I haven’t published for weeks together now. I seem to have writer’s block or some such thing.
For starters, when I was in the thick of deadlines, I came out with a blueprint for my first ever good work of fiction. All I’ve to do is fill in the technical details and it’ll be a decent story. However, it now is languishing as an untended draft.
I also have a lot of photographs to be uploaded to my photoblog. I’m having Uploader’s Block as well.
That apart, I walked in to Langson Library with the sole intention of taking a printout today, and walked out with two huge graphic novels, and a collection of Mark Twain’s short stories. More on those later. Then I thought I’d just pop in to the Science Library to return some books I’d used during the quarter, but… I walked out with iCon and a couple of other books that scream out “Programming is Cool”. This is what used to happen with me in bookstores when I was in Bangalore. UCI’s libraries are much better stocked to let me indulge in my bibliophilia as much as I want. Thank heavens for small mercies.
And Amazon Used Books are great, too. You can’t tell the books are used but for yellowing pages. I have to begin reading Woody Allen’s Without Feathers (Arjun, thanks for the recommendation). Reading through One Hundred Poems from the Japanese, which is for my mother, I think I should learn Japanese well now… most things in the transliteration don’t make sense to me, some tantalizingly do…
I got I, Robot for my kid cousin… hoping to get him started on Asimov. Now I’ve read the book (ebook, if you will) half a dozen times, but reading the hardcover edition feels like totally something else. There are some books that you just have to read as books, not as ebooks. Asimov’s Foundation and Elijah Baley series might not be the ones to, but I, Robot certainly is. Just like The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain.
But what is not worth even an ebook is Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. The same formula yet again. Only, this one is not as cliffHangery. The only good bit about Brown’s writing is his ability to keep a tension hanging in the air. This book doesn’t even have that. Fail.
I’ve also been going at the rate of two movies a day for the past week. I’ve not watched anything earth-shattering or groundbreaking so far; just feel-good masala movies. Hmm….. I should post about the books and movies I’ve recently buried myself in. Soon.
Moving on to other things, a year and a half after graduation, I now fondly recollect memories of NITK. I even wrote a post (now yet another languishing draft) about how wonderful the college is, and how wonderful the men and women who emerge from it are. In short, NITK teaches you life lessons no other place teaches you. You learn to balance cheapness and thrift with sophistication and style in a way not many others do. You stop whining about small discomforts, not because you lower your standards, but because you know these tiny things matter not in the face of the larger aims you have. And. You have larger aims in life. Because you’ve learnt that nothing is impossible for you. Then there are other things you learn as well – empathy, swalpaAdjustMaadi, don’tYuckSomeoneElse’sYum. And. Most importantly. NITK gives you the best sense of humour you’ll ever come across. NITK Rocks!
2009 is coming to an end soon… reflecting back, I seem to have ticked a lot of things off my ToDoList this year. I’ve studied AI and Markov Models properly, formally. I don’t anymore freak out as badly as I used to when I look at equations in text. I’ve tried my German on a real, live German and he said my accent was coming along fine. I’ve sort of kept my famous temper under some sort of a check. I’ve taken some possibly life-changing decisions. I’ve paved the way for yet some more life-changing decisions to be taken in the coming year. I’ve finally got myself a bridge camera.
I’ve also had some startling realizations. Some gentler ones. Some life-lessons. Some rather harsh reality checks. Some pleasant surprises. A lot of good luck. A lot of elevating experiences.
The level of uncertainty in my life has definitely come down, and will hopefully remain so for the next year or so. There certainly still remains some, but those are more on the lines of pleasant speculation. I’ve also met a lot more people than I previously have, and meeting them gives me the impression now that I’m much wiser now than I was a year ago. I’ve been through politics that directly involved me at some level. I’ve quit my first job. I’ve traversed my entire emotional range.
All in all, it was one of those years you take off after graduation to discover yourself.
And what’s lined up for 2010? More self-discovery, I expect. Apart from that, hard to say. All I know is, whatever it is, I’ll either face it with the confidence 2009 has given me, or it’ll give me enough strength to face 2011. And here’s a prayer again to Goddess Saraswati as always so that any episode of Writer’s Block is always temporary, and may there never be any wavering in my interest in learning.