Advice to the Unheeding

>> Friday, January 23, 2009

Things not to do before watching a movie the entire world is gaga over:

  • Reading the book.

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A Murderer Breathing Down My Neck

>> Tuesday, January 13, 2009

(It depresses me extremely to realize how pathetic I actually am regarding giving titles to post. If I ever write a book, I shall name it A, and then go along the English alphabet while naming any other books there might be. Then, of course, my publisher would expect me to write 26 books, and I shall disappoint him extremely by going until C and then suffering from a major writer's block, or acquiring a religion which prevents a person from leaving any tangible proof of the fact that they had once existed. If I do not, I will keep on worrying what I would name my book after the 26th is published and probably die due to a massive heart attack. Despite these misgivings, I quite fancy writing a book called A for Aardvark. It shall be, because I will be a sort of a rebel author, about aardvarks. The title shall not be a metaphor for the tragedy of the demise of seals. That story shall come under S for Seals. My autobiography shall be named P for Pestilential Parasite. Until then, I will put this post under the rather banal title of A Murderer Breathing Down My Neck).

In Agatha Christie's world, people fall in love for the most peculiar of reasons. Women fall in love with men because the men do not love them back, the men need to be protected, the men are pure evil, the men are faithful puppies, or perhaps because the men have a streak of untamed wildness. All the men fall in love with the women because they are curiously beautiful. Moreover, the women are usually around nineteen years of age, which is rather sad since, all my life, I have been vaguely hoping I would bloom into some sort of a beauty around the time I am thirty. In Agatha Christie's world, when you are thirty, you are a lady, but not so young. No one speaks of blooming beauties. Yet, Poirot assures us that there always is someone because "journeys end in lovers' meetings".


Yes, that is correct. I get advice for my love life from a fictional Belgian bachelor with a pronounced case of moustaches.


My favourite (and spookiest) teacher once asked me why I liked reading, nay re-reading, Agatha Christie so much. I, with the sense of a feeble minded 15 year old, ventured a guess that it was because her plots were, rather, you know, page turners. He raised an eyebrow, glinted thorough his spectacles, and asked me why, then, did I not feel the same way for Sherlock Holmes, or even, Father Brown. The power of most detective stories lie in their plots. How was Christie different?

By then, practically petrified by his glinting glasses, I brought forth an "er..." and relapsed into a painful silence. After glinting for a few moments more, he answered his own question. It is, he drawled, because of the humanity in her books. The various people, the various thoughts, the banters, the humour, the tragic touch, the inevitable romantic end. Hers is not a murder alone, hers is a whole by-play of human life.

Father Brown, however, still remains a favourite. Despite the rather Gothic atmosphere, the scholarly outlook of the author, and the incongruous mildness of the detective (for detectives, even Miss Marple, are usually very agitated by the evil in men. Father Brown, invariably, chooses Christian forgiveness). The spiritual approach, however, was never a fault. The underlying religiousness, the humility and the gentleness - was Chesterton, one wonders, symbolizing the supreme tolerance of his own faith?

Do books with religion as theme take on the characteristics of the religion? There is Buddha Da - charming, insightful, gentle, probing, introspective, in fact, donning the mantle of the very Buddhism it uses as plot tool. Despite the rather uncomfortable Scottish way of speech, the book never fails to touch a chord. It remains, above and beyond religion, a heart warming depiction of faith and acceptance.

While we are on the topic of Scottish authors, Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith is supposed to be inaugurating the Kolkata Book Fair on the 27th of this month. People not unfortunate enough to be a part of Calcutta University might want to drop in there. Perhaps get me an autograph. Or read him the seven page speech I am going to write in his honour. Pretty please with a cherry on top?

I now forget what the title was supposed to be about. Why a murderer? Why the neck? Where did Scotland come in? Why can not I stick to a point? What are aardvarks?

Which probably means, why am I even posting this?







