Update #1: 2010
Writing a blog post has become something of an Herculean effort. This line, for instance. I thought some and then some more about what I should write and voila, a line came into being that encapsulated my existence today.
I am still on the book I started the year with. Or more accurately, I stopped reading it when I was about four-fifths through with it, and picked up another travelogue, almost as if to pick up from where I dropped off on the first one. This new one, and I am about half-way through with it is called Chasing the Monsoon – chronicles the author, Alexander Frater’s tryst with the 1987 monsoon. It is all very poetic – born in New Hebrides(!), he emigrated, or should I say returned, to his native UK when he was a little over 5 years old, and somewhere in the recesses of his memory, he vividly retains impressions of the passionate romance and fury of rainfall in the tropics. Many years later, in 1987, on a sudden whim, when the memories all become too much for him, he decides to follow the monsoon in India – from its onset in Kerala to wherever it ends – Cherrapunji, in all likelihood, unless he is leading me, the reader, significantly astray.
Where the bookmark stands presently, he has just reached Mumbai, or Bombay as it was called then. Very delightful his journey has been thus far, and I am looking forward to reading with much pleasure the rest of his tale.
The other book I started out on was an old classic called the The Big Sleep, a detective novel by Raymond Chandler starring the hard-nosed Philip Marlowe. Very pulpish, almost as if it was a movie retold as a novel, though it really is the other way around. The movie version, as google tells me right now, is #139 on IMDB and stars Humphrey Bogart, which means I should find a way to watch it at some point. In any case, I have come to a grinding halt on Page 75 or thereabouts. Given that I own the book, it has been put on the backburner while I try to finish Alex Frater’s joyous little travelogue.
Reading apart, the time available for any other recreational activity has been at a premium. My tennis mornings are in doldrums – have averaged a week a month for two months now. And it looks like February will go the same way. Not helpful at all as I chase my own dream of emulating Federer. Which reminds me, did you watch that match against Murray? What a classic – I haven’t seen Federer play that well since 2007. He chased down everything, created the most beautiful angles with his apparently suspect backhand, and pulled the trigger on his forehand (and the backhand, for that matter) every single time the opportunity presented itself. And yes, that serve – it worked ever so well too. I was stunned at how well he served at the fag end of the 5th set in that classic against Roddick in the Wimbledon final. He was almost as good in this one – though you wouldn’t know that if you just went by the ace count.
So, despite all my travails with workaholism over the past month or so – watching a sporting moment like that did make for a truly exhilirating experience. Hopefully, one day, before he turns mortal and is no longer the same Federer, I shall have the chance to see him live.
On that note, good night everyone. Have an excellent weekend.