Holidays absolutely scramble my brains. I think I’m one of those people who only function well on deadlines. All my creative output also springs from deadlines — bits of poetry, fiction, drawings just when I’m aware that I shouldn’t. Last evening I finally reached the end of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, two days after I should’ve finished reading it for the exam, but I try to believe exams are not the only reason to read books (unless they are unpleasant books, of course). I’m not sure if ‘like’ is the word I should associate with Murakami’s writing — Norwegian Wood had given me a strong and lasting depression, it’s one of the books I’m afraid to re-read — but maybe it won’t be incorrect to say I like his vision and his impact. I didn’t start reading Hard-Boiled Wonderland till the end of the first two exams but it took me in quick, its premise was interesting although I think the effect dissolves towards the end. You could tell how it was a pre-Norwegian Wood novel. Even After Dark (the only other Murakami I’ve read) is more precise and sure-footed about its pressure points, despite its much smaller scale.

I need to learn how to sharpen my kitchen knives because all of them are blunt. Just now I had to slice a lemon with the meat cleaver; the small vegetable knife would just not sink through the rind.

Of the things I’m looking forward to this year, these are at the top of the list:

  • River of Smoke, which I find a greatly unmemorable name compared to Sea of Poppies, but I can’t wait for the book. Even though I do agree with the point P made on her blog about the second book of trilogies usually being a drag. This was also the first book I pre-ordered in my life (which, of course, has more to do with the huge discount they’re offering at Flipkart).
  • The final Harry Potter movie.
  • Snuff.
  • The Tintin movie.

That is a vaguely chronological list although about these things, who can tell. That’s also only a list of upcoming things; there are existing things  that I want to catch up on like novels by Kundera and Umberto Eco and all the Woody Allen films I have not seen. I want someone to give me a collection of Pixar shorts. I want to sit at the rooftop at B&B with a chilled beer and watch a diffused gray sunset over this stupid city that does not let me go away. I am very excited about this book called Insects Are Just Like You and Me Except Some of Them Have Wings which arrived a couple of days ago (Flipkart again, thank god for Flipkart), but I will leave this for another post because I have such a lot to say about it. Also, just thought I’d mention that I do not at all feel impressed by the song called ‘Bhaag D. K. Bose’ that seems all the rage these days. Edgy lyrics alright but the tune just refuses to catch. I wonder if this will change.

I want to make pasta and chicken and a chocolate cake with walnuts in it but god, it’s so hot. The kitchen feels like a slice of hell all the time since the sun is up. I can’t bear to swallow my morning tea after 8 AM so on days I wake up late, there is no tea and I feel sluggish and can muster up enthusiasm for nothing except stay in bed and read. Or watch music videos on Youtube when the internet connection feels benevolent enough.

It’s a Sunday morning and my mother is wandering around the house talking incessantly on the phone. Chhoto Pishi, Mejo Jetthu, Chhoto Mami, so on and so forth. I’m listening to the constant chatter over the whirring of the washing machine and the splurts and hisses from the kitchen and vaguely wondering how she has so much to say, because I can find nothing to say to most of my relatives, even the ones closer to my age like Cousin A and Cousin L, who keep up this one-sided effort to stay in touch. Cousin R is getting divorced and I should maybe phone him but I always forget. I’m listening but I’m not really tuning in; later Ma will tell me snatches of these conversations and I will absentmindedly nod, repeating all the time in my head, whoa really. (Whoa really nothing. Just whoa, really.)

It took me about three hours to write this blog post because I keep getting distracted and going away. I have a few more things to say but at the moment I can’t compose them into coherent lines. There’s so much else to do. Which one is your main task and which one’s the distraction? You wonder, you forget, this flotsam-like nowhereness is your life. Perhaps.

12 thoughts on “97”

  1. I don’t get the DK Bose song. Quite out of tune. Just edgy lyrics don’t make a good song. The movie seems promising. The same cannot be said about the Tintin movie though i’m eagerly waiting for it. I watched the trailer last night and it brought back all my misgivings about motion capture technology. It just doesn’t “look” real. A live action film would’ve been so much better.

    1. Addendum: i still think Tintin’s going to be awesome! :D

      1. I think I agree about the 3D-versus-live action dilemma. This is not even a “real” Tintin story. I didn’t quite mind the mostly-faithful cartoon adaptations that they used to show on TV. Maybe about the film I’m just going with the hype, but let’s see how it turns out!

  2. Well, the D.K. Bose song is stuck in MY head, despite the fact that I’ve only heard it twice.

    Lets hang out one day.

  3. I outgrew Tintin long before Hollywood acknowledge his existence. But I covet Snuff with a terrible concoction of horror and fascination because, hello, Unseen Academicals? It’s giving me a headache.

    But River of Smoke, yes. I usually realise books have been written only after they’ve been published, so I admire your enterprise in pre-ordering. However, as someone who absolutely *loved* Sea of Poppies, I should say that its narrative style, shorn of it’s extraordinary and fascinating research and tongues, leave something to be desire. When compared to Ghosh’s earlier work, that is.

    1. This was, as I mentioned, the first book I pre-ordered. I knew the book was going to be published, wasn’t entirely sure when. But came across the deal while browsing through Flipkart and couldn’t hold myself back. (They were giving about 230 bucks off.)

      I keep track of a few authors but usually don’t pre-order books because I’m never sure if I want to own them. Space at home is at a premium. About River of Smoke I was mostly sure. I’m hoping now it doesn’t disappoint!

  4. In Snuff, btw, I wonder if Vimes and the Votch will meet Tiffany and Granny and Nanny, given how Preston now interns at the Lady Sybil Free Hospital. Please god, please.

    1. So he does. I’ve been slightly unhappy with the fact that all the latest Discworld books have been City books, apart from the Tiffany Aching books which are, honestly, not really the stuff that the earlier witch novels were. I could do very much with a hardcore Granny novel. It does not seem forthcoming. Ah well. :)

  5. 1. I absolutely love this post for its randomness.
    2. Thank God for Flipkart, indeed!
    3. I have absolutely nothing to say to my relatives either, so you’re not alone.
    4. I don’t get the point of the “Bhaag DK Bose” song.

    1. Relatives have this thing for competitive exams, don’t they? Perfectly wonderful and reasonable people otherwise, endearing even, but they won’t think much of me if I don’t clear either the GRE or the IAS. Whoa, really!

  6. How I love reading your blog Mandy dearest. Only for the longest time I had the wrong link in my blog which redirected me somewhere else :( Glad to have found you!

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