characters and the most important thing was that it was really funny. However, after chapter 8, the author ventured into the territory of  "L'Amour" and My God! but there was steam on my glasses!! The entire section of the book was full of content so erotic in nature, that I went about with a blush on my face for the entire day!

It was a thoroughly enjoyable read and could have been on the my top ten reads of the year; but for all the amorous content. I had a conversation with a friend about it ( we kind of cribbed about it! ) and had to ask the obvious question. Was all that sex really necessary? 

21st century Bestseller

Oh alright! Yes! I admit that I am kind of a prude but what is wrong with being old fashioned? In the era when erotic novels like Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L James (dubbed "Mommy Porn) are selling like hot cakes, one can't help but long for books by the good old Victorian novelists who despite their puritanical content, were page turners.
 VS Golden Oldie: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
M&B( had to hide the jacket
from mom! :P )
New (insipid) Alternative?
I grew up reading books like Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery and Tidewater Valley by Jo Evalin Lundy and Harry Potter. One read the occasional Mills and Boon romance when craving the illicit pleasure of risqué content. (I used to cover the explicit M&B book jackets with newspapers and read them on the sly! :P)  Thus, the current obsession among Young Adults for the Twilight Series (whilst well written yet kind of monotonous! *I totally said that with a straight face* ) is mystifying.
It is just that one can't help but observe that now the more sex the book contains the more it sells.Even the high brow novelists (amongst whom are illustrious booker prize winners), have succumbed to the trend!The thing about such books is that some of them are actually quite good but, are we overdosing on the sex? Thus I end this post with the all important question to you Dear reader- should a writer solely depend on his talent to sell his book or is it sensible for him to surrender to the cult of Eros to achieve success?

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

In which I am introspective

Dear Reader, I realised something about myself today. I love being alone! I always thought of myself as social I love my friends and also love being around interesting people. But, it turns out that I find myself the happiest when alone. Is it strange to be enamoured with one's own company?

It isn't like I am in love with myself in fact I would describe my feelings as quite the opposite. I am in no danger of becoming Reggie from the Archie's comic books and carry a photo of myself in my purse! 

I would describe my existence as that of splendid isolation, like being separated from the world around me by a wall of glass. I often feel alone, even when surrounded by people. 

I have been described as a chatterbox by many and I do love/hate people. Isn't it strange? I love observing people and I hate what I discover about some. It's true! People always do or say the most unusual and in some cases downright ridiculous things! 

I know that I sound mean, but I love to laugh at other people's folly. However I must also mention that I am the worst of the lot. I am such a bundle of contradictions that anybody would get a headache just trying to figure me out. I am a different person with everyone.....So much so, that even I don't know how to describe myself. I am obsessed with detail and also extremely vague, I have a sunny disposition and also have bouts of black melancholia, I am both kind and cruel, wise and naive, innocent yet jaded. Men would just say that the answer to all these contradictions is that- 'I am a woman!' *major eye roll*

Both my friends and critics have often called me crazy. My answer to that is what is life without a  bit of madness? So, what do you think dear reader am I confused or just flexible? 


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Monsoon Memories

Dear reader, I woke up a few days ago to the sound of rain; let me tell you that the sound and smell of rain is one of the most glorious things that God created !!! I swear I love the winter sun, but there is something about a rainy day that makes people think about hot cups of chai or coffee accompanied with Jalebees, pakodas or just some munchies. Everyone I know agrees that rain makes one feel rejuvenated. 

For me rain bring back memories of trees swaying outside my nani's house and the lawns sporting a freshly washed look. My brother, sister and I used to sit on wicker chairs in the veranda out front whilst it poured and sometimes we were joined by an elder who would then entertain us with funny anecdotes. 

If it rained on the way back home from school, it would just be an excuse to get drenched and when taken to task I used to give the classic wide eyed innocent look and explain that I forgot to open the umbrella so it really wasn't my fault.

Rain was always a time to celebrate , a time when I forgot all about my troubles and simply had a great time. Nothing can beat the countless times that I spent dancing in the rain with or without company. I especially liked to jump on puddles in the balcony. 

I get this insane desire to do a Gene Kelly impersonation from singing in the rain or jump into puddles every time it rains! Have you noticed dear reader, that the older one gets the more quirky these desires become? A thought to dwell upon humm??

Anyway, this year is very special because it is my first monsoon in two years! Yes although I was in the 'Land of Rain' England; the rains in 'Incredible Indyeah' are absolutely smashing! :D where else is it a common sight to see children and even those brave few adults dancing in the rain.

The sheer joy with which rains are greeted in our country is uniquely childlike and refreshing. There are of course those buzz kills who groan and complain about the mud, dirt, drainage and yeah...TRAFFIC! Still do we  rain lovers really care? 

Rains have also been the main stay of all the bollywood tamasha through the dacades and yes, even the so called 'arty-farty'movies I enjoy have not been above using rains as a metaphor for something or the other. :P  So, what is the real reason behind all this monsoon madness and the accompanying nostalgia?   

Rains are probably the time when we are most likely to shed our inhibitions and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.It is a time of fun and romance, of crispy hot food downed with cups of steaming tea, a time when we get the urge to listen to melodious music without any real excuse ( I always want to sing old classical melodies or dance to Shubha Mudgal's Ab ke Saawan Aise Barse)   Someone asked me why I associate rain with sound and smell and my answer is that if one is indoors when it rains, the sound and smell of rain are the first to reach the senses.

 Even now, rains fill me with the euphoria I felt all those years that I was growing up.The frocks and rompers have been replaced by shalwars and jeans and the worries about homework with the deadline for the next presentation but every time it rains I still want to leave everything for a while and dance in the rain.

                              The Incomparable Shubha Mudgal!! Perfect for listening in Rainy weather. :)