Just when I was settling down into a comfortable relationship with the great Impressionist movement; declaring my favourites, recognising the Renoir reproductions at my place, differentiating a Monet from a Manet, a Vang Gogh from a Duncan, understanding how the sun shimmers in the painting that started it all, and staring down from the elongated sides of my olfactory nemesis at anything vaguely Dali [although Escher sits pretty on my blog].....I discovered the Pre-Raphaelites. And so lord, bless us all.
Love at first sight happened when I picked up a copy of Pre-Raphaelite reproductions for my ol' man. I liked the reproductions and 'twas inexpensive to procure it [as is the case with most of 'em men hooking up with 'em ladies. Hmph.] and if truth be told, I did not give it much thought. But then I was destined to return to the bookstore in my usual I-have-the-time-but-little-money-to-spare-to-buy-books mode and I was browsing through a catalogue of Pre-Raphaelite art. And I discovered this [please do click on it for a mind-numbing moment of raw helplessness].

Ophelia! Ophelia! Sweet, frail, glorious Opehlia! I rushed to pick up a copy of Hamlet [actually I picked up ALL of the four great tragedies] and returned home to devote my new I-have-the-time-but-NO-MONEY-to-spare-whatoever mode to Googl-ing. And I present you with this.
Turns out the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood were a group of seven English painters, poets and crtitcs who sought fit to reject the affectations of the Mannerists [Raphael and Michaelangelo followers] and 'reproduced on canvas what they saw in nature'.
This was their only discriminating feature. Albeit the principles of the brotherhood were laid down in four declarations:

  1. To have genuine ideas to express;
  2. To study Nature attentively, so as to know how to express them;
  3. To sympathise with what is direct and serious and heartfelt in previous art, to the exclusion of what is conventional and self-parading and learned by rote;
  4. And, most indispensable of all, to produce thoroughly good pictures and statues.
These declarations however, were far from stringent, as the Pre-Raphaelites were generous to the individual idea and flair. And although the 'study of nature' lent a very real element to their work, the brotherhood was to eventually split into two; the Realists and the Medievalists who incorporated a spritual perspective in their work. The split, it is claimed, was never absolute but the difference in the work is glaringly obvious.

So, right now I am also hooked onto Hamlet. The moon is the 'moist star' since it governs the tidal waves. Loverlieeeeeeeeeee.

Double whammy did I hear you say??


I managed to edge in two movies last weekend into my raucously busy schedule of imbibing, imploring and immaculate lethargy.

First I caught The Namesake in Bangalore. I did not like it in the least. The book was authored with a slower pace that unravels the story of Gogol Ganguly over the years with certain details stretched thin to leave behind that indelible impression; for instance his first trip to India was important in the sense that it made for academic comparisons to the next trip on the death of his father. But the movie progressed at breakneck speed leaving little room for me to grasp and understand. It disappointed albeit the Bongness put a smile on my face. Annaprashun, and the traditional Bong wedding with the odd white makeup on the bride's and groom's faces made me yearn for papta maach, goopi gayan and erm....Oh! Calcutta.

Didn't do the book justice. Although Irfan Khan was tremendous, Tabu was fine, Kal Penn cute ;-). And was that Moshumi chick steaming hotttttttt, killer legs! Ahem.

I followed it up with 12 Angry Men. And boy, was that some watch. A movie that starts in the courtroom, continues in the jury room and ends on the steps of the courthouse. With 12 (yes angry!) men who divulge not names, not occupations, not any other details that begin to define us as who we are. Nothing except stark and strident reactions. The camera focuses on an individual from time to time for 5-7 seconds, which is absolutely fatal in theatre (focussing the audience's attention on one actor that is), but which just beautifully describes the jury. And we feel an intimate connection with each, trying to understand and defend their actions.
And Joseph Sweeney was much the adorable ol' fella with a piercing glare and larger than life countenance. Provided with some (un)intentional comic relief. Me liked very , very much.
The movie incidentally is adapted from a play and was nominated for 3 Oscars. And it depicts that how often we see just the grime on the glass, and forget to wipe it and see through. Comes highly recommended.

And speaking of recommendations Yann Tiersen has captured my imagination. Google for more details. Watch Amelie for further. And succumb to melodious sin. Sigh.

GREase and GREat expectations

Circa not so long ago, I had just returned from an exhausting and exhilarating Bombay trip to chaos and confusion over a GRE date which I just did not seem to be getting in either Delhi or Bangalore. Thus, began a self-destructive hours long wait before the desktop, labouring over the eternally confusing ETS website, being admonished at regular and increasing decibel levels by my poor ol' man who just could not comprehend why I had waited so long to get myself a date.

Shine on you crazy diamond me hummed. A trifle chipped chip of the ol' block.

The only date in months before the pattern was to be overhauled was in less than a fortnight in Bangalore. I almost took it.
But after much deliberation I finally convinced me distraught daddy to let me take the test in (hold your breath) TRIVANDRUM in May! I breathed a sigh of relief.

And today Bhopu calls me up to laugh hysterically over the phone. Amid the vociferous ejaculations of suspicious mirth, I was finally informed that ETS had decided to scrap the new pattern. And dates were available again.

So now I have rescheduled my test for the 17th of July in Delhi at a reasonable cost of $40. Cheaper than my Trivandrum trip anyhoo.
And to think I almost gave my test with less than a fortnight's preparation.