Thursday, October 04, 2007

A little bit of this and that

So many things have been happening...and ever since I have discovered Orkut, I've been spending all my 'net' time on Orkut and not on the blog. No one's loss of course, but that's beside the point.

Ergo, I thought I'll just do a quick wrap of all that's been going on...

Have been doing a fair bit of reading. Am stuck with Dev Anand's Romancing With Life at the moment, and what a page-turner it is. What a man! At 84 (closer to 90 actually), he talks of his numerous sexcapades with the relish of a 22-year-old, he talks of his infatuations, is honest enough to mention how his wife Kalpana Kartik reacted to each of these incidents, talks of the cold turkey Awwal Number as a movie that was ahead of its times, and so on and so forth. Refreshing honesty, possibly a bit selective, but that should be par for the course, especially in Indian filmdom.
My big problem is with the lack of good photographs. Dev Anand was - and is - all about style and class. Especially in the black-and-white era, there were few people who managed to look as good as he did and so consistenly. I would have liked many more photographs, much more about his music and his songs (which were the biggest things in his films) and stuff.

That's the low-brow part of the reading...

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen was very interesting. I obviously picked it up because the title was similar to A Short History of Tractors In Ukrainian (another fantastic book) and because I found it interesting that the writer of Ukrainian Marina Lewycka, for no apparent reason except the similarity in the titles of their books, had her name on the cover of Salmon Fishing... as part of the blurb.
It was interesting because it was about salmon fishing in the Yemen. And not, just as a comparison, like A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, where the title of the book was only a point of reference in the book. That's unimportant though. What is, is the great sense of humour that connects every page of the book like a thread. What's also interesting is the humorous critique of the British political tabletop.

Alison Bechdel's Fun Home (A Family Tragicomic) was another interesting book, the latest graphic novel that Ajitha brought home. Impressive. Very impressive. More along the lines of the 'Growing up pains...' genre of books, but it's interesting because it's not really that; instead it's a critique of the narrator's father, a man of many contradictions (which is always fascinating to read).
Poppy Z Brite's Exquistie Corpse and Roy Keane's autobiography are waiting to be read - the moment I can wrap up Dev Anand.

The Twenty20 World Cup was a killer in terms of the work pressure that inevitably followed in its wake. But I am completely, absolutely sold on the format. I love it. Totally. I think this is the future. By far.The games were interesting, exciting, entertaining...and it was important that here in India, audiences took time out to watch some of the matches that didn't feature India as well. I think the playing field is hugely levelled out in T20, I think the bowlers have become much more disciplined because of the pressure of the Free Hits and suchlike stuff. And I think batsmen are getting more and more innovative.

I didn't like the Bowl Out though, but who likes tie-breakers in football either?

We've also been having a bit of a Chaplin retro at home. Ajitha, fascinatingly, had only seen a couple of Chaplin films before - The Kid and Limelight. It's fascinating, because at a fairly advanced age, she can watch Chaplin movies with the kind of wide-eyed fascination that I felt at 10 or 12. I can't feel that rush of watching Chaplin for the first time again. Unfortunately. But that doesn't mean those memorable shots from Modern Times or Gold Rush don't have an effect. The sense of utter astonishment continues to exist.
Went back to Calcutta following my father's death. It's never particularly nice to lose your father, especially if you were close to him. But it turned out to be an interesting trip because there was no pressure to rush back to work as there always is during a holiday. The leave was not measured. I could stay on in Calcutta for as long as I wanted. I didn't. Ajitha had had to come back earlier. And the constant stream of people with mournful faces was becoming a bit difficult to handle.

Also, I just realised what my favourite Sachin Tendulkar moment is. It's when he trapped Shane Warne leg before with a googler in the Kolkata Test back in 2000-01. That was THE moment. That was Tendulkar.