Thursday, June 28, 2007

Listmania Begins

And I thought that this month would mark more frequent posts!! Anyway, ever since my last post, I have created several other lists. I thought I might make it a "regular feature" of my blog. The first list I came up with is called "The Top Ten Songs I Would Hear While I Am Pregnant". That's just a long way of saying these are the songs, or genres, or singers that I love the best. Apparently one is supposed to hear/read/watch/do things that make one happy while one is pregnant. Hence the name. Anyway, here is the list:

1. Pavarotti singing "Ave Maria"
2. Pavarotti singing anything else
3. Ivor Novello singing "Keep the Home Fires Burning"
4. Carreras singing anything
5. Ronald Pearsall singing "Goodnight Vienna"
6. Andrew-Lloyd Weber's title song from POTO
7. Jeremy Brett singing "Love Unspoken"
8. Anyone singing "Cruising Down the River"
9. Assorted songs from the 1920s-1940s
10. Hugh Laurie singing anything (just for laughs)

I have separate lists with Indian songs, and music. Mohd Rafi and Bach tops the list on those. Well, that is that! In passing, let me detail one particularly beautiful movie/series that I watched recently: "The Singing Detective". It is arcane, obscure, related through a strange combination of reality, dreams and hallucinations, and is a beautiful psychological masterpiece. I have always liked Michael Gambon, but I adore him now. I have always adored Patrick Malahide, and that adoration grows.

What else? I want to go on a wild adventure. But have not done so yet. Maybe will do so sometime next week. :) I'll start with my "Spooky Bridge", and then go from there.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Love Poems

Although I read as much poetry as I can, and like especially to read love poems; this past year I have not had the time to indulge myself as much as I would like to. Last week I had a gentle reminder that I was missing out on one of the greatest pleasures of my life. I watched a movie of one of my most beloved actors, Anthony Hopkins: "84 Charing Cross Road" a few days ago. Every time I hear his smooth, mellow, clear voice, I want to swoon. In the movie he quotes Yeats' beautiful "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven". Until now, in my hierarchy of the sweetest love poems of all time, Yeats' gem had had second place, outranked only by Moore's beautiful "Believe Me". However, hearing my sweet Anthony Hopkins recite Yeats, was so heavenly that I now love "He Wishes..." the best. I programmed the DVD for repeat, closed my eyes, and for nearly a half-hour I heard it over and over again. I now repeat it to myself all the time.

"Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams." ~ Yeats

I decided to add to my original post and list my favorite love poems of all time in order. There are a lot more, but I decided to restrict myself to ten:

* He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven – Yeats
* Believe Me – Moore
* She Walks in Beauty – Byron
* Sonnet 116 – Shakespeare
* The Wife’s Will – Bronte
* Sonnet 18 – Shakespeare
* At Last – Allen
* Beautiful Dreamer - Foster
* The Song of Wandering Aengus – Yeats
* The Definition of Love – Marvell

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Grotto of the Redemption

Ah! The blandness of a summer that aspires to be the fall!!! I am constantly busy still… and this is a time that I anticipated would be relatively free! I was talking with mummy yesterday and told her how each day seems to be busier than the one before. She said that I was growing up, and that that is what life is like. I don’t want life to be like that. I want to stop and have some R&R time for myself. But I don’t see any such thing happening. Maybe doing practicum and three groups in the summer was not such a good idea after all. This week Omana auntie’s best friend was in town. So I have not had to bother about cooking all week. We did a lot of things and that kept me busy. I think this must be the fourth post in the last two months about how busy I am. I am beginning to sound like a broken record playing complaints and rants all the time.

