Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Of shoes and ships and cabbages and kings

“Wine comes in at the mouth,
Love comes in at the eyes,
And that’s all we shall
Know for truth,
Before we grow old and die,
I lift my glass to my mouth,
I look at you, I sigh.”
-WB Yeats

A friend recently asked me if I believe in love at first sight. First thing is first, I couldn’t stop laughing. It was funny. We were waiting for photocopies at the electrical canteen. And so, I immediately “shut” my eyes and laughed. And laughed. She patiently waited for an explanation. I told her that it is unimaginable. More incredible than finding a male reading Browning in the mech canteen. I haven’t met anyone (of either sex) who likes poetry at the campus. Actually, in the narrow ambit of my school and college acquaintances, I don’t think that I know a guy who reads Eliot, Tennyson, Yeats, Whitman and the likes. Even at school, the guys I was working with in the Poetry club worshipped Morrison and Floyd. That’s where it started and that’s where it ended. Sure, Morrison is a modern marvel. But, what about Plath? And Hughes? And Faraz? What about them?

What is it about guys who read in public places? Why do I have to know what they are reading? Even when I know that I will be disappointed and the book will be a Chetan Bhagat, why do I still want to see what they are reading? Now, you may ask why only guys inspire such a reflex? I will just say that it’s my blog and I am allowed to write whatever I want. Let me get on with my work, you know. Girls read a whole lot more than guys and the novelty is lost anyway.

People here have varied literary preferences. A lot of people have read Tolkein. I met a singular guy who is reading Bard. Somebody else likes Wilde and Munro. But, Dan Brown wins hands down. Every time somebody here informs me that he is the best author (ever! gasp!), I control myself and nod my head in a semblance of politeness. “There is a cosmos beyond Dan Brown you know,” I feel like shouting. It is bad manners to shout at seniors though. His books have a magazine like quality in them. You read them and you forget them. You don’t come back to them. I like the ingenuity of his plot. Except that I don’t remember the plot.

Maybe, I am being a bit harsh. A guy-friend from school does like Alexander Pope. A couple of others like Ogden Nash too.

I remember being fourteen and foolish. I remember my naïve excitement in class nine when I saw a spate of people with “The Merchant of Venice.” Ofcourse, the fact that I had read “Julius Caesar” weeks before did not help matters of temperance. Stupid as I am, it took me ten minutes to find out that it was a part of the eleventh standard curriculum.

Now, I am eighteen. Collegiate and wise. Please don’t smirk. That’s what I like to think. There is a Universe to explore and I haven’t even read the complete works of Shakespeare. One of these days, I am going to lock myself in a room with them. One of these days.

I will end this post with words of magic.
“What do you mean when you say that you don’t believe in fantasy? It is the truth.”

PS: Meanwhile after three days of sleep deprived existence, I feel like a zombie. Must get back to TGA now.


Sushant said...

Shakespeare's a legend is what I conjecture,
Though all I know is Maqbool's an overrated picture
I knew not Whitman, I don't know Tennyson
Relieved to know neither do my fellow denizen
That there's one Mr.Morrison, a modern marvel
As clueless I am as Paresh, neuroscientist, Rawal
Of Alexander and the Pope, I have an idea rough
When together they come, it becomes a question tough
And what about Faraz, Plath and Hughes ?
They must've been genii, but I still need excuses
When it comes to cognizance of the poems of Browning
I finally witness all my intellectual pretensions drowning
The other ones I do know, thanks to our CBSE
But it's time I stopped this shameless odyssey

Aarushi said...

You just did a perfect Ogden Nash!!!!! It is pretty amazing.

All Engineering students have heard of Morrison Boyd from the organic chemistry hall of fame. Please don't be so modest. Actually Morrison and Floyd is a typographical error. Organic poetic......

Swayam said...

loved your post... honey... to tell you the truth... i'm a literature ignorant myself.. and i try staying off any of the dan browns and the archers and grishams.. but prefer Indian literature... you have a lot in store this part of the shoreline definetly..

Aarushi said...

I like Indian authors too. There is a lot on this part of the shoreline. Infact, I am reading RK Narayan today! And, I can't count the number of times I have read Gitanjali.
Actually, we like a lot of same books-Ice-candy man, family matters, last song of dusk, the anne series.