I seldom have girl crushes BUT Clémence Poésy is just toooo cool. You probably know her from Harry Potter (she played Veela fembot, Fleur Delacourt. Personally, I don’t think the Veelas were as rapture-inspiring in the movie as they should have been but I suppose that that is due to movies never EVER being as good as the books) or from In Bruge, a cracker of a dark British crime comedy also starring Colin Farrel. If you haven’t seen it, get it now.
She’s cool in equal amounts of guy-cool and girl-cool that is quite difficult to achieve. Girls usually hate the kinds of girls that they know guys typically go for (think poppie, boobs, long dead straight hair, high heels, tiiiiiiiiight clothes. We hate those.) It’s refreshing when a girl is approachably beautiful, because thats sexy for girls and guys. And by describing her as a girl appealing to both sexes, I dont mean that she seems like the kind of girl guys want and girls wanna be. I mean the kind of girl that girls want to be friends with and guys too, and maybe maybe sort of like. Cos that’s the best kind of like.
I often think about this idea of approachable beauty. It’s sort of French, since so many French women aren’t phenomenally beautiful but are phenomenally sexy, its just their style that makes you go “Well that looks kinda interesting” and stare a little longer than you normally would. That said it is a universal kind of beauty too.
It doesn’t slam you in the face but sort of comes and goes which is intriguing because it forces you to pay attention. You sit there going, “Okay, can that spark come back again please? I need to see if I really like it” and then when it does you get excited inside, like its a confirmation of your own good judgment, noticing that there was something special, just not in a conventional package dripping in name brands and makeup. Note: this applies to guys too. Plus, the added benefit of this is that in between those moments of not-so-amazingness, the friend-crush sets in. Because you’re out of the physical-attraction, game-face-on mode, you start noticing little movements, quirks and those things that are dimples but aren’t quite but are somehow still really neat because you know you’re being smiled at. And then you want to contribute to bringing that spark back so you keep just being you and hope that in the same way you’re paying attention, you’re being paid attention to too. And by that I mean a mix of physical attention as well as a meeting of minds. Sometimes its enjoyable being probed by attentive eyes and having your mind peeked at too.
And as a girl, if you manage to do it while looking as pretty and stylish as this girl, you’re on the right track. All you can hope for is that there’s a boy nearby who likes girls that are pretty sometimes and interesting all the time.
P.S. She would of course be friends with the Queen-of-not-toooo-quirky-but-quirky-enough Kirsten Dunst. I’ll admit though, I am not a huge fan, she’s a bit insipid. Especially next to Clémence. Very obvious degrees of luminosity here. But it could just be that lovely yellow dress. It’s like the joys of Wimpy mustard but with pleats. Sigh.
I’m still trying to pluck up the courage to do this. Its so cool that I’m scared I would be too cool to myself if I did it. Like when you meet someone who’s so cool that you get tongue-tied and moronic and immediately start babbling about the mundanities of your boring life trying to impress them. I would be like that. But in the mirror. To myself. I highly doubt to anyone else though.
This morning my brother was moaning about having to study Indian Literature in his first year English Literature course. I almost choked, spluttering indignation like I was born and raised in India and had in fact written 17 novels in Hindi. I am a big fan of Indian Literature. Salman Rushdie is my literary idol. But that is only because Arundhati Roy had only written one novel. She is my idol. Note the full stop.
The God of Small Things is my favourite novel of all time and a worthy candidate of my first book post. But I actually can’t do describing it justice. It must be read. Over and over again. Sometimes I unconsciously quote it. Not just because it is a fall on your back work of genius but because it is the semi–autobiography of an inspiration. Arundhati Roy as an activist and social commentator has caused both havoc and elation in India and sees her writing as “a duty to bridge social distance, to bring home the truth about the poor and disaffected to the prosperous and content, and to realise their surroundings and situation as a good novelist would.” But even better, she isn’t a washed out novel producing factory. She describes the work of producing The God of Small Things, her first novel, which earned her the Booker Prize, as being like four years in jail and says, “There’s so much noise in the world, so why add to it? In my case, I only write when I can’t not.” Wow.
Fortunately for us groupies, she’s working on her second novel. Hallelujah. The temptation to insert an expletive is almost overwhelming, that’s how excited I am. "I want to think about detail now and not about the full picture. After I finished The God of Small Things there was nothing I wanted to understand more than the way the big wheels are working. Now that I do, I want to deploy that knowledge in minute observation." Personally, when thinking about writing, that the trickiest part. Do you write about the big things or the little things? They’re both so interesting maaaaan. Having just finished studying international relations (I hope. I feverishly await confirmation that my thesis has been passed), I constantly think about the distinction between what I call ‘Big I.R’ and ‘Little I.R’ where the Big is comprised of the states, global institutions, basically the big shots and powers that be who shape our world, often without our input. And the Little is everything else. Communities. Individuals. The daily struggle to find meaning within the struggle to survive. It is quite a comforting revelation that one of the most prolific literary and political figures possibly sees things the same way. She is described as a bit of solipsist (don’t worry, I don’t know what it means either. Basically, believing that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified, and being self-absorbed because of it. You are your only reality kinda thing.) “She just can’t imagine life without herself in it. There are many cleverer people, just as concerned with injustices, who have more rounded and considered views. But there’s nobody else who’s as critically engaged with the state as she is and so willing to take it on. So is she a good thing? Yes.”
While I practice being a solipsist too, I wait with baited breath and crossed toes for her new book.
I am not one for jealous hateful thoughts. But I need to sell an organ to get myself to the states to rob this wardrobe. Next-to-nothing clothes, trunkloads of jewellery and gazillions of tattoos? Im sold.
