leave it to psilk psmitha

April 29, 2011 § 18 Comments

i had to help Organise an Event a few days back, a sufficiently novel experience for me to immediately gird the old loins by making a (small) list in a notepad file and wonder how to inflate it into an impressive  spreadsheet; some people have alcohol for dutch courage, i have microsoft excel. it’s not so much the striking things off of lists i enjoy so much, i just enjoy the lovely inevitability of the whole being accomplished when little parts of it are. of course, the little parts are never really accomplished, because why would the universe make it that easy? so lists are retrospectively and sneakily modified to make it look like that which was eventually achieved was what was originally intended to be achieved. nobody is fooled but everybody is kind.

a couple of weeks back i finished reading a spot of bother by mark haddon of the curious incident of the dog in the night time fame. i thought it was fantastic, really fantastic, much better than …night time. a friend did complain that it was a bore, though, so who knows. i thought it was beautiful.

i also read neil gaiman’s anansi boys, which was nice in a lukewarm sort of way. the halfhearted attempt to build atmosphere was a Fail i think, and it wasn’t witty enough to make up for it. i liked american gods better, it was tighter and better paced and all manner of things that make a novel a good blip on the mental radar, which is really all you can hope for. unless your novel is pathbreaking and brilliant, in which case, hi, my name is Your Friend. what are you doing tonight?

speaking of brilliant, someone pointed out that i say things are ‘quietly brilliant’ a lot, and that is true. i think i am capable of finding things brilliant only if they do not make a song-and-dance about being so; if they do, of course, my go-to adjective is ‘smug’. i need to be less wartime british and more russell brand in my personality, don’t you think?

while we are on the subject, i would like to point out that in terms of pacing and structure and all, leave it to psmith is a really wonderful book. i feel a golden, misty sort of affection for the blandings series, and so do not have the objectivity to tell if those books are actually very great, and the jeeves ones have all merged into a single amorphous novel in my recollection, but i am reading this psmith for the first time and i am Shock and Awe, Shock and Awe.

i was wondering idly recently if i would ever morph into an intimidatingly successful but also fatally curvy businesswoman who would take on all the guys in the industry and leave them strewn helpless by her deadly path, and so i googled ‘tamil superwoman’ (you’re making The Judgey Eyes now…) and ended up here! check it out:

‘A vast majority of her movies are softcore and a common theme is her playing a freakishly strong agent in skimpy bikinis beating up huge thugs.’

are you serious, reshma of reshma ki jawaani? look good in bikini, beat up bad men, be an ‘agent’… she was all three charlie’s angels in one – both by mass and coolness. who’d a thought?

i am halfway through dune (book one) now, which came recommended to me, and i am seriously disappointed. i once read a review of the freakishly terrible eragon which used the masterful phrase ‘masturbatory writing’ to describe it, and i have this new book to apply it to. i have never read such self-conscious, self-indulgent, smug (ooh look! here it is again!) writing in my life (eragon excepted); if this author is also not fifteen, pimply and full of adolescent obnoxiousness, he has no excuse.

i recently summoned the testicular fortitude to harness myself to a steel rope and zip between cliffs and over lakes, and would love to say that i was the soul of courage throughout. i was not. i am scared shitless of heights and fifteen minutes in, i wanted to go home. so clearly, next up is bungee jumping. name a place and a time!

Suicidal ‘R’ Us.

in one week, i will be in bangalore selling my soul for a pittance, and i CANNOT WAIT to start.

bring it, world.



§ 18 Responses to leave it to psilk psmitha

  • soumya ram says:

    Have you read Mike and Psmith? It is Bee-yoo-ti-ful. Download it and read it now, exams! schmexams! READ MIKE AND PSMITH. Always found Jeeves to be Meh! Read Piccadilly Jim, Hot Water, Damsel in Distress, all brilliant Wodehouses.

    Who recommended Dune to you? Certainly not us, Meghana and I spend many a bored afternoon whining about how boring that book is.

    also, glad you enjoyed A Spot of Bother. May I suggest a re-read of the Curious Incident.

    Anansi Boys, I adore, It must’ve been I who made you read that one. I agree with you when you say that Neil Gaiman is not very good at building Atmosphere, his short stories are really bland, Anansi Boys clicked with me because it was about the Trickster and you know that I have thing for him.

