Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nobody Waved Goodbye

How much can a man really take
When he's pushed himself too far
He knows that his mind's gonna break
He's been trying to follow his star..

I don't really know Amy Winehouse. Heard of her, yes, but a little too contemporary for these olde ears. But the drama of her sudden death last night with all the talk of the 27 Club made me remember and hunt down an old magazine article that I'd saved and treasured years and years ago. A time when rock stars were idols, and the more tragic and turbulent their lives, the more glamourous they seemed. The article, beautifully written in the way that only an articulate, high-brow, widely-read,  Indian rock music fan could have written. I'd have loved to reproduce it all out here but it's way too lengthy and my butt is aching to be let off this chair so I'll just post the article in its well worn entirety in memory of once-upon-a-time heroes who died too soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Crazy little thing called life

I don't do that - hang out with an older crowd. Just the opposite, in fact. Both in real life and online. Not for any feel young factor but a purely practical reason: I don't have a lot to relate to with people my age. Meaning people my age are all married, with kids, grandkids even, and I don't talk their talk. Which leaves me with not much choice but to hang out and trade inanities with younger and younger people. Kind of a Tithonus situation maybe but I'm not complaining too much. Sometimes my peers make me tired. It's wearying listening to health problems all the time.  I'd rather stay on the loose wire and talk, fun tech (in case any real techies on this page get the guffaws). I mean, the world's getting techier and techier, right?

To get away from the age thing to another dicey topic - the gender divide, why are guys so weird? There's this guy I got to know from an online games room several years ago -  a nice guy though definitely something of a bad boy. In between the time he dropped out of cyberspace, he got his act cleaned up, became involved in church activities, and met this girl who was lovely and well, a little out of his league, I kind of thought. I often came across them together and they were a pretty solid item for quite a while. Then recently I came across his wedding pictures on Facebook and whoa, the bride wasn't his longtime girlfriend. Turns out the duo had not been on speaking terms for some time, and in between, boy had got another girl knocked up and had no option but to marry her and forget much-loved girlfriend. The common friend who told me this said he'd been the one who'd had to break the news to the girlfriend and that it had been, well, brutal. Little wonder the bride and groom had looked a little grim in the wedding pictures. Why are men so base scurrilious   unable to keep their libidos under control  hell-bent on self-destruction weird?

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Just when you thought you knew everything....

So shoot me but being an English teacher can be such a frustrating, aggravating job, it often leaves me seriously questioning the existence of cerebral matter in my students. 

Last week though, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one of them had actually written and published a book towards the end of last year. No, wait, as it turns out, three kids had published books last year. One was something of a how-to book for teens. Growing-up angst, career advice, etc. I didn't actually read it but I was at the book launch, and the writer, a bespectacled, seriously serious, earnest, old beyond his years type droned on about it at some length. To be honest, it sounded to me like cleverly culled and translated extracts from English books and magazines. Student #2's book was a laugh-fest kind of book, I think. Not sure since I haven't read it either. But this one I discovered last week is a real, honest to goodness, 160 paged work of fictitious literature with a proper plot, characters, dialogue, settings et al. Er, I've only read three chapters so far but it's surprisingly well-written and compact thus far.

The real reason I'm so almighty impressed is that the writer is only 20. Mapuia was born in 1990, the same year as my second nephew. And it puts me to shame, that statistic. I certainly never was that coherent or articulate at that age, never mind mature enough to cobble together an authentic, creative work of fiction.

As Tevye put it in Fiddler on the Roof, modern children, sigh. They drive you up the wall and kill you with their silliness, and then they turn around and teach you a thing or two. Respect, kids.