Friday, September 08, 2006

tag the dawg

I was tagged for a meme several days ago by Bitch|Lab, a blogger of superior talents, and never had the chance to do it thanks to this real life bug that's been going around for a while now. Symptoms of this included a) getting promoted at work b) listening to Bon Jovi again and c) watching a lot of useless honestly fucking annoying telly at home, as I was too tired to do anything else (I'm also secretly reading Superman fanfiction, but let's pretend I never said this).

Glad as I am that I missed seeing so much as a hint of Italy's disastrous Euro 2008 qualifiers, I do wish my eyeballs had escaped the fate of being imprinted with such cretinous advertisements for products such as the Tea Of Women's Emancipation. I suppose Tetley's is trying to make a point and deviate from such befuddling product pimps as the Deodorant Meant To Be Confused With Women's Underwear ("Pink or Black?" How about "Run Along And Finish Your Homework, You Creepy Little Zits"?) or the “Turn Me Into A Curvy Bottle, I’m Alice In Pornderland!” soft drink. The Tetley's ad is a comparative island of inoffesiveness. Or: Is It? Iyanno. It annoys me. The conflict between the evil husband and the woman-slave makes my teeth ache. I love tea and I am prepared to accept that it changes everything for the better, but really good tea would allow her to get a divorce and run away to Bombay, rather than stay on in the carcerous confines of the patriarchal tool that is Northern Railways.

But I’m doing the meme now.

1. One book that changed your life?

The Silmarillion, in several significant ways. One, I discovered high fantasy. Two, the amazing tragedy of an ordered universe. Three: elves! Elves who save each other by chopping off hands! Four: some of my closest friends today, whom I first met online to geek out about Tolkien.

2. One book you have read more than once?

The Last Samurai, by Helen DeWitt. Even talking about this book makes me jealous of everyone who’s heard of it for the first time and is only just about to discover it. I read bits of it practically once every three days.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

Something that explained clearly and concisely how to get the hell offa there and back to the nearest city? I’m not so good in places rural and remote. I value solitude, but I must have it in urban surroundings.

4. One book that made you cry?

When I was 12 years old, Heidi. Many of you have probably guessed that I talk a lot because I’m overcompensating for my streak of repression, forged through long hardship in the fires of moral uprightness at my local convent school. I was a pious child. Heidi wanted to go back to her grandfather’s hut in the mountains but couldn’t, even though she spent a lot of time praying about it, and her butler told her that when God didn’t answer prayers it wasn’t because He wasn’t listening, but because He knew what was best for us and withheld our heart’s desire until we were ready to accept it. It was such a comforting thought that the waterworks didn’t turn off until a good two chapters later.

5. One book that made you laugh?

Cold Comfort Farm, the Stella Gibbons classic about a young woman learned, at the cusp of adulthood, in every worldly art save that of making her own living. A friend once posited that Flora Poste would bring about interplanetary peace if she could just be voted in as Galactic Overlord. You know, how Rajnikanth would overthrow known laws of physics if he ruled the world? Yeah. Possibly the best book ever written.

6. One book you wish had been written?

The really exciting one about mad scientists, domineering mothers and the very hot footballer who gets embroiled in a race to save the world from certain destruction before he realizes it.

7. One book you wish had never been written?

Sons and Lovers. Omfg, the ponderous sex and vapid painting. My brain still puckers up in pain when I think of it. DH Lawrence, gah.

8. One book you are currently reading?

Currently I’m reading King Lear. It’s amazing how reading Shakespeare is like having a really, really wonderful boyfriend. (Yes, you can lock me away now. But I will bet you Kit Marlowe thought the same when he saw the first draft of Romeo and Juliet.)

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

The Autobiography of Red, by Anne Carson. Bloody thing’s not to be had for love or money anywhere around here, though.

10. Tag five people.

Okay! Aishwarya, Emily, Kaushik, Vivek and the Vikster.

Notes: I watched Lage Raho Munnabhai last night and mourned Hrishikesh Mukherjee a little more. The film was for the most part very goofy and enjoyable, though. How awesome is Boman Irani, I ask you?

And, Aishwarya and I are embarking on a project: a series of posts on desirable male athletes. We are serious about it. As in, ‘do-I-need-an-excuse-to-do-this?’ serious. I’m open to suggestions. Be prepared, Scouts and Guides.