    Also, Dibba, haaaaave you met my parents. Many an evening is spent in the Ramasubramaniam house listening to them bicker over whether to create the vacation planning Excel Sheet Horizontally (Dad) or Vertically (Mom).

  • soumya ram says:

    Also Eragons Story is a complete rip-off of Star Wars! I dislike that trilogy. Read Tamora Pierce instead. :D

  • Sroyon says:

    We both wrote almost simultaneous posts about Psmith. :O
    And if you ask me (which you haven’t), Leave it to Psmith is the pinnacle of English literature. Closely followed by Psmith in the City.

  • Karthik says:

    All of Wodehouse is just one big hazy recollection of having been delighted while reading it. Sort of like eating ice-cream. But the one person who thrilled me more than Wodehouse, only because I hadn’t expected it from him, was Dickens with Pickwick Papers! To put it in perspective, I read it after struggling with Great Expectations. Your psilk psmitha episode is funny, and the title is genius, but I’m amused that your imagined sobriquet has a linguistic qualification :) By the way, that last but one line, I take it, means you’ve found employment in Bangalore? Congratulations.

  • soin says:

    i once read a really funny obituary for silku. and i guess it was written is serious vein. and job? i think you will find it as validating as the “i have read the terms and conditions and am 18 years of age” agreement in porn sites. good luck

  • @all – no job, alas, only the all-powerful Internship. i get paid a stipend, for what it’s worth.

    @ramu – all these books – minus the wodehouses – were yours :) jeeves didn’t make much of an impact here either. the rest will be done.

    @sroyon – i saw! hold your breath, for i was downloading psmith in the city even as i was reading your comment; i hadn’t even got to the part where you’d mentioned it yet.

    @karthik – thank you, the title was an epifunny. i’ve always hated dickens, but i suppose that it enough reason to give him one more chance. pickwick papers it will be, then.

    @soin – no job, what to do, i am the sunny unemployed. funny obit for silk? linkings please.

  • Where’s a follow button? Or a like button? Or a I am going to abduct you button?! First time on the blog, very impressed :)

  • :P says:

    @soin – I want link!!


    I object to psilk psmitha being called all three charlie’s angels in mass. Are you confusing Psilk with Namitha? Psilk was Perfection. (Perhaps perspective makes you say so? *runs* )

    There is crassness and there is glamour. It’s a Namitha v. Silk Smitha thingumajig.

    You want tamil superwoman? I recommend you watch ‘Penn Singam’

  • Tripti says:

    do you have any idea how glad and grateful I am that you post about the books you love? love and hugs and lots of thank yous!

  • Rahul says:

    I really liked spot of bother as well. Thought it was the british American Beauty – the absurdity of suburban life.

  • @the restless quill – the abduction button is currently in the design stage. it looks like a burrito.

    @:P – why do *you* call her psilk psmitha? and we have already discussed angel:aunty ratio, so well :)

    @tripti – i don’t usually say it honestly, but this time it was actually entirely my pleasure

    @rahul – exactly, like a gentle, funny something happened (joseph heller), which is a book i have very strong opinions on. maybe next post.

  • curlz says:

    I love this blog dude.. please keep writing. Its going to be a month since you last updated and I am tired of lurking every other day.. ;)

  • Anurag says:

    As a hibernating screenwriter, I see immense potential in a biopic on Silk Smitha. The south’s answer to their Rita Hayworth.

    And I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed Spot of Bother. Somehow, I didnt make a lot of comparisons to Nightime when I was done. Can’t say if one is better than the other.

  • ManD says:

    You know what I really like about your writing…that one really goodthing about it…its every-thing! :)

  • Karthik says:

    When you said ‘internship’ did you mean interned on a ship?

  • Kenny says:

    love spot of bother. in love with ol’ rupert, especially when he dreamy eyed (& poor) in Leave it to psmith. i read it in times of crisis, as a palliative. and fall more in love.

  • Anurag Rana says:

    I’m going through old posts and comments and I want to ask you, what is the procedure to sue the makers of ‘The Dirty Picture’ to claim that they stole from my previous comment on this blogpost?

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