Sunday, March 8, 2009

women's days

I have been working three weeks without a holiday, and yet I have found the time to visit India Gate at midnight and eat meetha paan while boys with accents played hotel California on out-of-tune acoustic guitars nearby and great shiny lights lit shiny construction sites; and I have found the time to take walks through the market during Tuesday haat with flatmates and drink bitter carrot juice at roadside stalls and be overcharged by fruitsellers; and I have found the time to be a Shoulder to people who told me and told me and then told me they felt better because they'd told me; and I have found the time to watch Slumdog Millionaire on somebody's laptop on a bed with people i had known for less than a week; and I have found the time to split a meal four ways with strangers when I ordered vegetarian and the others did not, and the time to complain to other strangers about it.

And today and tonight I met old and new geeks I would be a groupie for; and made hypocritical conversations on the bejewelled sofa of my landlady; and wandered the streets alone in the dark with clenched fists afraid that someone would step out of the shadows and I would be stuck in a strange city with nobody to turn to; and I called and called the one person whom I promised I would not, because I knew he would be the Shoulder I needed when I needed, and I needed him.

I am tired and sleep-deprived and overworked and underpaid and all I'm thinking is that I miss the one I love.
What does it mean to be a woman?

And I have to speculate that God himself
Did make us into corresponding shapes like
Puzzle pieces from the clay
True, it may seem like a stretch, but
Its thoughts like this that catch my troubled
Head when you're away when I am missing you to death

:) Ow.


Anonymous said...

No, no, no, far too self-conscious. You have begun your post with the intention of writing something great, but you've only ended up with something `great'. The problems, as I see them, are at least two-fold:

1) It's clear to me that you feel about your past weeks at work intensely; what's also clear is that you want your descriptions to be as feeling as you have been. But consider '[...]and eat meetha paan while boys with accents played hotel California on out-of-tune acoustic guitars nearby and great shiny lights lit shiny construction sites[...]; whereas the sentence's (obviously intentional) length is perhaps meant to convey the bewildering multitude of sensations essential to your experience at India Gate, its content is an unhappy companion. Why `great shiny lights'? Why did the boys have accents? Why were the guitars out-of-tune? Which is to say, what does all this have to do with you? What did you feel?

2) Your register varies wildly between the provincial and the regal, but never finds a comfortable medium. For example: `bejewelled sofa of my landlady' is perhaps better phrased `my landlady's bejewelled sofa', but the rather intimidating and unspecific `bejewelled' ( what kind of a strange sofa is adorned with jewels?) in any case spoils whatever descriptive power the sentence may have had. I suspect that you added `bejeweled' while thinking of a certain quality of the sofa in question, but unfortunately it is unclear in retrospect what quality this may have been.

The other aspect of register is of course your I-haves and I-hads instead of their contracted counterparts; in general, using formations like `I have' and `I will' and `I am' draws attention to the `I' in the phrases and makes them appear rather pompous; if the writer sets out to write in this manner he must be prepared to accept that the rest of his prose must be at least as pompous as these self-conscious constructions he has chosen to use; specifically, his giving himself away by using constructions from a lesser register (as you have here) had better be conscious, which is to say they had better reflect a feature of the character being spoken of (an eventuality that does not apply to this essay because it is so clearly autobiographical).

I also want to add that the words `tired' and `sleep-deprived' could be replaced, without a loss of meaning, by either of them; the phrase `overworked and underpaid' conjures in the reader not sympathy but a vague feeling of annoyance (unless of course the reader in question is a friend); and the word `all' in the sentence `all I'm thinking is that I miss the one I love' seems too broad a commentary on your current state of thought (instead, try something like `I'm thinking of the one I love', which is both quieter and more sincere).

Good luck with your writing.

Anonymous said...

I love this one. The commenter above is full of crap.


duende said...

this nook has gone all quiet.

André de Souza said...

Why does blogging occur in systematic waves? At some times I have millions of new posts to read, and at some times not one damn' one.

tangled said...

I apologize! Updates, my loves.

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