Thinking Cap

The world owes me a wish

While reading Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, something stirred in me. It was not something overpowering as they show in the movies but a mild epiphany like a gentle, summer breeze. It was the “what’s the use” feeling, that the speaker in the novel goes through after she is back at her country home after a brief scholarship to New York, and is depressed about what she shall do with herself in the future.

* * *

“I could have done so many things, I could have realized so many dreams if weariness, an inconceivable, enormous weariness had not overpowered me for the last fifteen years or so, or even far longer. A weariness that kept me from working but also from resting, from enjoying life and being happy and relaxing, and also kept me from turning more towards others, as I’d have wished to . . . oh, if that ‘what’s the use?’ had not germinated in my soul . . .”

~Ionesco, Fragments of a Journal

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What’s the use in being passionate and having a thirst for life when we are going to end up in the same boat? With a family, a desk-job we hate, and absolutely no free time? No, I can’t bear to even think about it! Since I was a child, I knew I would be different, I would be unique. I was not cut out for mediocrity. I shall to walk off the beaten track. But how? Many a dreamer has hoped to be great and have novel experiences in life, but very few of them have succeeded. Even the extraordinary becomes ordinary in a while, and everything smells like stale, morning breath! Oh, the dreariness of it all!

I don’t wish to graduate, don’t wish to pick up another textbook which cannot teach me anything, listen to elders and wise people say stuff that makes no sense . . .

Every fortnight, while cuddled up under my sheets, trying to get sleep, I have peered up at the ceiling of my room and tried to chase shadows of passing cars which flutter across it through the window and planning my escape. A back-pack with the bare essentials: few clothes, a notebook and pen, some money, a shaving kit (even though I don’t have much hair yet but I’ll probably be shaggy few years into my imaginary life as a tramp), toothbrush and toothpaste (because I’m very meticulous about dental health), and lots of chocolate or granola bars (so that I can prolong my starvation over a few months) etc.

And the escape itself would be no biggie. I would leave in the evening when both mom-dad are not at home, around 6, with the back pack thrown over my shoulder as if I’m going to the gym. Then I would catch the nearest bus to the station, the train farthest from my house and probably hitch-hike late, to the north. In a few years, I’d be in an exotic country, the name of which my parents would not even be able to trace on the map. I would find work on a ship maybe, like Benjamin Button in the movie and lose my virginity to some peasant maiden. My name would be gone forever and I would have a new one: John or Jack or something as anonymous as that. And I’d drink stump-hole whiskey and have a lot of tattoos on my body. I’d drink myself to death and fall off board when the ship is making a voyage across Pacific and no a soul would know that I passed away. A much adventurous life than the one my mom has sketched out for me, anyway.

The point is not to be different but to try things which aren’t cliched but fresh and exciting, and to be happy by living on my terms. The world owes me that. The world owes me a wish to do as I like because we only get to live once. And I’m not going to rebel against the world to get what I need but work right beside it, in harmony with it as I strive to rise above the normal and experience the incredible.

It’s not teenage romanticism but a stolid refusal to succumb to the convention.

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Random Shit

I’m a huge fan

As I already made clear in my first post, that I ain’t new to the blogging world. And that is why I happen to be acquainted with some absolutely fantastic blogs online but one of them is so special that I must recommend it to all my followers and readers: The Bloggess. She has made me laugh in my darkest hours, y’all. I’m a huge fan of her’s.

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The BookShelf

Judging a book by it’s cover

After The Beach, I’m stuck. I don’t know which novel to start with. At the beginning of this year, I had made a resolution to be selective about my reading list and pick up novels which are elegantly and intelligently written but which are also entertaining and popular. I even made a list on Goodreads which I never got around to starting with. So normally, I would ask for recommendations in the comments section but I think what I’m looking for is not great titles but good stories. I think I should stop judging a book by it’s cover and begin delving deeper into what the book is about. Though “random reading” is also particularly useful in coming across remarkable stories.

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Anger Management, Movies, Random Shit

I Hate Technology and My Secret Fetish for Chick-Flicks

I’m completely useless with technology. This does not mean that I do not understand technology; I might not be a tech-wiz but I sure know how to get my mind around the latest gadgets. It’s just the sheer number and multi-functionality (is it even a word? Its’ not? Well, now it is) of them that gets to me. There is a really hilarious dialogue in a chick-flick which I happened to watch on T.V. one day while surfing the channels (I’m so completely lying here, though I’m a guy, I absolutely dig some chick-flicks) which can explain my problem with modern technology, quite accurately;

Mary: “I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work so I called him at home and then he e-mailed me to my Blackberry and so I texted to his cell and then he e-mailed me to my home account and the whole thing just got out of control. And I miss the days when you had one phone number and one answering machine and that one answering machine has one cassette tape and that one cassette tape either had a message from a guy or it didn’t. And now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.”

