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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Uçuş puan kazanmanın en kolay yolunu keşfedin

I have no idea what the title of the post means. I could google translate, but I'd rather not. You see, early this year, I went on an amazing trip through Turkey, which involved making bookings on budget (?) domestic Turkish airlines, like THY and Pegasus. Both were a pleasure to fly, and I have wonderful memories of the trip, the airports, the train stations, the newspapers, the TV channels, the food, the colours, the food, the food, the sea, the sea, the sea, the sea, and the sheer kick one can get from travelling in a country where most people dont speak English as a matter of course.

Anyway.

In making these bookings, I used my primary email address to create an account, and I must have inadvertently clicked on the 'Send me a newsletter in a strange language with vivid yellow pictures' checkbox, because every other day, Pegasus emails me in Turkish enticing me to oh, I dont know, fly from Antalya to Bodrum maybe, or announces rapid fire sale tickets on flights from Selcuk to Ankara, (I think) or strongly urges me to sign up to a Pegasus Plus membership.

Usually, I delete the emails, but sometimes I read them carefully, particularly on days when I need a little cheering up.  I imagine the Pegasus email telling me I'm getting too cushy in life and I should use artillery and wage war (punlar ve artilar var...), or that I should really go back to learning magic (I used to know some pretty good tricks as a child) (Uçuş puan kazanmanın en kolay yolunu) or that I should feel free to sin, lie and since its winter, go ice-skating and glide (Sizinle ilgileniyoruz...) or that the world is a wonderful place so I should stop sulking (Dünyanın En Güzel Hediyesi).

Sometimes, I'd like to believe, like so many people I know, it too has taken its responsibilities in the world seriously, considers me to be the definitive girl whom people send poetry to, and regularly sends me yearning love poetry.

(Kart yok, vergi yok, karmaşık mil hesapları ve kontenjan sınırı yok ...)

Maybe its not yearning love poetry though, that one has the potential to be a koan. One can always hope.

***

I started reading the Player of Games yesterday, and at about 1:08 am (Yes, I checked the clock), I became so unsettled by the book that I had to take a walk around the room, then that walk being unsatisfactory, I walked into the living room and then into the kitchen, drank a glass of water and tried to calm myself down. The Culture seems to be everything I thought it would be. Everything.

The book is much better than Consider Phlebas, and I can't wait to read the third one (chronologically only, as apparently the reading order isn't particularly relevant).

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The best writing for 2011

The FT has come up with its list for 2011's best writing, and I mostly agree, though there are some fantastic surprises here. You must take a look.

There's a recco for an Eric Brown SF book (The Kings of Eternity), but given Engineman (fairly revered) felt quite ordinary, I'm not sure if I should take the plunge.  Suggestions, comments?


And that is the longing, and this is the book

I'm reading some wonderful poetry at the moment.

If you could write a poem to hum to yourself should you walk down La Ramblas, towards the docks, then this is what it would be:
(You'd have to make allowance for many of the brilliant bars that dot the place, especially one such as this: Obama, and Obama) though what the reviewers dont mention is the life-size statue of Obama sitting on a bench about 2 feet from our table.

***

You'd sing too

You'd sing too
if you found yourself
in a place like this
You wouldn't worry about
whether you were as good
as Ray Charles or Edith Piaf
You'd sing
You'd sing
not for yourself
but to make a self
out of the old food
rotting in the astral bowel
and the loveless thud
of your own breathing
You'd become a singer
faster than it takes
to hate a rival's charm
and you'd sing, darling
you'd sing too

Sunday, December 04, 2011

At the end of a week-long series of events to celebrate a milestone, of sorts, (the milestone, not the events), a great many things have happened. One, is that the blog and its existence has repeatedly come into question, its ability to put me in touch with strangers, (though, gentle readers they may be) has also come into question. The purpose of existence, as it were, has come into question, albeit gently and casually and in a much more nuanced manner than one could have hoped for (nuances being ever so tricky to negotiate). Publicly admitting to trials and tribulations, (the kinds involving staplers, smoothie bottles and fingers, workdays that sap you of the will to be social and active, thick nib fountain pens, exquisite headaches from glasses of fine champagne at very many kinds of christmas parties and approaching nri-in-christmas- dejection, the days when more bots or clients email you than real people, or the days you reason with yourself if milk can really _not_ be used beyond the expiry date on the bottle, trays 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 on the printer, the unignorable red blinking light on the blackberry, the dreaded cough-y cold-y, sneezy voice of a parent many miles away, the stray full weekend of time slipping away gently in unordained and nonpremeditated morsels of virtual connection, the misery inducing time difference, dirty dishes, lack of cute men, ripped buttons, eyeholes and eyelets of  disappointment, the unavoidable scraping away of grand dreams, replaced instead by regular sized bites of achievable goals and grand (in name only) no sugar, double shot, cappucinos) has come into question, and mostly, the I-blog-because-I-need-to-write-in-one-way-or-another approach has come into question.  As you may perhaps know, one is generally more sensitive to these questions around a birthday. One has spent a lot of time over fourth glasses of martinis looking for answers to these questions in the faraway sparkle of xmas decorations and the closer up tart in the shiny sequinned dress.

