Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Stunned

Time spent for ivy applications: 150 hours
Time spent slogging for the boards: 8 months.
Spending five hours on NLS prep. and getting Rank 8? Absolutely friggin priceless!

I feel like doing an Henry, dancing around in a circle, singing "Are you watching, are you watching, are you watching, Princeton?"

Monday, May 22, 2006

Blest be this day!

William Morris- the man who invented the genre of magic realism, or fantasy, socialist, philopsopher, political reformer, writer and poet. Four years have I searched for books by this genius, scouring bookshops in New Delhi, Frankfurt, Manchester, London and Lisbon only to be baffled each time. And now by sheer chance I've got my hands on the entire collection, and that too free of cost.

Project Gutenberg, hereafter you have my unquestioned and unconditional love. ;-) But for you I would have had to spend at least three more years ignorant of the works of the man I consider above everyone else to be my idol, my God. Now I have The Well at World's End saved on my computer, and will get the rest shortly. Quite obviously I am in no position to promise I would name my first-born child Gutenberg, but it is a distinct possibility. ;-)

I begin "The Well at World's End" tonight. Hopefully I will get through the entire works by the end of the hols, side by side with finishing Shakespeare and "Lives," and completing the editing and expanding of "Galaxia". Interesting days lie ahead.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Been a long time...

Almost three weeks, I think, but somehow these days I don't seems to be able to summon up the inclination to write my blog. A notable regrettable state of affairs. So for lack of time I must devote a para or so to each of the momentous events that have happened over the past twenty or so days intead of en entire post.

Arsenal vs Wigan- the last game at Highbury. 4-2, but not without moments of drama, not before we were down 2-1 and looking to end up 5th... in the end a virtuoso Henry hat-trick coupled with a memorable gesture when he kneeled to kiss the Highbury turf. What a send-off for the grand old stadium. Goodbye Highbury, 1913-2006, gone but never forgotten.

Champions' League Final- A great performance, a stirring performance full of grit, passion and determination- down to 10 men after just twenty minutes due to another eccentric moment from Mad Jens and Bobby being taken off in possibly his last Arsenal game was truly heartbreaking. Still, a magnificent rearguard action made us all dare to dream for a while before ol' Henric Larsson shattered everything. Next season I am backing Valencia in the La Liga. Still, well done lads, here's to the first of many finals.

Henry's new contract- I was almost dancing when I heard the news. Four more years to terrorize the EPL defenses and make him the greatest Arsenal player ever, period. The perfect antidote after the gloom of 17th May. We love you Thierry, we do!

Oh yeah, sometime in the middle of this all Theo Walcott has been picked for the England squad, I've begun reading Plutarch's "Lives" and the board exam results are day after tomorrow.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Random musings

Next time I work on a code I'm going to hire Subiet to create a computer program which will let me do all my substitutions in one go! ;-) Transferring each letter to a numeral was among the most tedious things I have ever done and took half the night... coincidentially K.A called up that same evening to ask about- of all things- cryptography! Sometimes I feel I am in touch with people who are telepathic! :-D

Recently I have been getting addicted to one song after the other (all accompanied by LOTR videos). First it was "Memories" by Within Temptation, then "My Immortal" by Evanescence, then "Into the West" by Annie Lennox. All these songs seem to be just right for an LOTR video, and makes watching/listening the perfect experience.

Yesterday while looking for Metallica symphonies I happened to chance upon the Trans-Siberian Orchestra... for a stunning fusion of classical and rock, they are just what the doctor ordered... absolutely brilliant! The next time I go to Saket I'll be looking out for their "Beethoven's Last Night."

So my Spain jersey arrived a few days ago. Now nothing can stop Raul from lifting the Cup! ;-)

Finally... joined lotrplaza.com yesterday. A true home away from home for the LOTR fanatic... although it's seems confusingly huge at first, it takes only about an hour to nevigate your way through and get familiar with it. Also joined the RPG game there- as a rule I don't do RPGs, but where LOTR is concerned, a lot of rules have to be broken. Talking of which, it is time to learn Elvish, but I can't decide whether to start with Quenya or Sindarin...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Another barrier breached...

Yes, a little after one month of beginning Galaxia, the 100,000 mark has been crossed. I'm feeling considerably bucked, as old Bertie Wooster would say.

At the moment it stands at about 104,000. Considering the situation of the story, I think the first draft should finish at approximately 180,000. Unfortunately that would mean something like 490 pages of A4 size paper (with paragraphs breaks though)... some massive editing will have to be done in June if, as I hope, I finish by the end of May.

For the first time in my life I have a really good feeling about a novel. All the ideas are original, I'm managing to develop my own style and the characters seem to be coming alive rathe ther than their usual cardboard selves. Even if nothing comes of this in the end, I'll consider "Galaxia" a massive stepping stone in my literary journey... possibly this could be the last of the "trial novels"... or the first of the "real novels"... anyway, we shall see.

Call me Hamlet!

One of the first things I remember my father saying when I asked about the Bard was a remark about how difficult it was to begin reading him, but once you "got into it" it was absolutely wonderful. Well, Pericles and Cymbeline gave me a hard time, but fortunately they aren't among the best, and it served as a proper initiation. Since then I have finished all the tragedies I hadn't read last year- (except for Coriolanus) and read a few comedies as well. As it would take an insanely long time to record opinions and memorable passages of individual plays, I'll just write a brief account of my Shakespearean journey over the last one week or so.

First was Antony and Cleopatera. A brilliant, moving portrayal of human follies and Antony's description, though historically incorrect, holds true to the Shakespearean tragic heroes' "fatal flaw" - here, I suppose, it is the ardour of his love for Cleopatera which makes him blind to everything else. Cleopatera herself is one of the few Shakesepearean tragic heroines who has some substance to her. In the end, I felt sorry for Antony's death but not for Cleopatera's. I can recall one brilliant line: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety."

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark- my definite favourite so far. I absolutely loved the character of Hamlet, drawing infinite parallels with myself, loved how the play unfolded and especially the end. One passage I've read so many times I think I know some of it by heart...

"To be or not to be, that is the question
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The arrows and slings of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them; to sleep, to die
Thus to make an end
Of the thousand shocks and- ah, something...
That flesh is heir to;
To sleep, perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come?

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. The onyl disappointment was Ophelia being surprsingly cardboard.

Timon of Athens- Another classic tragedy. This time the hero's flaw is over-generosity to false friends- and the way they turn around and betray him in his hour of need is almost heart-rending. The transformation of Timon from a kind-hearted, generous lord to a confirmed hater of the human species is blunt, sharp, almost jarring... and his death is both tragic and moving.

Titus Andronicus- This play left me absolutely shaken. Such graphic violence, such... viciousness was shocking. As a play it is structurally brilliant, of course, and the language, as always, is comparable to Beethoven's Fifth in music. But let's see... Titus' daughter is raped, her hands cut off, her tongue torn off at the root, her husband murdered... Titus accidentally kills one of his own sons, and two other of his sons are executed on false charges... he himself loses a hand... consistently through the play innumerable people are stabbed... the villain of the piece is buried alive and left to starve to death... I really can't say I enjoyed it.

Well, that took a far longer time than expected... so I guess I'll postpone "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Much Ado About Nothing", "As You Like It" and "King John" to tonight.