…The Musings of a Strange Guy


Hmm…today, I wrote to my previous dissertation supervisor as well as my new one, whom I haven’t seen yet…but will do so tomorrow.

 I have confirmed a meeting with the new one on Thurday at 2pm to discuss my dissertation title, which frankly is as plain as possible; no attempts at dazzling vocabulary and rhetoric here, I’m afraid.

Anyway, have finished reading the required sections in Joyce’s Ulysses: will take up the rest afterwards when I finish the other reading.

Finished “Psychopolis”: quite short but good. Hysteria, boredom, isolation, anomie, alienation in a postmodern world. A culture of over-exhaustion, characterised by commodification and reification. Spatial tension (aha!) upon protagonist’s psyche… Blah.

 Am well into Carey’s The Intellectuals and The Masses but am going very slowly since this is a key text for this semester’s module. Every paragraph contains something to underline. I do underline a lot (in my own books, i.e) and I abhor highlighters!

Read a few pages of Grub Street (Gissing) this morning while eating toast and drinking coffee. Couldn’t proceed because there were interesting things to underline and my hands were full of buttery toast! Oh well…

Anyway, went to uni (5-6 min. walk from my flat room) to check if any of the two lecturers for this semester had left some reading material. Nada. Error 404 Pagina no encontrada… lol

Stayed in the School of English Foyer for an hour or so, reading Carey. A girl sat next to me on the couch only to make loud munching sounds while eating and fumbling with her plastic bag, making jingling metallic sounds which, I should presume (terra incognita: mayday!), probably belong to various items of a cosmetic nature. I thought, perhaps wrongly, she was trying to convey something, given she wasn’t doing anything special apart from sitting on this small couch next to me making munching sounds and what not. But no. When my eyes met hers, the universe stopped. My heart started beating at a quicker pace. The girl rose, looked at me, and gathering her bags, went away.

What an interesting day I’ve had!

Anyway, Carey was interesting (he was talking about the lower classes in Britain and their association – real or assumed – with dirt…) and I continued reading the book; half an hour later, I decided to leave because the undergrads were starting to come out of their classes and invade the foyer and thus disrupting my already fickle and frail attention…

I returned home…had my rice and curry warmed up. Had the salad done in a jiffy (expression du jour). Had yoghurt to finish…

I decided, before diving into Carey again, to browse a bit on the uni’s website; top-up my mobile phone account, and top-up my printing credits at the uni. While I was doing so, I suddenly came across the Uni International Student Office: a place I sometimes go to meet other pardesis like me from various parts of the world as well as British people, of course, for some tea and a nice chat. I saw that I actually missed a trip organised to Liverpool last Saturday and I was ready to band my head on the computer in frustration. Well, it’s not really a problem; I can go there on my own or with some friends; but going there by group is another fun thing altogether.

You are let loose for the whole day and are only required to return at a certain time at the appointed meeting place so that we can all return. We did that last time when we went to Blackpool Beach…And the trips are organised specially for students, so you get reduced fares and all…Liverpool was on my list of places to visit in the very imminent future. I guess that I have to go on my own then or convince someone that it’s worthwhile to visit. Next places to visit in the following months, if assignments, presentations, dissertation and continuous reading allow, are Manchester, York, Hull; and I’d like to visit Scotland, not because I’m writing on a Scottish writer for my dissertation, but because; and of course, Londinium!!! I’ve already been to some of the above places briefly but would like to spend like a whole day (or perhaps more) just visiting around.

Besides this, the International Students Office is going to organise such (as they call it) Saturday Trips to other places (one each month, as I gather) so, I plan on going on each one of the remaining! I’ve registered myself and left them one of my email addresses so that they can contact me if they do any other programmes.

Today is my youngest aunt’s birthday. I phoned her for a few minutes; she’d just cut the cake. Chocolate: my favourite!  Her son (my baby!) took the phone and asked me if I was playing in the snow. Ah…

I also spoke to my Dad, who was at my grandma’s place (sampling the food, no doubt :p) and my uncle. Nice to hear their voices from time to time. My father just phoned me the other day from work – a spontaneous move, I guess – and he spoke till all the credit in his mobile ran off and the call got cut off…

Had I been back home, I’m sure I would have been involved in three different fights at the same time…

Strange how people react when you are far from them…

My mom says I’ve become thinner (not true; as long as I pamper myself and cook for myself, I will never starve…) and tells me (orders me!) not to buy more books than necessary…I laugh at that.

Ah…back to my reading. I suppose (it’s 23.53 now) I will read till 2 or 3 am. My first class is tomorrow but it’s at 3 pm. I will return in the dark…I love walking along roads in the dark (as long as it’s not too cold), breathing in the fresh (freezing!) night air; sampling the nocturnal atmosphere: drinking the relative tranquility of it all…the distant humming and droning of vehicles becoming louder and clearer as they approach you; the muted and chaotic colours of billboards, signs, buildings mixing and merging…the crunchy sound as you tread on crisp, loose gravel…

I’m becoming mad; I’d be the last to extol the virtues of urban life!



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