Everything outside is delightfully beautiful. This is the most clement summer I have ever experienced. And yet, I cannot enjoy it because every day and every evening, I have something or the other going on. But on Monday I went to the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, IA. It is a delightful little grotto built by a priest who started work on it in the 1930’s, I think. The work is not completed yet. The grotto, comprising of 9 smaller grottoes, is built entirely out of rocks and minerals from places around the world. I had seen pictures before I went, and it looked quaint but hardly impressive. But up close, the rocks, and consequently the grotto, are breathtaking. One little man made it possible. I wish I could bequeath something like that to the world. I doubt it. I had a lot of fun, though. So you see, even though I complain, I do have a few instances when I take time off for myself. :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Cat Who Loved Me

(Or so I think!) Gisha and I went for a morning walk today. My car was at the mechanic’s, so we couldn’t walk at Ada Hayden. So she said she’d drive to my place, and we’d walk randomly around the area. As I was waiting for her, I saw the ginger cat belonging to the people upstairs sitting on the grass. I am terrified of cats. I think I must have been scarred psychologically by a cat who scratched me when I was a kid. So scarred actually, that I remember no such incident! And in general, the little felines dislike me and never fail to show their displeasure by growling at me almost without exception. So this morning, when I saw her, I ignored her. As Gisha was pulling in, I saw the cat standing much closer to me. It let out an incredibly soft mew. So I spoke to her, “What a tiny noise you make, you poor thing! Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you.” I paid no more attention to it, and G. and I went for our walk.

When we returned, the cat was still there, and it showed an incredible interest in me, and quite unafraid, started to walk towards me. This made me terribly uncomfortable, and I got scared. It kept letting out those soft mews. I tried to dodge the cat, but it kept walking quite straight at me. I panicked and hid behind Gisha’s SUV. The cat settled down. I reappeared, and it got up again and tried to follow me. By this time, I was completely freaked out. I don’t want strange cats to start taking a fancy to me. It looked too gentle to do me any harm, and purred quite lovingly at me. But what spooked me was that it paid all this attention to me, and not to Gisha. Anyway, I got into the SUV, and G. drove around the block. I was biding my time, and hoping the cat would disappear. But it didn't. In the end, Gisha dropped me off. I picked up a stick, and kept it between me and the cat. It stood up again, and followed me with its eyes, purring away. I was terrified out of my wits, and once I turned the corner, made a mad dash for my door hoping that the cat wouldn’t follow. I called Gisha, and she was laughing as she drove away. “What perfume were you wearing?” she asked. I have no idea what it was that made this poor creature so drawn to me in particular. I wish I had the guts to pet her, she looked so sweet. But I have a feeling I’m not going to ever do that. So for the next couple of years, my main task is going to be avoiding the cat every time I enter or leave the driveway. My nerves will be shot!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I Dined in the Park...

I dined in the park last night. I was on my way home, and it was such a beautiful night. Cool, windy, fragrant even. It reminded me of summer evenings in Hyderabad, when I spent every single evening on the terrace. I wouldn’t come down even when Mummy had gone hoarse calling out to me to come down to dinner. I would walk up and down, sing, look at the trees, watch little scraggly kids play cricket in the streets, and imagine that I was far far away, usually sailing on the high seas. Yesterday reminded me of that so much that I absolutely had to be out of doors at least until the sunlight faded away into the night.

So I got an order of delightful spring rolls, and meandered into the park. At first I couldn’t see any benches, and vaguely considered stretching myself out on the grass. But then one lone bench caught my eye. It was already starting to be dark, and the park was nearly empty. So was the bench, and I made my way to it. I had a heavenly fifteen minutes, eating my little dinner, and feeling the wind on my face and arms. I wanted so much to talk to Nisha, and called her, but she didn’t answer. She would have enjoyed being there with me. In fact, last week, when Nisha was here, she and I lunched in the park. Not this little one, but one next to Elwood. And we talked, and laughed and watched the cars zoom past in the distance.

