Tuesday, April 18, 2017


I have been wondering quite continuously for the last couple of years that should I rather invest my time in re-reading all that I have already read instead of reading anything new as my retention has become so superbly shitty. But then, the entire thing about variety comes up and I continue to read, piecemeal, forgetting what I just read before I have even had the time to move on. Sometimes, I remember some tiny piece of an idea, or plot device, often forgetting the book or even the characters involved. This ability of things to get so spectacularly smushed together in my memory, without any hope for clarity has been a cause of deep worry and anguish.

I have recently however, discovered the beauty of remembering something long forgotten and the joy of rediscovering it. It is almost a new experience, but tinged with nostalgia making it somehow deeper because you are simultaneously experiencing the same idea as two different people. It is a process of understanding yourself as much as it is about interpreting what you are reading or watching.

We used to have this Oxford reader through standards fifth to eighth and very often we were introduced to fragments of chapters of various books which we would then hunt down and read. Sometimes, the books were too advanced for us - I tried reading the unabridged version of Nicholas Nickleby at the age of 11 and it really put me off Dickens for a while. But it was also a way of reading books which we would probably have otherwise never picked up. Three Men in a Boat was one of those books and so was Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals.
I was watching Graham Norton and  Keely Hawes was talking about a show she was in. I didn't even catch the name of the show, but I was intrigued by the little video they played and after some googling I found out the show was called The Durrells. A faint memory of that  Oxford reader came back to me and all I remembered was that there was a boy who had housed a nesting spider/fly in a matchbox which had been upset and caused uproar. It is a lovely show and I am looking forward to the next season, but what was totally adorable was remembering how I had first reacted to the story thanking the stars that I did not have brothers and the general squeamishness caused in a class full of preteen girls all either recounting tales of horrid brothers or others responding with adequate horror with some badass future Arya Starks recounting their own delight in creepy crawlies. I have commenced re-reading the book and have found that it was a part of a trilogy, thanks to the modern marvels of the internet.

The moral of this long winded recollection being then, that while you have to embrace your own shortcomings as far as recollection and recall are concerned, sometimes, it is worth forgetting for a while if only to remember later at a more opportunate time.

Here's the trailer for The Durrells - it is a wonderful, quirky and funny programme and has given me a lot of ammo for a later piece on families that discuss things and precocious children. The trailer leaves a lot to be desired, but I wish that anyone who does read this, goes ahead and watches the show.

The Durrells

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Tyranny of Social Pressure

This year is turning out to be remarkable in the extent to which I am becoming a version of myself that would be approved of by my mother. I am already so ordinary, middle class and safe in all my choices and expectations that it is difficult for anyone to conceive how I could possibly become more pliable.

It is the small stuff. Today after days of struggling with my terrible sleep cycle, I woke up in the morning and the joy that I felt cannot be described. I was busy humming to myself and feeling just right and this went on for a while before I realised how I have completely bought into the idea that my day would be 'more productive' were I to wake up earlier. Ugh. You'll never be Easy Rider Devika but at least you could have defied some social convention. Why don't you go for a run now and eat only non fat low carb foods ? Why don't you sell your soul and start singing BJP praises ?

I have never been more disappointed in myself. I will go and listen to the birds chirruping away madly. 

If Life were a Historical Romance

1.) The virgin female character would suddenly be assailed by extraordinary male attention, which is mostly respectful and though the entire social sphere has agreed that the virgin is not pretty, she has that special something which men like and women don't. Ladies in historical romances be bitchy y'all.

2.) Though the virgin lady is predominantly a virgin, she is the mould for quirky and she is often found roaming around wearing breeches. The breeches are important because her butt is always heart shaped and always produces both lust and territorial pissing contests within the male lead.

3.) As we have already established the virginity, it behooves one to understand that the female's sexual awakening is just around the corner and the moment she lies with the very experienced rake of a male lead, it is immediately the best sex of the man's life and he is transformed to monogamy forever.

4.) While the female is untouched and pure, and generally living in an asexual pastoral world, the man is always 'devilishly handsome' and 'sinfully experienced' and a 'rake' waiting to be reformed. He is also gifted at charming all women, but has a radar where he avoids the large-breasted truly evil bitch of London society. This endears him even more to the virgin, who appreciates his uncanny eye and true insight.

5.) The rake immediately renounces all previous sexual preferences and will always muse to himself in an internal monologue how the virgin's breasts are small but 'made to fit in his hands' and how during 'coupling' their 'bodies fit together.' All initial attempts at sex will end in this attentive rake satisfying the virgin and claiming that that was enough.

6.) One or the other of the leads is always rich and has access to money, power and is friends with someone who has all the social connections required. There are ample secondary characters who help this couple along the way and often reference their historical knowledge of the meant togetherness. These leads will eventually find their own orgasmic happy ever afters in sequels or prequels.

7.) There is always great albeit alterable conflict involving kidnapping, duelling, fighting and misplaced letters. The lead is never raped, and oftentimes will assist in her recovery because her quirkiness is desperately trying to establish her as anything other than a damsel, though she will often talk about the 'growling' tone of the rake when he talks to her.

8.) There is so much adorable fighting which always ends in kissing and no body ever remembers all the bad stuff that was said. Kissing causes amnesia.

9.) The couples always marry because something forced their hand but they secretly want it and though all they do is have sex (though never anal and while the rake goes down on the virgin a lot, the virgin despite her curiosity to 'please', never really has to give a blow job) , the virgin never dies in childbirth and everyone is super happy about the prospect of constant babies.

10.) The most important thing remains that while women are allowed to exist on a spectrum of beauty, the men are always handsome, sexually expedient and rich as well as wanting to save and be saved. They are faithful, infinitely attentive and blessed with insight though overzealously jealous - but it is okay, the virgin never assumes that his behavior might be abusive because she KNOWS he loves her. This is precisely why loss of her virginity will not hurt because you know LOVE.

Let no one doubt I did not do my research.