Writer's Blog

Transient Thoughts

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Murder most foul

I had once read Richard Gordon describe detective stories as tales of ' chaps killing other chaps by highly complicated means.'

I used to be a big fan of mystery books once. I used to love Agatha Christie. Hercule Poirot with his 'mademoiselle's and 'mon ami's and 'eh bien's. In the blurb of some book I had read that 'The murder of Roger Ackroyd' and 'The Mousetrap' were her La Christie's most famous book and play respectively. And then I had had no peace till I tracked these masterpieces and read them and found them disappointing. Then I had once laughed my insides out at Georgette Heyer's 'Envious Casca'. It was a mystery book and I had guessed the ending but the sharp tongues of all the characters made the book a worth read. Impressed with Heyer I bought several more of her books. Looks like Envious Casca was her best work. The others were not only not funny, they had the same dreary plots - for eg some disguised cousin from Australia who bumps of a lot of people because she's next in line for the legacy.

I am through with detective books. Give me another English party replete with Great grandmothers, granduncles, cousins, wives, business partners, butlers, parlor maids, housemaids, gardners and cooks, with a couple of murders thrown in and I think I'll puke. (What the English aristocracy did to deserve a living, I'd like to know!)

What shocks me is how dispensable human life seems to be in the hands of these authors. They kill people as if it were nobody's business. Do real life murders happen with a fuse planted to go off at a certain time so that it sounds like a gun shot and gives the actual murderer an alibi since he used a silencer? And the author's laborious efforts to create false clues. Phoo. Don't get me started on that. Pathetic half hearted attempts!

And the total unconcern with which all the characters seem to treat the murder, as if it were an ordinary death, not the result of the workings of a crazed, demented mind, having toast and marmalade in their midst! And the dead man/woman is forgotten the next day. No wailing, no tears, no nothing. Don't Englishmen know how to mourn!

Murder in cold blood is not impossible, though quite rare going by newspaper reports, but I think it is impossible in a situation where the murderer knows that he is definitely going to be one of the suspects interviewed by the detective inspector in the blue room. Cold blooded murderers would be more likely to commit the murder on some deserted highway and catch the next plane out of the country.

Really, I should think a murder story would require a lot of emotional investment on the part of the author. If they are unwilling to put the effort they would be better off writing about the theft of the maharaja's precious diamond or something. But then again, if it is not murder it is not 'serious' enough a crime. What an irony. I remember while browsing in second hand stores, not able to judge from the cover what the book was about, I used to scan the pages looking hopefully for the word 'murder'.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Bachelorhood, on it's last legs

Now that my bachelorhood is on it's last legs, for it is, my whole bachelor life keeps flashing before my eyes every once in a while. The late parties, the solitary evenings listening to a good book with some neat Whisky providing the occasional counterpoint, the appreciative looking at all womanhood, with mischievous, uncertain hope, the independance of doing what I wanted when I wanted (well, almost)...there are such days left, but not many. So long poetry, come soaps!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Viva la Orient

Did you know? H. H. Munro, the renowned author of such delightful stories as Tobermory and Mrs. Packeltide's Tiger, adopted the pen-name (pseudonym is such a pseudo word) Saki, from the Persian/Urdu word for wine-pourer, bar-man, inspired from the last verse of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat?

(Before he adopted this pen-name, Munro wrote his only serious work, 'The rise of the Russian Empire.')

Though I write this in English, Orient Zindabad!

On a less chauvinistic, but related, note,

How greatly would mankind benefit,
If those two He-men,Bush and Ahmedinejad,
Dunces in their own right,
Gave up their respective 'right ways',
And took to common wine instead...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bad publicity for Blogextra.com

Have finally moved to Blogger comments. Blogextra.com comments gave me a lot of trouble. Here today, gone tomorrow. Now you see them, now you don't. Etc. Don't ever use commenting from blogextra.com.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Hum ne sanam ko khat likha ...

Found this song in an 80's collection - I had heard it before, but only in snatches, and not carefully. Reminded me of the once I had written to an uncertain address. Enjoy!

Lyricist: Anand Bakshi

( Hame bas ye pata hai woh, bahut hi khoobsoorat hai,
Lifafe ke liye lekin, pate ki bhi zaroorat hai...)

Ham ne sanam ko khat likha,
Khat mein likha...
Ae Dilruba,

Pahunche ye khat jaane kahan,
Jaane bane kya daastaan (2)
Us par rakibon ka yeh dar,
Lag jaaye unke haath gar.
Kitna bura anjaam ho,
Dil muft mein badnaam ho.
Aisa na ho, aisa na ho!
Apne khuda se, raat din,
Maanga kiye ham ye dua.

Peepal ka ye patta nahin,
Kaagaz ka ye tukda nahin (2)
Is dil ka yeh armaan hai,
Is mein hamaari jaan hai.
Aisa gazab ho jaaye na,
Raste mein ye kho jaaye na.
Hum ne badi taakeer ki,
Dala ise jab daak mein,
Yeh daak baabu se kaha.


Barson jawaab-e-yaar ka,
Dekha kiye ham raasata (2)
Ik din woh khat waapas mila,
Aur daakiye ne ye kaha:
Is daak khane mein nahin,
Saare zamaane mein nahin,
Koi sanam is naam ka,
Koi gali is naam ki,
Koi shehar is naam ka.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Comment please

How is it that I get no comments for the posts I most want comments for? For eg, someone say something about how well you liked 'Spring' or... I'll have to think up another poem again this week ;-) Pardon the extortion.

By the way, these days I am paranoid about whether all the stuff I write are my own original thought, or ideas borrowed from what I read. For example in 'The Play' I was wondering if the North Indian bridegroom's analogy was really what I thought up. In 'Spring', ofcourse, 'Young man's fancy turns lightly to thoughts of love' has been intentionally copied from Tennyson.

Anyway, while I accept responsibility for the bad stuff, I request the readers' indulgence if they find that any of the good stuff reminds them of something they have read before.