Oct 27, 2009

Behold, a surreal cup of tea! Warning : Not to be consumed.

As of this moment, I have read every single novel written by Kazuo Ishiguro. It is like Graduation Day for me. Of course, I haven't read all of his works. Nocturnes remains. So do the three short stories. Nevertheless, it is a happy day.

It is a happy day, because I have finished reading The Unconsoled. I have raced through it with about as much understanding as its protagonist Ryder has about himself. My annoyance mounted with each page, each monologue, the long winded descriptions of each alley short-cut in the book. I kept telling myself "Dope trip or dream sequence. Dope trip or dream sequence. Wait till I get to the last, I will understand which one it is."

Towards the ending, I thought, "Maybe he is in a mental asylum. That would explain everything. The long journeys taken to cover the short distances and this delusional city where people expected art to provide solution to the everyday problems of life." Nah! That can't be it. That would be too simple. Dear Kazuo couldn't have led me on for 500 odd pages to come to this really simplistic and oft-repeated easy way out ending.

Towards the last two pages, it struck me that probably one of the characters that the protagonist interacted with often was a representation of his own childhood. Fine. But then that would mean that every character is a part of the protagonist and this entire novel was the protagonist's unbiased review of his own life.

Decided to take help. After reading the novel, read the Wiki entry on The Unconsoled. Cleverly they have not mentioned anything more than a 6 line plot synopsis that comes on the book jacket.
Turned to other reviews online. Everyone has come up with every possible idea. Compared it to Kafka's Trial, related it to Confucianism, come up with Greek philosophical parallels. Everything goes, however no one has come out and said " I do not like it."

I will do so here.

Dear Kazuo,
If you ever come across this, I just wish to say that this is by far your worst work. However, since you have come up with 2 stunning works after The Unconsoled, I am sure this phase of yours has passed and you keep churning out great stuff now. I am totally unqualified to review your book, as neither do I know about music, nor do I know about literature, which is why you will probably never stumble across this page. However, I love your work and was very disappointed in this particular one. Please make it up to me by coming up with some stunning work set in Latin America or somewhere unexpected. (Surprise me! I am tired of Japan, England and China settings.) Waiting for the next masterpiece.

Your ardent fan,

Oct 2, 2009

No misspellings found

Follow Mendelssohn

Down the stairs

out into the air

the heavy air, of the street.

Lose him and wonder

with your finger posed sexily on your lip

Caught in the glare

of those whose time is precious

and you don't even care.

Ah, there he is.

Found him again, will not

lose him now.

Make your way into a glass building

open and forbidding.

Louder it gets

and you inch closer to the source.

In the room is a boy

inebriated or worse at noon,

his laptop blaring out this tune,

while he hits on a tired beauty

a couple of years older.

She stops him not

for she wants him to cast her

in his next ad-film,

with her hand on his thigh,

she answers 'Yes'

to what he has not asked her.

The world passes by

with ladders and notes,

with scales and ropes,

with aches and hopes.

You retreat, for to invade

a public moment is wrong

and then you put your finger on it!

"Damn it! It was the Spring Song!"


Dumb? Stupid? Or if we were to be grossly insensitive, retarded?
Don't you think the world is getting progressively dumber?
Our only aim seems to be to catch the next episode of the latest reality show which humiliates our own brothers and sisters. Why do we find such joy in someone else's humiliation? Why?
Is it the thought that "Oh my god! I am dumber than him but thank God no one caught me on TV" ? Or is it the thought of the sorry lives that these barely mortals will lead post these excruciatingly debasing moments? Why do we enjoy seeng other peopel being humiliated?

There seems to be a peculiar joy in watching humliation. Not of the pain and sadist kind. People who watch BDSM videos are considered freaks. But even the gentlest soul will not think twice about watching Paris Hilton's My BFF or Rakhi ka Swayamvar. Why?

Does it make us feel like Anna Wintour for a moment? Do we imagine ourselves in the shoes of the tormentor or aggressor and enjoy it? Secretly, do we want to insult our friends? Is this the desire that is present in us? So every time our friend asks us our opinion of his shirt or tie, are we yearning to tell him how ugly he is actually and how all this effort taken on his wardrobe is a total waste of money and effort and that he should just use a a bunch of grass to cover his modesty and call it quits? Are these thoughts running through our head? In which case, are reality shows equivalent to pornography?
Think about it. We watch porn. Put ourselves in the guy's place and in our heads we are slamming the girl wild. That desire exists in our heads all the time. While watchng porn, we are living the guy's life vicariously. So when we watch reality shows, are we living the judge's lives vicariously? Is that really what we have become?