Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Oops.. I did it again!

Have you ever been in a situation where you were terribly embarrassed with yourself? Embarrassed that you could be as foolish as you seem to have demonstrated. The only saving grace being nobody noticed it and hence, nobody knew/ knows about it. Just this morning, I started reading a book - I will not state the name of the book, simply to spare myself of your mockery. The story has been narrated in first person and I had somehow taken it for granted that the author was male. Well ,these Americans can get funny with their names I tell you! I once met this guy at a house party who introduced himself as Axel. Call me stuck up or anything you want, but I don't think too much of the name!

Coming back to this book, I sailed through the first two chapters of the book, building an opinion about the protagonist - a 5 year old kid, describing his relationship with his older brother and other playmates. All very cute. Somewhere in the middle of the third chapter, this older brother gets all sentimental and talks about always being there to protect his "little sister". I paused for a moment, trying to recollect any reference to a third sibling. When I could not, I was faced with the sudden realization that it had been a girl narrating this story all along. I could not believe myself. What a fundamental miscalculation this was. I felt silly, stupid and almost cheated!

In my defence, the "girl's" name was hardly feminine. Neither was the author's! (Again, I don't wish to provide specific details) But that one moment, I blushed in the face and I remember slapping my forehead chidingly. Of course, I immediately looked around me to see if anyone had spotted my gesture. Thankfully, I was safe! :) It is only now that I find out that the author is indeed female and that, in her pen name, she has deceivingly left out her first name (which, incidentally, is glaringly feminine) and writes with her middle and surnames.

Frankly, I often have such moments and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this matter. Why in fact, I have many more in the midst of company and everyone has a hearty laugh about my lapse! I am a good entertainer after all. Above all, a lesson well learnt. Before I start my next book, I'm going to pay some attention to the blurb along with doing some serious background check on the author!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Everyday Morning Blues

It feels good to be back. Back to watching endless TV. Back to waking up to the smell of coffee decoction. Back to being chided for the most unexpected of things. Back to the cliched "hustle and bustle". Back to a more familiar existence. Back to Bangalore. Back Home.

I was reading the newspaper the other day, (Yes! One exercise I'm so glad to be back to doing!) as usual peeved by the almost pornographic front page of Bangalore Times. With their surveys that tell you how couples in Bangalore are "spicing their bedroom up" and pictures that irk your sense of decency, this is one newspaper a parent would shudder to find his kid reading! But the truth is, we still buy it, we still read it. At home, we ourselves have tried to switch to a different paper time and again. It simply doesn't work! Sadly, Indian Express, Deccan Herald or Hindu can't seem to cope with the variety and resourcefulness of the TOI and its supplement editions.

Its a pity that we have to stare at half clad women every morning before we can get to the Speaking Tree. (A column that appears everyday on the Editorial page; its your dose of philosophy for the day) Its high time we got a newspaper that's a fun, clean read. Where I can solve a nice, stimulating word puzzle in the morning, read about the elections, read my horoscope prediction and also know what sale is on at Safina Plaza. If I want to know the latest in fashion trends, I should have to buy a fashion magazine. If I want to know who partied for whose birthday at the Windsor, then God save me!