Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thoughts on Raksha Bandhan and this time of year

Last week, I wrote about my true feelings about Raksha Bandhan for the Ladies Finger. I envy those of you with siblings you are close to, and ooh-ed and aah-ed over the fun subversive rituals some people celebrated with. But the original festival makes me want to run (as do most religious rites for that matter).

Janmashthami today, Ganesh Chathurthi around the corner, Durga Puja and Navratri and Dussehra and Diwali not far behind. This is not my favourite time of year. In some ways. Especially the noise.

But in other ways this is a great season. Bombay is awfully hot and humid, but it'll be my birthday next month, and even though I'll be officially middle-aged this year I have plenty to celebrate. Two weeks after is our wedding anniversary, and we'll have made it a full decade.  I've got plenty of fun stuff planned with the Guy and friends, so the next two months should be fun!

You have fun too, however you choose to celebrate.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Books I read in July

Can you believe it's August already?

I got more reading done this month, in spite of two short trips (Goa again, yay!) and near my new-normal level of socialising.

The Madwoman in the Attic by Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar
I've read about this book for years, and finally got around to reading it. It's a seminal work in feminist literary criticism, and examines how classic women writers - Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Dickinson -- subverted and shaped literary conventions. If you're interested in literature and feminism, it's fascinating, even though some chapters are somewhat dry and academic.

The Professor by Charlotte Bronte
I had read this years ago (as I had Villette) but I was tempted to revisit it based on some paragraphs in The Madwoman in the Attic which shed a new light on my recollections. It's interesting and fun, and not quite as subversive as anything written by Jane Eyre's author should be, being a more straightforward hero+makes+his+way+in+the+world+and+wins+the+love+of+a+good+woman, but it has its moments (and The Madwoman in the Attic had some fascinating suggestions on how to read it as more subversive than it is).