To conclude, I would like to mention that I did find an advertisement to adore over the course of the past few days: the Nokia one starring Shakespeare-declaiming Gary Oldman, Sexpian Extraordinaire. So, so nummy. Also, am I the last person to notice the MotoRazr billboards with Signors Dolce and Gabbana?

current musix: david bowie - suffragette city.


  1. Altariel1:28 pm

    The Last Samurai, by Helen DeWitt

    I haven't read this. Tell me why I should.

  2. A S Byatt says it's about '...the problems of the very intelligent in a dumbed-down world,' but you shouldn't believe her. The Last Samurai is about a frustrated genius called Sybilla, who's bringing up her baby-by-accident, Ludo, as a penurious single mother. Ludo starts learning Greek at age 2 and aerodynamics at age 4, and Sibylla realises that 'prodigy' is a word that means 'miracle of obstinacy.' She's worried that he has no male role models, so she lets him watch Kurosawa's Seven Samurai ad nauseum (because then he has seven people to emulate). What Ludo would really like, though, is to know who his father is. And at age 11, he sets to finding out...

    It's funny, brilliant, and the experimental writing hits voice and character spot-on. It's also very self-aware and compassionate. I'm blurbing, I know, but my love for this book knows no real bounds. I get the feeling you'd adore this, A.

  3. Altariel4:18 pm

    You've sold it. God bless the local library, I've got it on request now.

    BTW, my intermittent and not-terribly well-written booklog is here.

  4. You missed Italy – France?? How could you?? It was fabulous!! *Evil grin* The whole crowd was chanting "Zizou! Zizou!" at the end…fantastic!
    Ok, ill stop now =D
    Seriously though, the Italians should tell Materazzi to shut the fuck up, he will probably be lynched by French supporters soon if he doesn’t.
    I am also very tempted to beg Aishwarya and you to let me do a post on the hotness of Zidane.. hehe….but, you will include him right??

    Also have to add…
    1)am reading King Lear too!
    2)Yes, you are the last one to see the D&G ad…I saw it when I was home two months back
    3)Did you also just see the Oldman ad?? (it’s kinda oldish too, you know)…its simply awesome isn’t it?…I fell off the bed drooling at it =D

  5. thanks for doing the meme! glad you're feeling better.

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  7. anonymouse10:24 pm

    Have I recommended Ian M. Banks to you yet? I think I have :). You can borrow the rest of my Banks' after I get them back at November end.

    Mad scientists, domineering mothers and a hot footballer? Sounds like an ideal candidate for a Bolvudis[1] movie.

    The Silmarillion is good, but not in the same league as the rest of Tolkien's works. If he had managed to finish it, it would have been a way better book.

    Oh, and Peter F. Hamilton, as well as the Honor Harrington series by David Weber.

    Oh, and Heinlein. TANSTAAFL!

    [1] Go figure out the author.

  8. @ szerelem: oh noes, i caught the oldman one a while back too - i just haven't watched enough telly for it to register as more than a beautiful one-off. what i love is that you have this gorgeous ad and it plays as often as the annoying ones!

    and you must do zizou. please be incorporated into project objectify, as aishwarya and i have dubbed it. please, pretty please?

    @ bitch|lab: it was my pleasure! sorry i completely missed it earlier. :)

    @ anonymouse: nonsense, the silm is proof of the gorgeous cracktasticness of tolkien's vision - i don't think it even stands comparision to his other work, actually, because it's not at all a novel to begin with.

  9. * had to Google up Bolvudis. *grin* Thank you, I think ...?

  10. anonymouse11:28 am

    Think romantic fantasy (Ivanhoe, anyone?) crossed with Pratchett set in an Indian context with appropriate cultural references.

    Think of a reasonably good Bollywood clone of a popular set of Hollywood movies, without the extra emotional drama involved.
    Worth a read, possibly not a second.

    As for Tolkien, he tended to revise his works a bit more, and that final varnish is sadly missing.

  11. hehe....not that i need a reason to drool at Zidane, but a legitimate one is always nice....terribly honoured you asked =D
    Seriously though, still awaiting the first post of Project Objectify...the wait is becoming a should start with Pirlo...i have a new found respect for the awesomeness of his hair!

    P.S: sorry about the deleted comment...terribly embarrassing faux pas that.

  12. Very well, then, earmarking him for you. *earmarks*

    The first post of Project Objectify was supposed to be up yesterday, but Aisha was ill and I was ill. As for Pirlo - yahuh, totez agree. He's like this playmaking god AND he has great hair. And this is me being incoherent, incidentally. But hopefully we've drawn Isheeta into the project too, and she'll probably have more to say about him than I do. :)