Was there a list? (An 'everything I will have achieved by 25' list.)
Yes, yes of course there was, and it was (in retrospect only) a highly unrealistic, overly simplistic, list compiled in the most confident and cocky of moments.

Fall in love, Be famous, Travel, etc.

Looking ahead, I have decided I am not going to make a five year plan. I know what I need to do, and I am going to go do it, and if I fail, I shall have done it, and I shall do it no more. And I will find something else to do. And its as simple as that.

The crucial life lesson learnt, I think (and I did think about this deeply) is that there is time. And it will work out. It has to.

***
I'm continuously tweaking the template because I am looking for some measure of personable identity here, and it is rather elusive in its design.

***
Over this happy happy birthday week past, one of the best memories I have (not withstanding the stunning walks down the docks of Barcelona, the dazzling cocktail bars in succession, the food and the food and the cake and the books) is the BFF directing me downstairs in the midst of a busy Thursday afternoon at work for a belated present of angel cake cupcakes with creamcheese frosting and a vivd green birthday message. Definitely a bookmarkable moment for life.

***
I went to the opera! They sing when they speak! All very magical! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another one bites the dust

Meter pizza and a sumptuous, dazzling cocktail place and a few dozen missed calls. Repeat performance on weekend for the lawyer friends and massive cakes in the refrigerator (who will eat them? WHO?).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Under 25

So:

X event offers concessionary £14 tickets to under 25's. This is of course excellent news. However, though I am 24 now - at the time of booking, when the event itself occurs, I shall be 25.

Discuss.

***

There _has_ to be definitive case law, I am SURE of this.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hoe Hoe Hoe

Excuse my terrible pun. I had a point, and it was a deep philosophical one about bland-ery and whether emotion is over emphasised and really why the Savage would claim the right to be lousy, and thoughts about self-preservation, moral superiority and the unflappable power of self-rationalisation and I was going to write a furious deeply incoherent essay post.
Instead, gentle reader, I remembered this (and the new bloggy has thus far not had a Huxley quote - for shame!):

"But the tears are necessary. Don't you remember what Othello said? 'If after every tempest came such calms, may the winds blow till they have wakened death.' There's a story one of the old Indians used to tell us, about the Girl of Mátaski. The young men who wanted to marry her had to do a morning's hoeing in her garden. It seemed easy; but there were flies and mosquitoes, magic ones. Most of the young men simply couldn't stand the biting and stinging. But the one that could–he got the girl."

"Charming! But in civilized countries," said the Controller, "you can have girls without hoeing for them, and there aren't any flies or mosquitoes to sting you. We got rid of them all centuries ago."

***

You gotta love the first world  :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

And some more

As if it weren't enough that the miles and the oceans and continents between us keep us apart, as if it weren't enough that reason more than emotion, (or is it the other way around?) keeps us apart, and as if it weren't enough that there is this vast chasm of irregular human connections (191 at last count), a hundred-odd ways for you and I to keep tabs on each other, to consume this desperate need to peek into lives on quiet sunday mornings, when the newspaper simply won't cut it and you stare (or I stare) hungrily at the phone, willing it simultaneously to ring and not ring, to simulaneously want to call and not call you, when the subscribed datafeeds throw up an array of things, to cherry-pick the crucial data packages I know you and I will find more amusing and to share and not want to share these with you, to want you to laugh or not laugh at a common comment of a common connection that means little to those not in the know and then wishing that either you or I were not either or or in the know so that the the commoness of the comment was to us, either or or, nothing more than a comment of commonness,  to wonder how much more music is yet to be discovered or not, and upon chancing to find something individually, not pointed to by the feed gods that control the data flood, to wonder if or if not, I would have unlike how unaided I am now, found it otherwise, to tell myself, soothe myself, occasionally, by affirming to myself that I like more than not like not having, more than having, a virtual together space, that I want, more than I not want to go out there and create more such virtual spaces and populate them as chance and otherness will will it and not feel a deep longing at the loss of a regular, much-loved arm, maybe, or spoke in the web that we each draw, creating such virtually mutual datapools that perhaps, though less than perhaps not, I find that each day the irreplaceability waxes and wanes in sync as much with the eurozone woes as of tremulous phone messages from the eastcoast to londontown to back home and from back home to london town to the eastcoast and all the other variables in between, tracked closely.