The way Drew Barrymore says the dialogue in the movie is undeniably endearing and cute. And the frustration she expresses is exactly what I undergo. I mean, Jesus, what world are we living in? There is this one time when one of my friends was really upset with me and we sat together in the same place but watsapped each other furiously for half an hour and we didn’t speak even a word aloud! It just drives me insane. When was it that people would meet face to face and kiss each other on the mouth instead of sending love emoticons? And I’m just going to box the next fellow who greets me with a “what’s up, dude”. I hate the word, “what’s up”. I’m not uptight about language like crazy Higgins from My Fair Lady or anything but I sure wish that things would be done the old way sometimes. What’s wrong with the golden, “How you doin'”?

And so, few months earlier, I swore to never become inexorably dependent on technology. I failed. I can’t even write an essay on paper, I prefer my blog. The moment I wake up, I reach out for my cellphone to check if anyone has sent me a morning joke. It takes will power to refrain from watching at least something on screen every day (but I totally boycott television because I hate television, too). I’d rather learn guitar online than go to a class. And that, my friends is my great tragedy. Stuck in technology, wishing to get way but can’t. Like a fly who has fallen into marmalade.

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Middle Class Indian, Random Shit

Something Bigger Than Myself

It is about half past ten in the morning, and the city looks like a canvas for a giant, crazy kid with crayons, gone out of hand. Yes, it was Holi yesterday and though there has been a drought in India, the celebrations went on uninhibited. Aside from the occasional reports about chemical poisoning in the morning newspapers, all seems to be good and fine. The sun is bright in the sky and the smell in the breeze reminds me of rain.

Another festival is behind us, and  now life has to move on. Lately, I have been preoccupied with thoughts of how I’m not doing enough. In a sense, my schoolboy laziness is beginning to trouble me now. I wish to be more fruitful, more giving, more efficient. But I do not know how can I do that. Shall I look for a summer part-time? Should I learn to cook or help mom in washing dishes or drying clothes? I mean, I have realized that if I don’t have to study, there is more to life than watsapping, watching American soaps, and reading summer novels. I have to pick myself up and commit myself to a nobler cause.

Philosopher Daniel Dennett said the secret of happiness is to find something bigger than yourself, and then devote your life to it. What is that thing in my life and when will I find it?

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Movies, Random Shit, The Hyderabad Chronicles

Things That Matter

So, as you probably know that I have been selected in a film institute at Hyderabad and shall be leaving Mumbai in July, it is time that I make a list of the things I shall be taking along with me for sure:

1. My Books; my weathered copy of One Day  (Jack Nicholls), and some young adult novels such as Perks of being a Wallflower, To Kill a Mockingbird; a selection of Sylvia Plath’s poetry; The Story of Film (by Mark Cousins) – a present from Dad with a little message inscribed on its first page, “Hoping that you shall make a film of your own one day, love, Dad”; a bunch of classics: Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, Great Expectations (Charles Dickens), Rabindranth Tagore Omnibus etc.

2. My camera, Ipod and Macbook

3. A few photographs

4. my miniature of Eiffel Tower to keep on my study desk.

5. my Live Strong bands (I know Armstrong turned out to be a dope-head but I love my LiveStrongs) and my Swiss-Knife

6. Letters from my penfriend in Bangalore

7. My music records: 100 Greatest jazz Hits, Elvis Presley etc.

8. A jar of my nani’s (maternal grandmother) home-made mango jam

9. videos (or torrent files) of Sound of Music, Dev.D (Bollywood), P.S. I Love You, The Help, Midnight in Paris, Eat Pray Love, Mamma Mia, Moulin Rouge, Les Miserables, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (B’wood), Dil Chahta Hai (B’wood), The Namesake, The Beach, F.R.I.E.N.D.S (all seasons), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Titanic, The Tree of Life, The Hours, Annie Hall, North by NorthWest, Love Actually, Pretty Woman, 27 Dresses, The Seven Year Itch, The Holiday, Amelie (French), Runaway Bride, No Strings Attached, Devdas (B’wood), Guzaarish (B’wood) and many more . . .

10. a gold locket with a ‘V’ engraved in it, a present from my dadi (paternal grandmother).

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Movies

The Paperboy: Yuck.

So this week, I fished out a video of The Paperboy I had in my collection and gave it a watch. One word: Yuck. I mean seriously, it was so disgusting in places that I felt like puking. And you cannot watch this movie with family, unless you want to lie on the couch under a mountain of cushions to hide that mojo erection you’re sure to get. Basically, the movie uses sex and early 20th century racism in Alabama as its main themes to attract audiences, and personally I thought they were rather cheap tricks. Only one special mention of McConaughey; he did display considerable acting prowess. And no matter how many sterling reviews these so called “critics” hurl at me, my opinion of the film is not going to waiver.

 

“An idealistic reporter and his brother, Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) and Jack Jansen (Zac Effron), investigate the events surrounding a murder in an effort to exonerate a man on death row, Hillary van Wetter. The Jansens are helped by Ward’s colleague, Englishman Yardley Acheman, and Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), a woman whom van Wetter has never met but who has fallen in love with him and is determined that he should be released and that they should marry.” ~Wikipedia

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