Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Predestination

The question is this: are we what we're supposed to be? I mean, here I am, trying to write a lighthearted romp by the side of a river and it turned into one of my earliest stories published on the web, A Sound Quest, a dark tale of child molestation. It remains one of my favorite short stories (by me) ever. (the site seems to be down today. will update if anyone is interested in reading this)

I know I can do writing exercises and whatever and break myself of this habit. I can consciously guide myself towards writing other stuff. And the thing is I think in person I am not this dour, too-serious woman (reference my last post). In fact some would say I even have occasional bursts of genuine humor. No, really!

When I was a kid I was obsessed for a while with Readers Digest Condensed books. You know, several issues of RD in one bound volume. Whatever! While I've forgotten most of the Dramas in Real Life, Humors in Uniform, and other lovely banal pieces, I do remember this one short fiction piece. I don't remember the title, but the main thrust of the story sticks with me, decades later.

So, there's this young man and woman who eye each other across a crowded compartment of the London tube. The guy eyes the girl, the girl flutters back at him, that kind of thing. The compartment is so very crowded that they can't even get to stand next to each other, just look at each other. Thrilling! Then one day the guy whips out a sketch pad and a pencil, and with a look of concentration starts very obviously sketching the girl. He does this for days, no doubt piquing the girl's curiosity.

Finally, after weeks, he passes her a note and they meet for a date. She wants to see her sketch. He hems and haws, laughs nervously. She gets even more insistent. He shows her the drawing. It's Henry VIII! Is this how I appear to you, she asks, deflated? (Okay, I was a 9-year old Indian kid at the time so I had no idea who the heck Henry VIII was. Now I envision him clutching a giant turkey leg as he stares out of the paper, but I digress).

No, you're lovely, beautiful, he assures her. The thing is that no matter what he drew or how much he tried not to, everything he ever sketched turned out looking like Henry VIII. And that is how I feel. If I let thing go naturally (except when I blog) everything I write turns out to be dark, depressing stuff.

That's okay I guess...but sometimes I'd like to, you know, draw George III or even Lord Mountbatten.

On a totally tacked on now for something completely differen tnote......do you have to be Indian to find this video of a white guy parodying a Bollywood song hysterically funny. I love his expressions, the lip synchs, the hip gyrations...and that old song staple, when he momentarily loses sight of his lady-love and is distressed. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Mighty Mom said...
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