As if it weren't enough.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

But Harry doesn't mind

"But Harry doesn't mind, if he doesn't make the scene, he's got a daytime job, he's doin alright..."


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

"I tell myself this was a day job, tell people this is a day job, that I have projects I am working on, myserious things to do with my time, until ten years pass, and you realise, this isnt a day job anymore, it is your job, and it is all you'll ever do." - loosely transcribed from memory, how to live safely in a sci-fi universe.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

***

I think I will restore semblance of calmnness by getting a haircut now so I have something substantial to complain about.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A bowl of something sweet

Do you remember what it feels like to plonk yourself on a soft surface, squish your chest against a large purple cushion and simply eat a bowl of something sweet? I have felt that way all evening.

(mainly because it is exactly what I have been doing, still... I shall hazard a prediction and say that perhaps this feeling will continue)

***

I have been reading an incredible book, something that makes me laugh out loud on the tube, the silent, stiffly formal, jubilee of grey suits and crimson blusher and chanel.

Not only is it great writing, funny, poignant, memorable, but its also smart writing, its intelligent, its new and quirky. Most importantly, it fits in perfectly with the ex-read and the now-read.

I could not have asked for, and found a more perfect in-between to Neuromance/Engineman and The Stuff of Thought. It already feels exhilarating, breathless, as I am 48 pages in and I have to put it away, force myself to stop. You can't have too much of a good thing, but you can have it all too soon.

I came home, studiously put the book away and made myself some gajar ka halwa. And I eat it now, and feel like the world is bursting with wonderfulness.

***
I discovered a word today, and I don't know what it really means, but maybe it isnt a real word, or maybe it is a portmanteau. Either way, I love this word - monomyth. I have my own meaning for it.

And later, as I was thinking about monomyths, I came up with another word-phrase. Unilateral love. Isn't that so much better than unrequited love? And doesn't it feel right, somehow, just, right, to say, I will unilaterally love you.
(yes, I thought about the commas, deeply).

If I loved a lawyer, this is what I would say to him. I would say, let us not talk of conditions, precedent or subsequent, or signings, or commitments. Let us forget about security (and you know I must love him so, to forget about _security_). I just love you, unilaterally.

(much drafting at work. Much security documentation being read.)
***

Someone I know of, from someone I know, sent me a poem recommendation, but I shall say, she sent me a poem. (and how wonderful it is, when people just send you poetry, is it not?). I should like very much to be the girl-they-send-poetry-to.

It deserves a post, all of its own, but today, because it is a day of such sweetness, and because this poem is like clove honey (with a taste of butterscotch):

***
Under One Small Star

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all.
Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize for my record of minuets to those who cry from the depths.
I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep today at five a.m.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
Pardon me, deserts, that I don't rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.
And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,
your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don't pay me much attention.
Dignity, please be magnanimous.
Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread from your train.
Soul, don't take offense that I've only got you now and then.
My apologies to everything that I can't be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can't be each woman and each man.
I know I won't be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labor heavily so that they may seem light.

Wislawa Szymborska

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

These are the best of times.

So much of my reactions are not truly mine, so many are studied, affected, provoked, and imitations. Templates-like. Gleaned, hoarded, displayed.

Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever wake up and ask yourself, if you are able to _retain_ any information, or if all you do is feed in, feed out? If all you do, is like, share, comment, scan, summarise, and forget. Knowing that the archive exists, do you sleep easy? Do you dream original thought anymore? Do you?

Think about it, when was the last time you had an _original_ thought? Really, think about it.  

***

Everyday, as I struggle to read my newspaper, I find it harder and harder to quell a growing sense of satisfaction (yes, you read that right) with the world. Does it suddenly seem like _so_ much is happening? That people are _doing_ things, taking decisions, making policy, effecting change. Right?
Or is it just me?

Doesn't matter either way, I feel wildly optimistic and excited about the future, as nervous and gleeful as going to watch a Chris Nolan movie (see, intelligent movie references and all). There is so much, SO much changing around the world today.

We are to have seven billion humans on the planet soon, new market standards for uncertainty are being set, the eurozone is stumbling (and boy, what a Jessup compromis they'll have to draft this year !!), Palestine is to address the U.N. as too Netanyahu, and the U.S. will hopefully use the veto (they'll be writing articles about this for years to come now), lending subtle effect to international law theories on its use and misuse, and oh oh oh on hegemony (gotta love the word) . More and more commenters call for an orderly exit for Greece, and the crumble of the free-market capitalist model  (in parts, atleast) has been nothing but exhilarating in a think really really hard kind of way. Its all very cusp-like, very edge of the world, peering across to new horizons like.

