Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Art of being Tongue-Tied

I am perhaps fortunate enough not to write for the sake of bread,butter or bills. My position gives me the luxury of writing for the sake of writing; without the intention of building a closet tumbling with awards.My predicament lies in the fact that I often find myself at the center of all my complacence,blissfully unwilling to do something to override the block.I suppose I take it for granted that the block gives a writer the impression of a safety net, or that of a bubble of comfortable superiority.

I have often used 'the block' as an excuse for the spasms of ineptitude that hinder my thought process.I now prefer to use the euphemism of being 'tongue-tied' instead.The state of being tongue-tied is often misconstrued as a state of being in deep contemplation. It is the not-so-discreet way of buying time and the benefit of the doubt. I hereby give myself the benefit of the doubt! I am sorry for the inconvenience. It isn't my intention to insult anyone's intelligence.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Study in Melancholy

There is a melancholy that comes with early mornings.
The uncertainty is far from dulcet,
It flutters on like an endless drone.
The air lingers with the lassitude
Of its blithe former self.
I stare into the wilderness,
And wonder when my blank daydream will end.
My fingers curl from some forgotten
Former exhilaration.
I soak in the present decrepitude
Till I can languish in pity no more.
I can only wilt into the wilderness
And wonder when this daydream will end.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Love in the Time of Jane Austen

The past two weeks have witnessed a downpour of chick-lit at this part of the world. I read 'Emma' with an almost embarrassing voracity(I am so excited about this entry I nearly typed veracity!).Jane Austen can be quite an addictive source of temptation to the loitering feminine mind.'Emma' had all the ingredients of the average chick-flick. There was romance,scandal,gossip,heartbreak,engagement and eventually matrimony.What sets Jane Austen apart from the others in her genre is her portrayal of romantic love.

Romance in the Victorian era comes across as a far cry from the blatant display of affection in present times.An arch of the eyebrow,a carefully crafted letter,a slight touch of the hand and a swift covert glance can mean so much more than the 'I like you,just the way you are' line from 'Bridget Jones' Diary'. A couple walking at a distance from the rest of a travelling party can set tongues wagging about the prospect of a wedding.A proposal is a subtle endeavour carried out after considerable deliberation. Proposals are rejected with the aid of polite letters of apology and misunderstandings are forgiven with all the appropriate terms of endearment.

The imminent danger in Jane Austen's work, lies in all the hidden innuendoes that wreak havoc in the minds of young,impressionable divas like yours truly.It is quite understandable why there are so many delusional 'maidens' waiting in distress for certain individuals known as 'knights' to rescue them.

ps: A little trivia here, 'Emma' was the inspiration for the mindless chick-flick 'Clueless' starring Alicia Silverstone. The resemblance between the two is indeed bizzare.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

All the Chick-Lit of Yore

I have a lonesome copy of 'Emma' by Jane Austen stashed away at the bottom of the forgotten portion of the bookshelf. I have attempted to read it four times and have given up. I presume, I would have flunked English Literature if Jane Austen's work had been a part of the curriculum. I admit that Ms. Austen's work is astute,witty and on par with that of her contemporaries. I also admit that I occasionally take a fleeting interest in chick-lit, and that Jane Austen was the forerunner of that unfortunate genre.

My interest in chick-lit is fleeting enough to give in to the lazy urge to watch the movie instead of reading the book.As a result, I've watched adaptations of 'Sense and Sensibility' and 'Pride and Prejudice' before actually reading them(in my opinion a heinous crime against literary genius). 'Emma' is different. I haven't seen a film or a mini series based on 'Emma'. Thus 'Emma' poses some sort of dilemma to my wayward conscience;'to read or not to read'.

Ms. Austen's books stereotypically have characters like gorgeous damsels, plain Janes,cranky old men, snooty aristocratic ladies,thick headed dandies, unstoppable matchmakers and embarrassing mothers with both feet in their mouths.There is heartbreak,misunderstanding,double crossing,torrid romance,more torrid gossip and nearly every other ingredient of a daytime soap opera.What sets Ms. Austen's work apart from contemporary chick-lit and the average soap opera is her persistent wit and her keen assessment of human character.

I figured that after a dose of Dostoyevsky's mysticism,common human hypocrisy,hardcore libertarianism,forgotten lives in the Salinas valley,racism and war; chick-lit would be an excellent remedy. I've chosen 'Emma' to prove that my conscience,though occasionally unpredictable, is crystal clear. Stay tuned for more outlandish desecration.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Epitaph of Imagination

Imagination is dying.The fleeting sense of possibility that was once celebrated is now bowing down to the world's obsession with reality. What would have once made poingant fiction will now sell only under the banner of 'a really poingant memoir'. If Oscar Wilde lamented over 'The Decay of Lying', I will lament the death of imagination itself. Here's an epitaph that I hope will be fitting enough when imagination gets its final blow.

Here lies imagination.
Friend to the lonesome,
Foe to the irksome,
Saviour of fiction
And Antidote to bad writing.
Rest till you are resurrected
By those deserving of your living presence.