On adopting a dog, de-politicizing self and the question of P G Woodhouse.

Ok, I have been remiss in my duties as a blogger. Why?

Excuses excuses. That is really not the right note to begin a blog on. I have, however, recently found dog. That is, I am now the personal butler of a very adorable Chihuahua named Chirkut. (Picture enclosed). My north Indian readers may be surprised at the choice of name, because it isn’t very flattering in the North Indian context. However, Chirkut means a little slip of paper to Bengalis and that is what she was named after. While she is a delight in every way, what with the running around trying to catch her, the naps, the trips to the vet and plotting world domination with her, I have not had time to.. well.. write a post, as it were. For reasons to be explained later, I have taken to speaking liked a gentleman English dandy. (re Woodhouse, I am very impressionable).

Then there is the matter of verb conjugation in French. But we shall get to it later, after the dog question has been dealt with in detail. While I have always wanted a dog, I did not quite anticipate what it would make me feel to actually have one. The feeling of having a tiny little blighter depend on you entirely is kind of scary. But once the fear has worn of, it is a very rewarding experience. It is also a natural cure for the blues, and keeps one of one’s toes.

The other thing that has been keeping me on my toes, are the French lessons. Now let us acknowledge at the outset that anyone who can speak French sounds cool. No matter what they are like. It is a fact. The mere speaking of French can ‘shine a turd’ as they say. That is not, however, why I have been learning the language. Come September, this blogger, shall be heading off to Geneva for a three moth internship. I hope to see a bit of Europe while I am at it. Now I am kind of stoked about Europe, because a lot of the things I like came from there. (Mostly in the shape of ideas). I remember when I was little, I read a book about an American girl called Katy, who took a tour of Europe. Since then I have had a fascination for Venetian gondolas, the beaches of Nice, the streets of London and Paris. I shall, however, be taking a different trajectory and hope to glimpse Amsterdam and some of Germany. But those are castles in the air, and right now I am faced with the unenviable task of conjugating irregular verbs in French.

Languages have a strange power, irrespective of whether you speak them well or ill. They let you reach into a person and form an intimacy that would have been impossible if you did not speak their mother tongue. You absorb the history and culture of a place better if you have learned even a bit of the language. So in that those who urge the importance of Indian languages are right. Our generation is too steeped in its adulation of English, and in uprooting itself from its several mother tongues, is getting uprooted from a rich cultural life. I just have a problem when Hindi is posed as a solution to this cultural de-contextualization. But that gets me to the bane of my existence.

Did you notice how just when we were discussing travel, and my adorable Chihuahua pup, the political question raised its head. ‘The personal is political’ has been said, and yes, to me politics (not in the narrow sense of which party is less horrid, but in the broader sense of how society is ordered and organized, and how it ought to be) is a way of life. Hence, to me, most questions are political. Sometimes you can distill the political from the legal, and consider only the latter, but there it is, the P word. But sometimes I wonder if a person pondering politics (pardon the alliteration) is a happy person? When I see that the discourse around us has been reduced to either ignorant blithering or one-liners intended for one-upmanship, I wonder if an existence in which I scarcely contemplated the political would be a happy one. Or perhaps, books are the best conversationalists. Now if I have readers who have carefully followed me to this point, I would ask you to buy or borrow ‘India after Gandhi’ by Ramchandra Guha. Amazon (the otherwise usually irreproachable amazon) has bungled my order but it shall be getting here soon. Maybe I will do a review after reading it. I hear it is quite amazing.

But speaking of books, and I will wrap up after this, I must tell you a quick about your dear blogger. (Now to those who will accuse me of megalomania in referring to myself this way, I say, I am quite dear to those twenty odd people following me.) I had never ever read P G Woodhouse till 7/18/2015. Can you believe that? And no, I am not terribly ignorant, I just felt my nerves would not be able to take all those things going wrong. And was I wrong or was I wrong? I have corrected the state of affairs by purchasing a Jeeves omnibus. Spending all my free time reading the adventures of Messers Wooster and Jeeves has got me speaking this way. Hopefully, it won’t last. The next post, understandably, will take a while. As Bertie Wooster would say! Tinker-tonk!!


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