Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Secret Diary of a Wimpy Housewife

Well, I am the first to admit that the title is neither original nor applies to me. I am not a wimpy housewife, no way. Inspired by my son's devouring of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and treating it as a bible - I had to pick up the "Secret Diary of a Demented Housewife" - when I came across it at the local library.

There was an immediate affinity with diary and diarist - just reading the first page. Many a times I have vowed to spend "quality, life-affirming things to reclaim my spirit" and "staring vacantly into space" wondering about the "the selfless decision to leave the workplace." Or trying to feel noble about being a stay at home mother.
As for being wimpy - I don't always give in to the others whims. If I do - I have strong reasons like:

I do let my kids watch Cartoon Network 14 hours a day - but that's because I believe a moving, lively, colorful medium will do more for their brain than the staid colorless words in print. They will also pick up a better diction and vocabulary from the variety on TV than a monotonous storytelling session from Mom.
As for giving in and giving them Maggie for breakfast, lunch and dinner - shouldn't they learn to adjust with ready-to-cook easy meals? Where will they always get hot home cooked food?

Mothers and MILs always seem to have done the right thing when we were kids. They gave us food on time, ensured we never had a cold or ate with dirty fingers and got our homework done bang on time. What more – they were always engaged in “productive soul enhancing activities” like looking after kids and home! No retail therapy for them, buying unnecessary clothes or accessories. No “me time” too – apparently. So they say.

As my husband comments on the amount of vegetable in the Chicken Biriyani (what are carrots and peas doing in a Chicken Biriyani for God’s Sake?) – I push back all thoughts of power lunches and adult conversation at the workplace. Of a time when one ate lunch not actually cooked by oneself. Better concentrate on how very frightful the last boss was or the howling of the kid when Mom had to sneak away to work.

I have by now gone through two pages of “Secret Diary of a Demented Housewife” in between “life-affirming” and doubtful quality time spent playing Farmville. I have had no inspiration on “productive soul enhancing activities” unless screaming at the kids to finish their homework before school reopens, preparing veggie chicken Biriyani or shopping for groceries count.

If you want to read what the “Secret Diary of a Demented Housewife” by Niamh Greene says (and you will love it!), you can get it online somewhere I am sure (couldn't find it at Amazon). It has been published by Penguin Ireland.

Here is a Amazon link to the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid".

PS – My family still doesn’t know there was cabbage too in the Chicken Biryani – it blended right in with the spices! So much for being a wimpy housewife! Tee hee.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Vikram Seth's An Equal Music - A Review

An Equal Music is the only Vikram Seth book I have read (so far). It is always a daunting task to start reading a book of an author of Seth’s stature. As one starts to read – the book comes to life like the music it portrays. Can a book which is solely about classical music (of which I have absolutely zero knowledge) sustain for the length of a novel? It can and does as it flows through chapters describing the perfect music, the love the protagonist Michael is in search of and the fusion of love, music and the life of a struggling violinist and a quartet named Maggiore.

Michael is a narcissist. For him it is perfect or nothing. A butcher’s son from Yorkshire (no, Lancashire), he has started on his journey with the violin with encouragement from an elderly neighbour and inputs from the public library of unlikely Manchester - to make a small place for himself in classical music. As he struggles on in London, he finds his lost love Julia – while his quartet makes some of the perfect music ever. However, Michael loses Julia – and his World comes crashing down – again - as it had once before against the demands of an unforgiving tutor. Woven through Michael’s story – is also the story of the quest for the perfect music and concerts by a quartet, the story of a violin (Tonini), a deaf pianist and concerts in London, Venice and Vienna.

An Equal Music comforts, warms, and in places makes one’s toes curl with the depths of emotions described. As you finish the book – you will definitely want to hear Bach, the Art of Fugue, The Trout, Schubert or Schumann (the wring Schu?) and read the book all over again!

To know more about Vikram Seth - go to Wikipedia

To read An Equal Music by Vikram Seth - buy it online at
 An Equal Music - The Book By Vikram Seth

Music from An Equal Music is also available for MP3 download or to buy at amazon. Check it out here.