Monday, 30 July 2007

Office Office

No, not that series starring Pankaj Kapur (who, incidentally, distinguishes himself as Shaheed Kapur's father) on SAB TV. Just my beautiful bountiful office. With the high speed net connection, the tendency to mould on the walls, and, this booming in the distance which could be (a) temple bells from childhood re-sounding in head or (2) someone painstakingly breaking a concrete wall using mallets. What a relief to be back in these digs.

I had such a wonderful weekend. I mean, considering. The home is all spruced up, at least by my standards, thanks to the magic wand that mum wields. The cook & maid are glowing, under the special attention showered on them by her, and are cleaning fans and singing. The milk, the yogurt, the lunch, are all out of my hands, whup. On saturday I cleaned out a cupboard, threw things, put things inside other things, let the child watch several hours of Winnie the Pooh videos, and wrapped notebooks. The evening was friends, food, bit of beer, rain.

Sunday was a bit off as usual as I did not have a good night's sleep and my attempts at napping met with severe resistance. I was covered up by cushions and pillows, and small hands seemed to be banging on my head, and, while prudence dictated that I just get up and do some work, laziness won and I continued trying to nap and the child continued trying her best to drive spikes through my head. Oh! the joys of motherhood.

With vengeance, I stayed up till 1 am sunday night finishing up A Spot of Bother. So, in a sense, this post is about that, rather than about my beautiful office room or the state secrets I decode over here.

Generally, I love British books. Possibly because they say fag and really mean cigarette. They are comfortable saying snog (and don't always say snigger snigger next to it). There is a good profusion of homosexual, good looking men. Of course my all time balm, panacea, elixir and what not is P.G.Wodehouse. If I am depressed but not depressed enough to wallow in it, I pick up a Wodehouse for revision. I have read pretty much his entire spectrum, barring a couple of titles here and there that are not easily available. While I have definite preferences and would not readily read his Golf stuff again, he rates up there for me.

But then again the modern ones are much easier to read (meaning you don't need a dictionary, at least I don't need a dictionary, for all the slang things are reasonably familiar to me). Not that I carefully lap up anything that is written on the island, just that I like Bridget Jones immensely. Yeah, and this Mark Haddon dude. In this particular book, he is talking about an aging guy who thinks he has cancer, and is slowly going insane in his retirement. The pieces all come together nicely in a sort of romantic way, at the very end, but it is obvious that this is a 'feel good' book, right from the beginning so nothing to set much score by. These going insane stories always resonate well with me, and the other things in the book don't take much away from this basic theme, but just help out a great deal. There is a working mother of a young child, which is spot on as well. A vague exploration of relationships, stuff marriages are made of, relatives getting together, and how icky it is when older people get physical, lyrical pictures (in my head that is) of the English countryside round out the book pretty well. Try it, if you have not already, alongside the other one The Curious Incident of the Dog... , which is a book about a remarkable autistic child and relationships.

The whole aging dude going insane is also a theme common with The Everest Hotel (Allan Sealy) that I re-read recently. Yes, that is a habit of mine. Reading books again. Mostly its because I read so damn fast these days that I run of books and bookshelf space in no time at all, but also I do this because depending on my mood I get very different things out of the book at different times. Like this time around, I was in the old guys shoes lying around, going mad, trying to get even with random acts of vengeance, and generally giving in to the insanity, not resisting it. Quite liberating, though I do think I would chicken out when it comes to it.

In many ways the Spot of Bother thing is very similar to the Everest book. Of course, the former is cute-sy in the ultimate analysis, the latter is grisly in many parts.

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