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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Midnight's Children

Done. Finally! I was ready for that book to be over about a hundred pages ago. Anyhow, it is done. And I enjoyed it. There is definitely a lot of stuff that I missed, I think. It seemed like Salman Rushdie was trying to be extremely obvious with the metaphorical content of the book, but most of it still went over my head. Which is actually more annoying than if I hadn't picked up on any of it. I will probably have to come around to it again at some point, but for now it is time for other things.

I am at a bit of a loss as to what to do for general research outside of my books. I guess I do not know quite where to look. I have a few blogs I need to flip through, which shouldn't be difficult because as it is I already spend too much time reading through years of other people's lives. The interesting thing about blogger is that it is so public and yet completely fails at helping people make connections. Actually I do not think it is blogspot's fault. Really I think it is combination of mommy bloggers, facebook, and academia. Blogspot is either a place to make money, a place to put a carefully constructed, picture perfect life for your parents and extended family to follow instead of your naked drunk pictures on facebook, or a place to try to get your stuff out there, whether it be research, writing, pictures, music, etc. It is not used to make connections or to meet people. There are people selling you crap, people trying to make "important" connections, or people who aren't actually here, they just seem like they are. Why am I even talking about this. Hm...oh yeah. Anyhow this is relevant to my research, at least at this point, because the few Indians blogs I know of are either people selling stuff (read: someone trying to create something that sounds personal even though what it really is is a formal front to someone's ebay/etsy-esque store) or else journalists/authors. Thus the problem is on the one hand are people who are not actually people, but basically faceless corporations and on the other are people that are not interested on meeting anyone unless they lead to important connection. Not being a prospective buyer, important editor, famous author, or other important celebrity, I am not optimistic for my success at getting at the heart of Indian literature through blogger. Although if I were interested, I suppose studying Indian bloggging and social networking would be fascinating. I think that sentence might be redundant.

I have thought about getting into facebook, which sucks royally, but may be unavoidable. I hate facebook. With a passion even. Such a complete waste of time. It is just social prostitution. Your are promised pleasure and a sense of relationship, but what you get is five minutes of awkward, unfulfilling sex and a feeling of emptiness afterwards. It is the difficult balancing act of using everyone else for attention without getting used. I don't know quite where else to go to at this point, or even who to talk to about it since India happens to be on the other side of the world and well, the whole being on the literal other side of the world limits the amount that actual people can connect between here and there. I have some Indian neighbors across the street who I would love to go talk to, but currently they are just the neighbors across the street. I am not sure if they still have the stereotypical, easy-going, gregariousness that most Indians I have met seem to have. If they do, it would be simple to go talk to them, but if they don't, well it would be so awkward. Plus I can't just show up and start asking them about their reading habits/what they remember about Indian literature in English from when they were in school. I am pretty sure they are from India, not children of immigrants. Anyhow, maybe I will work up the courage to go and talk to them at some point.

On the reading front I have started The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay by Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi. This book is kind of a stab in the dark, to be honest. Someone recommended Shanghvi to me, but he is just one on a very long list of other recommendations. I found him easily on Amazon, and so here we are. Amy Tan seems to like him, but what does her recommendation really mean anyways? Actually now that I think about it, I've never even read Amy Tan. I am not quite sure what to think of all these people who may or may not be born and/or raised in the UK or the US who now may or/may not live in India. I may have to sit down and define for myself as a reference point for this project what it means to be Indian and when you have crossed the line where you are no longer Indian but British or American instead. I feel like that only happens in the UK and especially in the US. I feel like Indians in South Africa or Australia never really ever become South African or Australian. I wonder why that is.

I am not pleased with this entry. I feel like I am guilty of bias or racism or something in how I write. That I have missed something crucial throughout these musings I have jotted down. But as this is a research journal, I do not really have the desire to go back and edit or censor myself (excepting blatant misspellings or grammatical errors, I grant myself that mercy at least). I mean, of course I would like to hide any failings and appear as a perfectly careful and logical person, but I also want to expose my hidden flaws and secret racisms (thank you John Campbell for that phrase) so I can expunge them from my character, and hopefully grow closer to a truer reality.

Oh, most awful of fates! I feel pretentious now as well. (forgive the apostrophe. I am still recovering from a class on the romantic period. The Urdu poets of The Last Mughal and the fact that Salman Rushdie uses apostrophes about every other paragraph has not helped matters. I have been thinking in apostrophe a lot lately.)

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