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Because my mind is plotless

>> Thursday, January 08, 2009

Dear person who stole my wallet,

I assume you are literate, considering you did commit the act in a library. Hence, in case you do come across this letter, please consider this as a plea directed to you.

Sir, I understand your choice of vocation, nay, I applaud it. Conmanship had been my preferred career as a sixteen year old. In fact, it is one of the reasons I am studying economics. Nobody understands money more than economists and thieves. Since I can not be the latter (not due to a misplaced sense of honour, only because my mum would have disapproved), I have banked for the former. Let me add that I do not understand anything about money. Apparently, only practical experience is of any use in this field.

To c0me back to my original point, I admire your ways. The skill with which you extricated the wallet deserves a good wallet. I hope the wallet gave you many joys, indeed more than it ever gave me. To tell you the truth, I was never really fond of the wallet, but my library card would not fit anywhere else. Thankfully, you have now proved an easier solution. With no library card to worry about, I may now carry absolutely any wallet I may please. I now carry a rather attractive, striped wallet which does not look as if belonged to my father once. Please do not consider it as an invitation to help yourself to it, though. I like this wallet very much and, indeed, should be heartbroken if it disappeared.

Esteemed sir, you are welcome to all the money in it. Most of it was for my tuition teachers, and frankly, as one almost conman to another, they are not worth it. They are all a bunch of self satisfied, self consumed, economics loving people and have never managed to teach me more than how to be rude to people and develop a fine sense of sarcasm. I do not begrudge you the money. In fact, I would like you to spend it on something frivolous and luxurious. That sort of thing will cause a rise in demand, and everyone knows the necessity of a rise in demand in these days. Perhaps something like shoes. It pleases me to think of you prancing around in uncomfortable, fancy shoes financed by money originally meant for a couple of moustached people. I do hope you do not have a moustache. They will not go with the fancy shoes.

However, the point of this letter is, could you please be a nice person and return my identity card to me. You see, that identity card is one of my strongest bonds with my college, the days of which are numbered now. I am a final year student and I shall never get another identity card in time. Mine is a government college and what with all the rules, regulations and the rampant laziness, a new identity card usually takes around four months to appear. Not to mention all the hassle I will have to face with the police while going about getting an FIR. Like any law aiding citizen, I like to keep away from anything which might prompt incessant bribing, impromptu weepings and undignified wheedling. You understand that, you can not be very fond of the police yourself.

If you could do this much, you could be assured of good karma flowing towards you. That and good wishes from my side. My phone number, address and bloodgroup are mentioned on the card. I believe the information is sufficient for you to mail the card back to me.

With high hopes and best wishes,

Yours truly,

The girl in purple clothes you stole the wallet from .

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Sabbatical- part 2

>> Saturday, January 03, 2009

I have lost all my writing skills, or at least the semblance I had.

I stare and stare and stare at the computer screen and all what comes out is "The mosquitoes have ganged up against me." This is not a good sign. The blog gave me a secret identity. Without my blog, I am just this overweight, horribly depressed, unhappy with her graduation subject woman who dreams of nothing more than a trip to the African jungles.

I admit I like blogging. I like people asking me if I am the blogger, so that I can blush a deep red, stammer and wonder if I had recently insulted anything they could possibly be involved in. Not that it happens often. It has only happened thrice, and one of them was a grandmother.

However, for all thoughts and purposes, it is over. I will now go find something new to do, so that I still remain the woman who has a life beyond Economics and weeping. Like pictionary. Or being a vampire. I like the taste of blood. It comes number 7 in my list of weird food stuffs I happen to like, coming immediately after wood shavings.

The good things happening in my life? I have completed the pre-21 aims. I can now turn 21 without locking myself in and refusing to speak to anyone. I shall gladly welcome all friends and family and tell them how much they brighten my life. I might wish inwardly that they go skiing and break their necks, but they will not be informed of this.

Also, the lobster is not mine to get.

Happy New Year, everyone. I do not wish you broken necks. May you all keep on writing. Being a vampire is not much fun.

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