The Classic Attempt…..

This blog is completely inspired by The Classics Club ….I am not sure why I venture into these challenges, considering I fail most of the time….I mean I am not a person who really thrives on short notices or deadlines! I felt really weird writing the last sentence, I mean the other me – you know the ‘Project Manager’ me – the Corporate wheeler-dealer me,  really thrives and succeeds on deadlines and pressure tactics; in fact the tighter the leash, the better I will succeed. But when it comes to this me – you know the blogging-reading round the clock-with clueless love live-talking endless nonsense me, well, I just so badly fail. I could not complete the NaNoWriMo; I could not complete any of reading challenges, though as God be my witness, I read enough, so this me – the one I consider the real me, does not come out gloriously in these  events. So why do it again – like knowingly set yourself for a fall? Well I guess, you cannot teach an old dog new tricks – if there is a cliff, I will climb to the very top of it, only to fall head long!! Yeah! Yeah!! I know I will live through this!

Anyway after all the procrastination, I amble back to the main subject. So The Classics Club has a Spin list – what one does is, list 20 classics in a random order. They could be a list of books you love reading or never finished or dread starting. On Monday, 18th February, The Classics Club will announce a number – whatever number is declared, you read the book that you have marked against this number by April 1st 2013.  The ideal list is of course a mix of all the above – books you love, books you have been planning to read forever, but never got down to it and naturally, books that you absolutely dread and so on and so forth.

Therefore without any more ado, I present my list –

  1. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  2. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  4. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  5. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  9. Great Expectation by Charles Dickens
  10. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  11. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  12. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  13. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  14. Madam Bovary by Gustav Flaubert
  15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  16. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
  17. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  18. The Moonstone by Willkie Collins
  19. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  20. Wives and Daughter by Elizabeth Gaskell

I love Austen, Swift and really want to read Gaskell, Burgess and Collins. I shudder at the thought of Woolf or Eliot – never quite developed a taste for them. I have been planning to go back to Flaubert for some time – especially since my sister told me to read closely in the details, because apparently, the beauty of the book lies in those minute details. The same holds true of Anna Karenina – did not like it the first couple of times I read it, but since reading Stefanie’s thoughts on the book, I have been curious to give it another try, though War and Peace remains my favorite Tolstoy book and would love to go over it again!

To end, I am waiting with bated breath for the number draw – again, I wonder why I am doing this? But maybe this time because of the contest, I will have the patience to finish The Awakening and in my mind list, it would be one down! 😉

Valentine and All that Jazz

I am aware that today is Valentine’s Day and people round the world will be offering me the pros and cons of celebrating or not celebrating the day. I am really not interested in the debate…. I mean really, I am not and I repeat not concerned with –

  1. You are celebrating the day only because your wife/girlfriend/partner/dog/cat/rabbit wants you to
  2. You are celebrating because you feel that it is a special day to showcase love
  3. You are not celebrating because you feel that you do not need a special day to showcase love

As far as I am concerned, I really do not care mate! Do whatever you feel like and do not go boring the world and yes…..blocking my Facebook, Twitter and mobile accounts with mush. Really! One should have some compassion for one’s fellow creatures.

What I really find intriguing about this dastardly boring day is the idea suggested by Saki in his short story “The Feast of Nemesis”. Clovis, Saki’s alter ego and principle protagonists suggests to Mrs Thackenbury about day to pay off old scores, grudges and where one makes a list of “People who must not be let off!” as an antithesis to all Valentine/Christmas/New Year events. I would strongly recommend reading the story ….trust me it provides a whole new perspective! You can read it online at http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/FeasNeme812.shtml, if you do not want to go the old fashioned paper route!

This story along with a real fun blog by Renne Fisher called “A Valentine for Someone I Hate” (http://lifeintheboomerlane.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/a-valentine-for-someone-i-hate/) got me thinking of a couple of people for whom I would really really really want to spend some quality time planning how not to “let them off”. I am not vindictive, but sometimes one is compelled by circumstances! So in the lines of Anna Karenina “Vengeance is mine! I shall repay”; here goes my top three master plans –

  1. My aunt who never let me eat enough on family dinners because I was overweight – I would want to throw a gala dinner party only and only for you and keep feeding you until……well until I feel like and you are extremely uncomfortable
  2. My erstwhile best friend who planned and succeeded in taking away my guy from me – I will pay another woman to do the same to you, especially now that you are both “committed” to each other and you are completely financially dependent on him. It would not hurt him too much either if the woman dumps publicly either!
  3. My Boss – Lesser said the better; just read my other blog (http://madcapdownsideup.wordpress.com) and you would get the idea! I hope someone does to you what you have done unto us and in the whole balance of life kind of thing, I do see it happening! His boss is as erratic and unreasonable as it gets! So no plan here…only let the nature take its course!

This would be my plan! But really in a life that is so short and unpredictable, do I really have the time and energy to even wishing such things, let alone execute? Naaaaaaaa!

Like I said, life is far too much to offer to get caught up in such petty details, no matter how much they might have mattered to you at one time….besides, the more I see my boss and his plight, the more I am convinced that what you do is what you gonna get! So one good dead will beget another….or vice versa! Better to be in the first boat me thinks!