Now as a someone supposedly educated in Politics and International Relations, I am shockingly ignorant about world affairs. I realised though that this is due to the overwhelming assault on my senses by the media, sometimes its just way too much to digest. I wish there was an easy way to just insert a little chip into my brain to quickly download current affairs since I realise more and more that my ignorance is unacceptable. ESPECIALLY since this is my chosen career path. Life is however not a sci-fi movie (I hope) so I think I’ll just make my own Idiot’s Guide to those big deal things that get everyone talking. So that I dont look dumb in conversation y’dig.
So this cartoon was published in the Mail and Guardian on 27 January 2011 and shows three countries, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, next to each other. Each of these has been run by aging autocrats for a ridiculous amount of time. Ben Ali from Tunisia was finally overthrown in the ‘Jasmin Revolution’ after 23 years, Hosni Mubarak finally resigned after 29 years following major clashes between protestors and supporters of his regime, most taking place in Tahiri Square. Tahiri means ‘Liberation’. The beautiful names, the beautiful irony.
When I saw this cartoon I chuckled out loud but evidently Zapiro is a modern day prophet because it is finally Moammar Gaddafi’s turn. While peace has not yet reached Tunisia or Egypt, the ousting of these tyrants is the start. Libya on the other hand is looking like a mighty dangerous place to be right now.
In a defiant and rambling television speech on Tuesday, Gadaffi vowed to remain as leader, saying he would die as a martyr in the land of his ancestors and fight to the “last drop” of his blood. He stated that “The Libyan people are with me” and called on his supporters to “capture the rats,” i.e. the anti-regime demonstrators. Uh, really? THEN in typical despot style referred to himself in the third person with this gem: “Moammar Gadaffi is the leader of a revolution; Moammar Gadaffi has no official position in order for him to resign. He is the leader of the revolution forever.” No no homie, the revolution is BECAUSE of you, you are not leading anything right now.
In the mean time, while Libyan citizens fight for democracy and freedom, those elusive diamond in the sky ideals that usually start most wars, shocking footage of corpses with body parts blasted off and patients with almost completely severed torsos have provided incontrovertible evidence that heavy artillery is being used on protesters. Especially worrying considering that the military is indiscriminately targeting unarmed protesters. The degree of illegality makes me shudder, not to mention the human rights violations.
Why should we care?
Because Libya is Africa’s fourth largest oil producer. That should be enough to make you go “Ohhhhhhhh Sh*t”. Already, the turmoil in the country has sent oil prices sky high. So high in fact that its the highest its been since September 2008. Despite his defiance, Gaddafi’s grip is slipping. Kinda like when you’re in the club and sweaty and gross and your cellphone keeps slipping out of your sweat drenched paw and you keep fumbling trying to keep a hold of it. And boy is he fumbling. This is about to get ugly, very ugly. Keep your eyes peeled.
So after much nagging by my friends (who, most of the time, are completely unjustified in their faith in me) the blogging has begun.
I like things. Wait, I love them. Words especially.
Everything else is really just an accessory. I love playing with words, using words, reading them, adding pictures to bring to life their aesthetic quality, scrambling them up, singing them off-key, reading them, it doesn’t end. They’re just the best.
So this blog is really just homage to them.
Marie Antoinette. Seems kinda nuts to be inspired by the extravagant Queen of France who was stripped of her riches and finery, imprisoned and beheaded by her own subjects during the French Revolution but I digress. The pleasures of life, as typified by her, thrill me to no end but deep down there is this niggling little conscience which pops its meek head up every once in a while, meerkat style. Add to that a minor obsession with politics and the world around me, oh wait and a MAJOR obsession with cake and WHAM you have a blog.
I came across this new book “The Lovers Dictionary” by David Levithan where he tells the story of a relationship through definitions. Hopefully I’ll get my hands on it soon and excerpts will naturally follow because apart from the wonderful conceptual novelty, apparently it’s really well executed too. So! I’m stealing that idea for this first post.
Meaning a beneficial combination of processes or objects. In pharmacy, synergy means “an interaction between drugs where the effects are stronger than their mere sum.” I think that’s kinda nifty.
Decadence can refer to a lifestyle, state of a country, or Bar One cake with Rolos and Tumbles hidden inside and caramel all over AND hundreds and thousands everywhere. I wasn’t joking about the cake obsession. I think this is somehow related to a “state of decay”. To me, it is simply luxurious self-indulgence which has got to be the greatest gift to oneself. If in moderation, of course. Consciousness.
The state of being aware, of what exactly is immaterial, is difficult. I get very caught up in myself. Capricious Appreciation.
To appreciate, adore, obsess and dream according to my own whims and wishes is probably the result of decadence beating consciousness in the mental battle between my favourite words. I appreciate nonetheless. Sometimes I just think about what I’m appreciating as a truce to my conscience.
Molding my experiences into some sort of foresight/wisdom. Hey, a girl can dream.
Just letting go. Recklessly. Unreservedly. The Rhapsodizing and Ramblings of a Gamine Nerd.
Nerd really needs no explanation, these dorky ramblings are evidence enough. The other two however. Wow. My favourite words. Rhapsodizing and Gamine. Rhapsodize: To display enthusiasm. The archaic meaning of a rhapsody is a random medley, a miscellaneous confused string of stories. A more current definition is an exalted expression of feeling in speech or writing. I would want to write in a combination of the two. Gamine: A mischievous street urchin, usually with elfin features. Now, these I do not have, bar boy hair instead of flowing locks, but I would be happy to live mischievously in the streets. Not literally, that would be pushing my consciousness aspirations a tad. I like creature comforts, but on the go, on the move, experiencing it all. Life fascinates me. The world fascinates me.