Monday, August 28, 2006

The Haven of the 'Lonely' ?

I recall someone saying 'The internet is for lonely people'. If that is true, then about half the world is 'lonely'. I can vouch with utmost honesty that, more often than not, I come online to write in my blog or to talk to my friends or to read others' blogs. My mother says that 'bloggers are people who are either unemployed or have enough free time to seek attention on the internet'. I didn't agree with her, maybe it's simply the generation gap. (It is no secret that she is computer illiterate.) Everyone seems to have a blog, including Dmitry Tursunov! When I confronted my mother with the fact that everyone has the right to express themselves (assuming that they think democratically) she curtly said, "I have no intention of leaving anything behind, it's why I don't even write a diary". My mother doesn't realize that I have just immortalized her in my blog! (At least till blogger ceases to exist!) So is being on the internet a pathetic attempt by human beings at immortality? Are we not able to accept our insignificance? Do we really think that a sequence of bits can actually make us immortal (At least they remain cached in servers for ages. Besides, if one is suspected by the CIA, then they remain immortalized in print on record.)
Alright, maybe I got a little carried away. Maybe it's just the right of every human being to have his or her 15 minutes of fame. Hence I ask the parental and grandparental generation; is that such a bad thing? It's easy for the older generation to scoff at new-age methods to do the same old thing. (They're the proponents of heirlooms, inheritances and legacies to start with.) The entry might not make sense now, but I think it will make sense sometime in the future when prose-style blogs will be an obscurity. As for loneliness, the lack of internet access is not a measure of the degree of lonliness.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

To Read a Book As it Was Meant to Be...

This is my third entry in a day, but I couldn't resist making this one. Everytime I read a book, particularly a translation, I can't help wonder what the original work was like. I am always a little skeptical of the lyrical quality of the reinterpretation in a language foreign to the author. I accept translations as they are because it is easier to read a translation than to learn a new language from scratch. I've read books of Russian authors like Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Chekov. I've also read Franz Kafka (he wrote in German), Guy De Maupassant (French) and most recently Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Columbian who writes in Spanish). These are maestros who can trancend the barriers of translation. The translations probably render justice to the original work. For instance, 'The Rubiyat of Omar Khayyam' translated by Edward Fitzgerald seems like a genuine labour of love. Still, if one were to read 'Salome' by Oscar Wilde, written originally in French, the English translation doesn't capture the intended poetic elegance (at least that's how I felt when I first read it).
Another stunt, pulled off with so much panache by publishers, is editing. With all due respect to editors, some works simply must be left as they are. I realize that editing is challenging, it can give structure and meaning to a manuscript lacking both. On the other hand, editing attempts to make a book politically correct. In a studied attepmt to make the book 'acceptable and marketable', the raw quality to its content is often lost. Earlier, I never understood why some bibliophiles had a fetish for first editions of books. Now I know only too well. A book untainted by the sense of propriety of an editor gives insight into the author's mind. Reading an unedited manuscript is like having a one sided conversation with a person not physically present. The effect of that is beyond measure. It is priceless. Editing, if done irresponsibly, can mar the intended sentiment, and can amount to adulteration.
Unfortunately, first editions come at a price; they are almost never available. I have skimmed bookshelves and have never seen a book that says 'first edition'. It may be a misnomer, but it is definitely worth a try.

Nothing!

I am therfore I'm not
I exist therefore I must cease.
I am the earth, I am the dust
I am the core and the broken crust.
I stand, oblivious of my origin and my end
So I will stay
Sliding from dawn to dusk.

The Hand that Rocks the Boat

The hand that rocks the boat is the hand that guides it's course, not the one that built the boat in the first place. In other words, we don't choose to be born (my favourite bone of contention against creation) but we can choose how we live and die. Another short entry for the desperate blogger such as yours truly!

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Art of Contentment

I never knew contentment untill a few days ago. To me it was a form of emotional ambivalence (a very pretentious form) that didn't allow people to decide if they were truly at peace or just too tortured to feel pain. I have a new lease on the way I percieve life, existence and other things alike, and I see that contentment is really a matter of choice, nothing more. It is not a compulsion or an obligation bound by the mores of societal demands. It really is as simple as choosing coffee with milk instead of 'as black as it gets' (I still prefer the latter though). If life is like art, then we can interpret its nuances as we would do with a masterpiece, or censure it as 'worthless crap'. Think about it.

Ps: I assure my readers, I am not under the influence of any questionable substances. I am genuinely at peace!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Persistence of Memory and other Things

If you were to view my profile, you will see that I have uploaded Salvador Dali's 'The Persistence of Memory' as my user pic. People who have come here from orkut, will see that I have Edvard Munch's 'The Cry' as my user pic. Now, don't ask me what that means. I haven't been a great abstract art enthusiast to start with. When I was a teenager, I thought that abstract art was pretentious. I preferred classical art, the impressionists, the romantics. My favourite artist at that point of time was Vincent Van Gogh. I was quite taken by the idea of the tormented artist who gains posthumous fame. I still like Van Gogh, he's still my favourite. I love the way his work reflects his deteriorating mental state that culminated in his death.
After I entered my twenties, I started to like Picasso, Dali and Munch. I couldn't get over 'The Persistence of Memory'. My favourite would have to be 'The Cry' by Munch. Apparently Munch saw his mother dying of TB as a child. The sunset reminded him of how she had a haemorrage. Munch had a cruel father and a stormy love life. Hence, most of his paintings have women strangling men with their long hair.(That is morbidly fantastic!)
I still don't understand my sudden inclination towards morbidly fascinating abstract art. I guess it is an occupational hazard that comes with growing up. Or who knows, it could be a permanent fixture in the maze that I like to call my brain. Cheers anyway! It never hurt to sign off !

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Detachment

Broken pieces lie on the floor,
I don't want to pick them up
A false glimmer in each reflection
What it means I don't know.
I am in each piece,
The shattered wreck of my humble cup.
I don't want to look, I don't want to feel
I simply want to turn to the unreal....

ps: Trying to sound detatched. I don't care if I'm effective enough.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Life!

Here's the smallest entry. Life is a joke, but we lack the humour to laugh at it.
(If the source of creaton can be personified, then its quite possible that he/she/whatever is laughing real hard!)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Redundancy

In a half hearted effort to make this blog sound less pessimistic,retrospective, cynical, deluded, utopian (and a whole lot of other unnecessary adjectives), I thought I'd bring in some humour. My attempts at humour generally prove to be redundant. I find something new in the same old things. Videos on youtube.com seem to be my latest fetish. I use the word 'fetish' because I can't seem to start my day without watching a few.
So speaking of redundancy, it happens to be my favourite occupational hazzard (writer's block being my favourite form of comic relief). I'm a little tired of orkut. I've decided to replace the substance of that addiction with youtube. I used to think I'd gain some semblance of maturity once I turned 20. Apparently I was shrouded in denial. I'm as juvenile as I was at 12. Time doesn't necessarily alter things, redundancy will never cease. I guess it helps us differentiate between what's commonplace and what's unparalleled.
I think the only person more bored than the one reading this is the one writing this. So I will spare all of us the agony and stop right here.