You win some and then you lose some... With an ambivalent feeling, I would like to announce the sudden tragic demise of my brother in law ( husband of my late sister Zainab) . Rest In Peace Noman .
Posted by Mona at 10:49 PM
Some trying times... It happens, thought I wouldn't call it shit exactly...maybe a shade lighter...or darker
There are experiences that are so tiring that you wouldn't dare go into recalling them again, the thought itself is ...yawn...
to list roughly, the patch has been pretty rough, with seemingly mundane activities like passport renewal...falling sick... getting new tenants... falling sick...legal work...study work...falling sick...visitors...helping visitors in their legal work...falling sick...social obligations (that some call partying)...falling sick...filthy hospitals...
The month of April seems unending! Still a few more days to go I suppose...before may day...
Indian summer...boiling blistering and the blues...
Will get back to you all, after I getting the work, that I promised myself getting done, done.
Miss ya all!
Posted by Mona at 2:07 AM
There are times I vegetate. I know I have been in that mode more often lately than ever.
I must be getting old.
I remember the old matriarchs 'doing' that when I was a child. Every home had a matriarch then, who would just sit idly fanning her face with a jute fan , chewing endlessly on tobacco or maybe it was the cuss words that she wanted to spit out on the endlessly moving family around her, but didn't for reasons best known to herself.I am pretty sure that they were abuses, since most of the time when her mouth opened to speak, the sentence would be prefixed and then suffixed with some kind of grotesque obscenity that was so original , that it was more frightening than funny.
At least in those days it seemed like that. Maybe we as children felt so because we knew that everywhere, the old matriarch wielded a mysterious power over all the elders; and her one complain would fetch us either a reprimand or a spanking, depending upon the volume of our giggles in her presence. So we would stifle our laughter as best as we could and the cuss words seemed to relegate themselves into some deep recess of our subconscious and stayed like concussions in the brain .
I know they did, because now, sometimes when I vegetate, the not so vegetarian words begin to surface which makes me feel that I must be on the brink of turning into 'the matriarch' sooner than expected.If the words threaten to spill out from my mouth, surely I must be turning into one.
As they say, in these times everything matures and decays faster than they did before : the times of disease and science.
Speaking of disease, we in India live in a septic environment, which paradoxically turns gangrenous specially at times when the 'safai abhyan' ( cleaning operation) in the city is in progress. One morning you wake up to the clanking sounds of the bulldozers and the cranes at work scooping out sewerage from the gutters and dumping the muck on the roads besides the drains. The reason they give for not carting it away immediately is because the muck is 'too heavy while it is still wet'. So they leave it on the road to dry for a week or months depending upon the memory of the cleaners. If we are lucky and there is no rain in the meantime, the muck would cake and solidify and leave half of the road for the passerby to edge forward on the edge. But, if it rains, then you find yourself right in the middle of drains full of sewerage right from your doorsteps to everywhere, and the sickening stench would permeate your nostrils and hit the brain in such a manner that would make you gasp and spew ( not necessarily in that order) off and on.
Such a time is upon my town these days, so in lieu the cuss words threaten to spill out more often than not.
That is how I realized that I must be turning into' the matriarch'!
Posted by Mona at 2:09 AM
Yea....I have neglected blogging and my favorite crew of people here for quite some while now. It has been quite a quagmire ...you know the kind, when you turn back to "real" academics after a long break and you find a big hole between you and the last page you left at, and then you start picking up lose threads and start darning up the hole in your attempt to build the bridge and get some sort of foothold back into the field . A lot was written, a lot theorized and a lot researched after the liberal humanism at which I had left, and have since been picking up again ; rolling in 'structural' maze on to 'deconstructing' and stepping over 'interpellation' and 'hegemonic' 'discursive practices' I have started to 'culturally materialize' into the ever vast postmodern era , which itself is again a transgressive resistance to specialized categories.
So I am somewhere which is actually nowhere (technically speaking). Now I won't elaborate on that one guys; if you need an elaboration, please go and read Baudrillard and about the fight that ensued between Lyotard and Habermas !
We has a lecture in our department today, that threw us back somewhere in 1611, where the visiting professor ( Prof. Gordon) from England was elaborating on the beauty of the rhythms and the monosyllabic simplicity of the authorized version of King James Bible. He read quite a few passages stressing the intonations with an up and down wavy movement of his delicate hands commenting upon ( for eg.) Ruth's address to her mother in law ( telling us how he had it read at his wedding ceremony at the church some 49 years ago) etcetra etcetra! He said that King James's set of translators had worked very hard to 'beautify' the text, so as to make it recite able " down to the ploughmen and even the women" [ ! ] so as to be easily understood and liked by one and all.
As far as I know about translation and translating, there is a process which Lawrence Venuti described as "domesticating and foreignization" which involves plucking up a meta narrative from its own cultural context and making it fit into the cultural context of the foreign language in which it gets translated to. Secondly, If a translation is beautiful it can never be faithful and vice versa.
In lieu of the above statement; I wonder if the King James authorized version has been as 'beautifully' translated as Prof. Gordon made it sound, how faithful had been that translation...
Posted by Mona at 7:03 PM
Posted by Mona at 11:56 PM
A long time really... and although there has been a whirlwind of half formed posts in the mind, nothing ever materialized as you can see here. The reason? (shrug) Confusion, lot of confusion and some loose end threads that get so much entangled as I try to pick them, that my 'thought- arms' have begun to ache.
I tell you, never try to go back and settle in a place that you left behind twenty years ago, its not just merely going back into time machine; its more like taking endless rounds in a nightmare machine. You come across faces which somehow seem to represent Time and its excruciating lapse a palpable experience. A surrealistic change materialized, more presentational than representational...
Every day, I come across faces, faces that I have seen and known in the past, faces that had seemingly disappeared from memory, but had actually gone to settle in some limbo of this devil mind ( yes folks, mind is a devil really, but I would have to deal with that subject in another post (psst...remind me later)) so that they could actually raise their head in the future in teasing disturbing fragmented figments.
Now, the problem is not the faces really, as is the struggle to recollect. When faces seem familiar, and you try hard to recognize and can't, you start feeling panicky, you feel that both your sight and memory have started failing . The very sense of familiarity without a name, or the partial recovery of the past ('concretized-as-faces') adds to the torment of nostalgia. Shades of skepticism about the self creep in and you start hoping that they do not become shadows...
Sometimes the failure to recollect threaten to extend so infinitely, that you feel that you have entered a ghost valley of eternal silence. They all pass in front of our eyes, so quickly, one after another, that before you can clearly 'visualize' one, the next has already replaced and stepped in. Its a sea of flow, not just a few.
People have really not moved out of this place it seems. " Kooein ke meindak"( frogs of a well) we would call such a motley crowd in my language ; the ones that have never been or have desire to be out there to see that there is another vast world beyond their ghetto.
See where the frustration leads to!? You start blaming the people (read faces) for your own memory failure! What does one do in such a situation, save seeking consolations like blaming the corporeal decay factor of the 'familiar - unfamiliar'?
Posted by Mona at 1:57 AM