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Archive for the ‘Random When Bored’ Category

Decadent, not. Decade, aye. Over.

Posted by Rani on January 3, 2011

As is often the case, if it weren’t for television, and Facebook!, it wouldn’t have quite registered that the decade is over. 10 years is a long time, during which a lot would happen to anyone, and I wondered about ‘significant milestones’ in me own little life these past 10 years. Why am I getting such a kick out of this?!? 🙂

‘01 – moved to Bangalore. Significant, because it really was the start of so many new things for me, my not-so-sheltered life notwithstanding

’02 – blank. Why?!?

’03 – got my first cell phone. The darned thing was like some extension of my hand – I actually felt it ‘completed’ me. Then I lost it. Put things into perspective, yeah.

’04 – significant promotion at work, and a month-long (5-star too!) work trip. ‘Only’ in India, but I so loved it!

Also the year of the coveted, and hard-earned, IIM tag. Ahem. Phew.

’05 – the year I became “actually” cool, and surer of myself. Of course, I always thought me cool (except in pre-‘05 retrospect), and God knows no one has thought me anything but sure – a little too sure (sigh) – of myself, but this was the year of passage, as it were. I still don’t know why.

’06 – blank, again. Gasp!

’07 – a trippy (literally) year. ‘Only’ in India still…but still! Pondy, Wayanad, Devbagh, my first Breakthrough camp, Nagarhole, Coorg, beachside Chennai and Mahabs – 7 places, over 10 months. Not bad. Not been able to repeat the run, though. Oh well. The decade has only just begun.

Also the year kid sis came over, for a week of non-stop shopping, eating out, and generally living the life.

’08 – the year of the sabbatical. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Also the year (as dad later told me, and I heartily agreed) I “grew up” (different from being just sure of myself, so different). Not that I wasn’t always older than my years…just that the break helped more personally, than I could ever imagine. And inspired the birth of this world-famous blog the next year, that only I read.

’09 – fun, madness-filled, sleep-deprived trip to Delhi, to meet old friends. Every day of not sleeping was so worth it!

’10 – I owe to FB (but, of course) the nudge that got me writing this blogpost, and on FB shall I post an album on the year that was. Don’t hold your breath – it’ll probably be a while.

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What the Well-read Person is Watching

Posted by Rani on January 3, 2011

I am not well-read. Contrary to what you may have heard (uhmm, probably from me). If I were, I wouldn’t have had to wait for Brad Pitt to become Benjamin Button to know Fitzgerald was there first (albeit differently). Oh, woe is me! There was more to Fitzy than just the great Gatsby?!?

And so, years after I declared making movies out of books was the worst thing to happen to a book, I eat humble pie. This unwell-read person owes to Hollywood more than one “ohhh, this was based on a book?” moment. Sigh.

My moment of extreme realization, as it were, really came when the first of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ was made into a movie. What sort of literary childhood had I had that I didn’t know of THE chronicles as THE book?!? Aghast, dejected, forlorn, I wandered long and far (one end of my living room to the other), contemplating my reason for existence. I threw my ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ on to the floor. I closed the door on ‘Lolita’. ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ gathered dust. Then I snapped out of it. And proceeded to my favorite secondhand bookstore to get me a copy of the Chronicles (the book, duhh). And went on to read all seven chronicles, before the remaining movies could even be made. Hah!

And then, there’s the history bit. The ‘general knowledge’ bit. The ‘based on a true story’ ones. I watched ‘Valkyrie’. Snippets of the mal movie ‘Pazhassi Raja’. ‘A Beautiful Mind’. Closer home, people watched ‘Taare Zameen Par’ (and suddenly, everyone knew everything about dyslexia). I may not be well-read (anymore) or well-informed (never was) but I am smart. Creative dramatization is needed in a movie so fiction here is really just based, sometimes loosely only, on fact. I get it, I get it. So, I always google further to get the “real” story (or, as real as what the Internet can offer). Ooh la la. Or, I read the book, as the case may be. And then get irritated at how far the movie is off the mark from the spirit of the ‘original’.

But then it struck me, in all its creative beauty – such movies help bring to the masses (me being part of that mass) what we otherwise might not have known (enough) about.

‘Gone with the Wind’ garnered far more press for the dashing Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh than for Rhett and Scarlett. But a ‘happy’ ripple effect was new interest in the book itself, and the story of southern civilization and life before the American Civil War; the story of a civilization gone with the wind. Of course, the earlier fact-fiction point besides, a movie can never really do justice to a book nor is it always an “accurate” depiction of the book even (for instance, Ken Kesey apparently never watched the movie rendition of his ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ but still heartily disliked what he knew of it, the movie not being like how the book was). Well, albeit with my belief in such movies now stronger, I still feel that movies-based-on-books should be seen as just that – a movie, based on a BOOK. If you want the whole deal, read the book already.

But we thank you, Hollywood, for at least letting us know.

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What’s in a Name?

Posted by Rani on April 15, 2009

I never remember names. Never. Not of real people, I seem to be fairly okay there. Of fictional characters in the various (I hope) books I have read. So much so that one might wonder if I have actually read any of the books I claim to or have just taken the much easier route of wiki-ing the synopsis, an act usually reserved for movies.

Possibly the only book I remember names of even minor characters is Gone with the Wind (try India Wilkes for size). H2G2 is a fairly close second. I want to add Lord of the Rings to the list, but I confess I consciously tried to memorize the names with little success. Go Frodo, go Gandalf!

I believe it has something to do with my relating more to the ethos of the story than the actual characters themselves. Bravo, well said Rani. A good weasel out of the more plausible I’m-just-not-paying-enough-attention reason.  I got to cut me some slack, it probably does have something to do with the first reason.

As with all other issues in life, this poses the eternal question on how the heck it matters. As a self-confessed pseudo-intellectual, one of my vices ought to be to wax eloquent and unintelligbly (to the layman, duhhh) on obscure books and throw in quotes and names. Name-droppers, all of them wannabes.

Ahh, I think the real issue is that I tend to simplify things in order to understand it. Which I’m fine with, because I personally think it’s a rare trait that one can simplify a dense piece to make it understandable to the layman AND without appealing to the lowest common denominator. I really am a pseudo-intellectual….but now, in a better sense of the word. I die happy.

<insert afterthought>: if I think I’m above the layman, maybe I am a pseudo-intellectual after all, and no longer in a better sense of the word. Revert to status quo.

Posted in Random When Bored | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

On the Bandwagon

Posted by Rani on April 9, 2009

The greatest challenge in jumping on the bandwagon is that you’re just part of the herd, and the greatest challenge in not is missing the bus, over and over and over. So here we are, new blog et al and writing about exactly what I swore I wouldn’t write about – how the muses deserted me just as I begin to write.

With the perfunctory intro out of the way, I can settle down to the serious business of writing about nothing at all. The writer’s block is real, but laziness is ‘realer’. To rack your brains on something to write and keeping it cohesive is — well, tiring. As is the entire façade of being a pseudo-intellectual, which I believe is my USP. But a closet one. Oh great, I had to come out of the closet in my very first blog ever. Darn. And before the hounds get me, not that closet – just the intellectual one.

Wait, this is about on or off the bandwagon. Right, so do we and must we be careful to not get left out of ‘key developments that redefine society even as I type’? Do we or don’t we jump on the bandwagon? And do I continue to pretend I really care about this, another key skill in being a pseudo-intellectual.

The long and short of it – the bandwagon demands conformity. And so, we pretend to conform. End result –pseudo. A new bandwagon to jump on, and we all live happily ever after.

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