Rambles' Ramblings

Ramblings, a salve for any hurts



Another Friday, Another Week

It is Friday again, meaning that another week has gone by in a blur. School life is heating up, as lecturers start to up the speed of the lectures in anticipation of the coming Deepavali holidays. As one of my lecturers said, “Students, we have to hurry a bit. In the first week of November, all of us are going to become Hindus and celebrate Deepavali and take a week off. Then in December, we are all Christians and have to celebrate the Christmas. Following that, late January all of us must celebrate Chinese New Year as all of us have somehow miraculously become Chinese. All in all, it is about a month shaved off the eight months you got before your exams in May.”

To add to our misery, tutorials have just started and homework are already coming down fast. Even in lectures, some of our more zealous lecturers set us homework to do. In addition to the huge amount of reading we have to do, I don’t think I will be enjoying my holidays anytime soon. Deepavali is next week, but all I can foresee is a long week of self-study. After all, I am not a Hindu and thus certainly can avoid celebrating heavily. For that, I have the Chinese New Year to look forward to.

Another thing, mooting is about to start. I hope to enter the competition and has even found a partner in anticipation of it. However, I have been having second thoughts about it as I look at my schedule and find that it is quite full. As the saying goes, ‘don’t bite off more than you could chew”. Problem: I am not sure if it is too much for me.

One last thing before I sign off on this post. I shouldn’t but I will. Please go and check out my other blog The Law (Student’s Perspective) if you are a first year Law student too. Maybe we can discuss on my mistakes?


Towards Another Summer

Well, tomorrow is my very last day of exams. Just my luck that it should comprise of examining two of my most hated textbooks. One, I wrote about it before, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, the other, Towards Another Summer by Janet Frame. English Literature, the bane of my college life.

I was told by my teacher that Towards Another Summer is a highly autobiographical novel of Frame. Hence, the instructions were that the book can only be published after her death as Frame cannot bear the thoughts of criticism. As with The God of Small Things, I have to admit that I do not like the story and style much. Again, no offense to Frame’s fans, it is just not my cup of tea.

The story talks about Grace Cleave, an awkward writer who doesn’t seem to know how to interact with people. Haunted by childhood trauma and the terrible experience of being put into an asylum even though she wasn’t mad, Grace Cleave felt as though she is a bird, migratory bird whom the humans cannot understand. Her childhood was riddled with moves all over New Zealand as her father was a railway worker. This is apparently the reason why she felt as though she is a migratory bird, always looking towards another summer since she had been moving all over the place since young.

Unfortunately for her, at that time, female writers were not well received. Add to the fact that she had once been sent to the asylum, people discouraged her from writing, saying that she should sell hats for a living. Horrible, insensitive people.

Grace Cleave’s strength and weakness both lie in her sensitivity. She was, as her name suggested, cleaved between her safe, inner world and the demanding outside world. People do not really understand her and she shrank into her inner world, apprehensive and fearful. However, she seemed to wish to at least show a semblance of normality and wish for companionship. This was shown when she accepted Phillip Thirkettle’s invitation to a weekend visit in Relham with his family.

Grace tries so hard that it isn’t even funny, it is heartrendingly pitiful. What in the whole wide world happens to her to cause her such loss of confidence? My teacher suggested the stay in the asylum and the mutterings of the people after she was released but I disagree. Although the asylum was terrible as with the gossip pf the society, she is now a writer of some success. Shouldn’t that boosts her confidence? No, I think the reason lay much deeper in her history.

I think the reason lies in her frequent moves during her childhood. Most of us have found ourselves thrust into a new crowd suddenly with little warning due to one or another reason. It is disconcerting and lonely at first until you get the chance to make a few friends. The problem is, it takes time, which I don’t think a young Grace had, what with her father moving around once every while.

Grace Cleave is truly a child within an adult’s body, as suggested by several websites. She looked at things with innocence rarely found in grownups.

Although the novella is hauntingly serene, I could not bring myself to like it, not the least of Grace’s character.


Holidays! After 3 more days of exam.

Finally, holidays! Not so fast though, I still have 3 more days of exams to go. Nothing really difficult, Business Studies and English Literature. Not that it is easy, just that the study materials do not really stand up to long hours of study. I mean, how many time can you read a novel to study it? And Business Studies is actually more about common sense and everyday life. I know, I sound like a snotty kid, but I honestly feel that after that Law exam last week? Any other subject is relatively easy and I can relax some.

So what now, I ask myself? With time on my hands without much commitment, I felt free. Oh well, not so free I guess. My new house’s fence needs a new coat of paint and who shall do it? Me, of course since I am on holidays. Beside painting the fence, lots still need to be done before we can move in, none more so urgent than packing.

Oh how I dread the packing. We have piles and piles of books which need to be tied, packed and sent over, unpacked and arranged in their respective shelves. Add to that the nightmarish process of moving over all the earthly possessions of my family, I might still be stuck in the old house till next year.

Anyway, if we managed to move by the end of this month, then I may try my hand at sewing a cushion cover for my chair. We had bought a cover for it but it simply doesn’t fit. It slip and slide all over the place and I have to stand up and adjust it often enough that I am annoyed.

And if I finished that also, then I can try some acrylic painting. I like all kinds of art, words most of all, but drawing is also one of my favourite.

That’s all for today, I think.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy


So, I felt like blogging tonight but I felt guilty as I have an exam looming next Monday. To make myself feel better while being happy blogging, I decided to blog about one of my exam material.

First of all, to make things clear, I read and study this book because I am taking English Literature and it is one of the prescribed textbook. No offense to Roy, but I simply do not like her style or type of story. It is, simply put, too depressing for me. Laugh at me, scorn me for being naive, but that is just how I am.

Rahel and Estha. The two twins of the stories. Ammu, their mother who ran away to marry their father. Chacko, their uncle. Pappachi and Mammachi, their grandparents who were disdainful of Ammu. Baby Kochamma, the vile, evil baby grand aunt of the twins. Ever bitter, she sought to colour all with her meddlings. And finally, Margaret Kochamma and Sophie Mol, Chacko’s ex-wife and daughter. Velutha, the Untouchable the Twins and Ammu loved and who loved them back. The characters of the book.

The plot of the story is confusing, especially at first read. It jumps from present to past while providing an insight to the happenings in life in Ayemenem. A confusing blur, it seems, until my teacher started to explain. Left to my own, I may well need a few reads to get a thorough understanding. I know, I know, it is her style of writing, but I would not deny that I don’t like it at all.

The depravity described in the book turned my stomach. Pedophile, incest, racism, and a distorted view of religion. The worst of mankind is laid open for all to look. Despair is in my heart when I read it. Indeed, there seem to be little hope for mankind with the horrible vices we are cursed with. But then, there is also always the innocence of children to hope for.

Anyway, no matter how I like or dislike the story, it is still my textbook and so will still need to read it and study it.

A link has been inserted below. It also talks of this book.

Exam, anyone?

Ugh. I think examinations are the most hateful thing ever invented right now. I am in the middle of exam, but is now in the middle of something like an interlude. I have just finished one subject and is now waiting for the next exam on Monday.

Well now, I have some time to kill as the next subject is much more easier. I tell you, it is not easy trying to memorize scores of cases for an exam. Worst part? Most of them didn’t come out. I mean, come on, if you want us to memorize it, test us on it won’t you? It is so frustrating when you realize that your work has gone to waste.

Anyway, just suddenly felt like posting something on the exams. I wonder if any of my friends have a blog or do they just make do with Facebook? Hmm…

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