When we were children, we’d plan elaborate picnics on the terrace. No one was invited, but the two of us, and if Daddy or Mummy dared to show up, they would promptly be shooed away. They were only welcome if they were delivering us something delightful to eat or drink. So we would save our goodies for a whole week, and shiver with excitement every time we thought of the picnic. And Mummy would make us something nice, usually lemon rice with oodles of groundnuts in it, since we both loved that. So some Saturday evenings, or if it was a second Saturday, in the afternoons, Nisha and I would pile our green and pink picnic basket full of goodies, ask Daddy to bring us iced drinks and march off to the terrace. We’d lay our sheet out in the shade of the water tank, and lay out our delightful fare. I think in retrospect that feasting our eyes upon the goodies was more fun than actually feasting upon them. We’d take great pride in assuring ourselves that this was the best picnic that ever was, and Daddy when he brought us something to drink would echo that sentiment. After the last scrap of food was devoured, Nisha and I would lie on the sheet and look at the sky. The sky used to be more open then, and none of the houses around ours had grown so tall yet. Now I think ours is the only house that has stayed the same size for the last fifteen years. And as we lay there gazing at the sky, I would tell her about the phases of the moon, and the stars, the constellations and supernovas. Nisha was fascinated by supernovas, and I remember her being very disappointed that we would never have one in our solar system. And I would always tell her a story. It would be with great sadness and only when Mummy forcefully commanded us to come down that we descended from the terrace.

Nothing compared to those picnics of Nisha’s and mine. Last week when we lunched in the park, it reminded us of them, and the picnics that we used to have at the zoo. And last night, I wished she had been there. She wasn’t, but I think she enjoyed it just as much when I told her about it later. I stayed until it was quite dark. And I remember, I was very very happy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Verbal Diarrhea

I have realized that I am an idiot. And that no matter how highly I think of myself, I am in reality a complete and utter bore. I dined last night with a very sweet, nice gentleman. And I did everything in my ability to go and make it memorable for him as the most boring dinner he has ever had. He was very sweet, and I was quite flustered and started to feel tongue-tied. And what else should I do when that happens, but go and blabber on about anything and everything. I started off by talking about my favorite vegetable for goodness’ sake!!! When I told Nisha about this later, she told me I was an idiot. And I agree completely and whole-heartedly with that sensible statement. I felt at the end of the day about twenty times as stupid as Bridget Jones, and about a hundred times less charming. Two words frame it best: Verbal Diarrhea.

Why do I find it so hard to believe that while I might find it fun to be imaginative and wonder what kind of dinosaur I might be if I could be one, no one else wants to think about such ridiculously silly stuff? I want to shake myself and tell myself to grow up. In any case, the gentleman that he was, he pretended very well to enjoy my lousy company (sigh) and indulged all my silly ideas. To me, the dinner was delightful, and a couple of notable things happened. One: I asked him what his favorite question was, and he said it was “Why”. This is interesting re: my last but one blog entry. Two: I am inspired by him to be more spontaneous. Three: I have resolved to shut up and be the personification of composure and sophistication. Goodness! I am doomed!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

My Weak Hero

Hmm… I haven’t posted in a while. In fact, I haven’t done anything worthwhile in a while. Nisha and I drove down to Kansas last weekend. I am back now, and alone for the first time in my new apartment. Everything is in boxes, and is an utter mess. The lazy part of me tries to ignore the clutter, but it is all in vain… so bit by bit, or rather box by box, I am trying to piece together my living space again. I anticipate this taking one week, but maybe that is very optimistic of me. :(

I was watching SVU last night, eagerly anticipating my first alone-time with Chrissy in more than a month. But as he came on screen, I realized that he seemed terribly weak and watery, and I seemed to mentally draw away from him. This was an utter shock to me, since I have loved every fiber of this man since I first laid eyes on him. As I watched on, I realized that it wasn’t Chrissy himself, but rather Elliot Stabler who seemed watery and weak to me. This was the first episode of SVU I had watched in more than three months. Up until a month ago, when I had weaned myself off my daily dose of him, I had been watching Chrissy on Oz. And watching my Chrissy as Chris Keller is comparable to watching Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. On Oz, his character is so passionately strong, that I cannot bear to see him as anyone else. No wonder I thought that on SVU he appeared a little strange. I tried to concentrate on the actor, not the character, but that did not work either. I think I should watch Oz again.