It feels like the times-they- are-a-changing. Can't you feel it too?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Neruda-ness

For a few days now, it feels like the moment is right there, a few inches away and I am forever just out of reach. The saturation, the wonderful jolt of ...thought, before I begin to type.

I wrote something a long time ago, a letter of lost love and much too many tears, and today, like all the other days, just out of reach of the moment, as I re-read an old Neruda favourite, I decided that this
needs to be said here. And now. Because if you haven't read Neruda and felt like your soul was bruised and wandered the corridors in search of a hug, well then you havent really loved and lost. 


I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.



I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.


Maybe January light will consume 
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm



In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood. 


pablo neruda


Also, see the entire two (beautiful) paragraphs on the Poem of the Week Page. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Late in the night, I think of mountains and ATVs

When you are the only person left in the office and its around 1 am, when try as you might, you cannot motivate yourself to do a little bit of extra work until the taxi can come pick you up, your mind may wander to mundane matters of  no importance. Not me.

Nope.

I am thinking of Lagarde, and her appointment at the IMF even though she has no background in economics, about how she was a chair at B&M, and wondering how Greece got itself into such a mess.

I read reports about protests at Syntagma and blockades at Piraeus and felt curiously affected by the anger and frustration of the people. Is that what the IMF did with the SAP (?) plans a decade or so ago?

I was at Piraeus, and its unordinary and well, normal. I remembered distinctly telling DF that if you added a river to the right side of Mount Road (yes, the side with the LIC and the Cosmopolitan Club) and removed all the buildings on the right side, then it would like exactly like Piraeus.

We undertook an Epic journey from Piraeus to Monastiraki, getting very lost and then finding a Greek bus-stop with 30 kilo backpacks on our backs, taking a Greek bus, with Greek signs and getting off when we were told we couldnt buy tickets on the bus, and walking back to the port (roughly a kilometre) to buy a ticket from the same Greek Lady who gave us directions to the bus-stop earlier (utterly terrible directions) but didnt tell us we couldnt get a ticket on board. .

We had a phrase for the trip, conjured when we were stuck in a loop downtown in Mykonos and couldnt find our way to the hotel. The centre of the city, the main village is usually called hora.

Yes, you're right, we are that lame.


My taxi is here, so the rest of the story shall be told someother time, but I miss driving through Naxos in between giant scary deadly quiet mountains on tiny winded paths to visit a tiny village and eat in someone's living room cum cafe. Especially because the ATV was a bright red in Naxos.

It was bright orange in Santorini, and bright yellow in Mykonos.

Good times, gentle reader, good times.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Diary Entries


1) When wearing chic-ly long cardigans, do not wear short skirts to work.  The effect is worrying.

2) Sleep takes precedence over everything. Including blogging.

3) Do not shower with lenses on, your eyes get cloudy and misty and you effectively reduce your proof-reading capacity by 80%.

4) I am always on the lookout for gym songs to match my cardio routine.   I hate the ones I'm currently listening to, so all my endorphins are used up in trying to not get angry at STUPID ITUNES AND ITS STUPID SYNCING SYSTEM. 

5) I want to commence yoga classes, but Aks thinks that its a sure sign I'm becoming white. (or kinder-egg like, as DF said). She says salsa is preferable, while I politely snort at her. But then, I think to myself, why NOT make a fool of myself in front of some perfect strangers and learn salsa? We shall see.

6) Lisboa holidays are coming up.

7) Do not launder muchly-loved shiny sequinned top from Splash in laundry machine. It will die a painfully unshiny death, and leave you endlessly depressed. You may have cried.

8) I haven't read a book in a week and a half.

9) The Harrods sale did not send me into raptures. I did get to touch a Dior bag though, one which costs as much as rent for 2 months.  It was an interesting experience.

10) I hate my life today.

begin PAINFUL REALISATION
11) I have a FULL TIME JOB. This means I cannot also be a writer at the same time. I simply cannot put myself though the torture of wanting to write, while also working and reading and relaxing on the weekend, and travelling. And laundry. I CANT be a writer and a lawyer here.  I am working myself into a nervous wreck.
end PAINFUL REALISATION

12) NJ is 5 hours behind London is 5 hours behind India. Ish.

Friday, May 06, 2011

I know that's not enough

but I'm back with promises of posts and travelogues.

If however, there is one thing you youtube today - let it be this.

My-i-miss-you-i-hate-you-i-cry-to-you-i-make-love-to-you-i-pray-to-you-i-loop-you-i-want-you-i-want-the-world-life-is-amazing-i-am-drunk-weepy-and-happy-and-moody-and-grumpy-and-smiley-song.


Hugs. I missed you.