Sunday, October 24, 2010

Season of mists and mellow fruitfullness

Back.
From the streets of London, from the chaos of Kolkata during the Pujos. Had a great time. Rushed about from one gathering to another ignoring jetlag and exhaustion, fueled by adrenaline and mouthwatering lunches and dinners. The chance to catch up with good friends after what seemed like ages, the thrill of an entire city partying till the late hours, so much to do and so little time. How could I afford to miss out on all the craziness when I knew this would only last for 4 days? The recovery started from Dashami and carried on through the week. Lakshmi Puja led to an extended weekend and a chance for more relaxation. I love this season. Durga Puja flags off a fresh period full of festivals and holidays. It coincides with that time of the year when the evenings get longer, smokier somehow, smelling of fragrant flowers, a slow intoxication that culminates in a rapturous farewell to the year.

As for my trip to London, was more busy this time than I had expected. Glad that I managed to do some sightseeing. Went to Oxford - that land of dreaming spires, where every true-blue English Honours student of Calcutta University hopes to one day visit if not study at. Beautiful town with every turn packed with history so that every street you step into waits to tell its story. Had lunch at a pub that C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien used to frequent, read texts from the 16th and 17th century which outlined the efforts that the learned men of the day were making to decipher science and geography and language at the Bodleian library, went to Alice's Shop that featured as the Old Sheep Shop in the famous novel, visited Christchurch College where parts of the Harry Potter movies were filmed...so much really to take in on a cold, grey English day.

Getting slowly back to normal (read: boring) schedules. Can't believe tomorrow is Monday again. Where did the last three days vanish... Ate a lot, slept some, hoped in vain for some good movies to watch and finished reading a few novels. P.D. James' "Cover her Face" was interesting. In the vein of typical Agatha Christie style English countryside murder mysteries. Not as good as an Agatha Christie but not so bad either.

Also finished reading "The Immortals of Meluha" by Amish. It's part of the Shiva Trilogy which the author will be penning. Based on the very intriguing premise that Shiva was an ordinary man who was elevated to the status of a god by his actions. Building in a lot of religious references that are given a practical explanation. Felt extremely let down however, by the language used which is very contemporary and casual. Shiva for instance keeps saying things like "bloody hell"! One would think we were not talking about the ancient Hindu god but about the reincarnation of some Englishman?! The book has novel theories and ideas, but in a literary work, how can language be ignored. And this I read after the P.D. James where a few choice words were enough to convey every nuance with economy and subtlety, often leaving the reader to work out the meaning of a sentence.

Anyways, I've spent enough time on the computer...time to log out of cyberspace...au revoir...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Up, up and away

Immense lethargy. Also nagging headache since last couple of days. Piles of pending work that I don't even want to think about much less look at. Irritable. Shopping incomplete and for once urgently needed. Heaps of clothes scattered everywhere. Sure to forget something. Can't bear nitty-gritties right now. Everybody fussing over me. Not always pleasant. Want to speed things up and get on that plane. Want to curl up in bed and go to sleep. I miss home and I haven't even left it yet. Schizophrenic.

Off to London.