A Week in Review

The past week has been terrifyingly eventful (book- and otherwise). So much that it made my usual quiet weekend seem quite boring.

I have been following the Man Booker Prize selection this year for the first time ever. I’ve read only two Booker books before – one I loved and one I didn’t love so much. I didn’t dare to commit to reading the whole long list but since the short list is only six books, I sort of ‘challenged’ myself to read it before the prize is announced. Of course, I am already regretting this surge of ambition. I have read these this by now:

1. A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes – The book was a wonderful read. My only problem was, I thought it lacked a bit in the plot, in that it didn’t really have one. I loved reading the narrator’s long monologues about memory and time and morality; so much that I wished it was a non-fiction book. I loved the main character’s sense of humour and his writing; but it seemed as though an idea was stretched and dragged into a book, to show off a few genius characters and their beliefs. I would call it a great one-time read, albeit with a spectacularly disappointing ending!
I also read Orwell’s Politics and the English Language essay (you can read it here) the other day, which I am in no way qualified to review. An excerpt:

Silly words and expressions have often disappeared, not through any evolutionary process but owing to the conscious action of a minority. Two recent examples were ‘explore every avenue‘ and ‘leave no stone unturned‘, which were killed by the jeers of a few journalists. There is a long list of flyblown metaphors which could similarly be got rid of if enough people would interest themselves in the job; and it should also be possible to laugh the not un- formation out of existence*, to reduce the amount of Latin and Greek in the average sentence, to drive out foreign phrases and strayed scientific words, and, in general, to make pretentiousness unfashionable.

*One can cure oneself of the not un- formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.

Apart from that, my sister wrote another of her awesome blog posts which, when compared to my own blog, make me hang my head in shame. Also. I baked cookies. I can’t cook; anyone who knows me knows that! But I did, anyway. That’s what being bored, sick and alone at home does to people. Anyway, a few burned, but the rest turned out quite alright. I was so happy, and I repeat, so alone, that I ate them up all by myself, except for one that I managed to save for later. That night I proudly presented it to my mom. Knowing my luck, I should have guessed it would turn out to be one of the slightly charred ones. I have to say, I did not deserve the ‘Oh, I bet the rest tasted perfectly fine’ remark that goes with that pitying smile.

‘Good ol’ times’

Yep, good old times – or at least what I can remember of them! Consider this a disclaimer: this incident happened eons ago. And forgive me, but I have the attention span of a squirrel, and the memory of… something that has a despicable memory! So there might be exaggeration involved in my ‘narration’ to a certain extent thanks to my rusty recollection of this.

It was some school function- Independence or Republic day, I’m not sure, I just remember a lot of flags!- that morning, and my parents had come to pick us up. I was already sitting in the car with my dad, while my mother was still out hunting down my sister. I kept the windows open and my head hanging out like a dog, because our car was, if possible rustier than my memory – it was impossible to stay locked up in that thing! Anyway, there was this butterfly outside- a pretty orange and black one. My dad identified it as a ‘Plain Tiger’ and went on to tell me about a thing called Batesian mimicry in butterflies. It’s a thing, where one butterfly mimics the colours and patterns of a poisonous butterfly to stay safe from predators who mistake as the poisonous one! Who knew butterflies did stuff other than just, you know, flying!? You know what, apparently, we have something similar in our human world: take a look at this! After that incident(probably), I was hooked. Every weekend after that was spent watching, running after(and tripping, a LOT) and capturing(Fine, I never managed to do it myself!) butterflies with my dad!

Like I said though, this happened eons ago. Today, I was out with my mother, and she pointed out one really pretty, small white butterfly fluttering about near us. I spent an hour wondering which one it might be, and I still didn’t get it. Then I came home and read a book, did my home work, ate and saw a movie. If it was ‘eons’ ago, I would have rushed home, took out my ‘butterfly watching'(is that a thing?) books and looked it up.

I guess ‘eons’ is enough time to change someone. And I realize I have changed a lot! But there are some things that are just worth changing back to, don’t you think? I think this just might be one of those!!

P.S – Picture courtesy: here! Those weren’t the digital camera days, ‘eons’ ago remember?

Wait a minute…did I say “pretty, small white butterfly”? Way to go, there’s actually a butterfly called ‘small white’ and it kind of fits the description. My memory may not be as bad as I thought! (Oh and by the way, ‘eons’, though very “American”, is my current favourite word!)