A bit of self-revelation

Letizia, of the blog Reading Interrupted (please do take a look: it’s quite delightful!) has very kindly nominated this blog for the Reader Appreciation award. And has said some very kind and flattering things about me to boot.

To accept this award, I must, I believe, nominate five other blogs; and reveal seven things about myself.

I must ask to be excused from the first of these: I greatly enjoy reading various other blogs, and enjoy the companionship (albeit the cyber-companionship) of the bloggers, and to pick out merely five from so many is not really something I’d like to take upon myself. However, being the self-publicist that I am, I have no problem revealing a few things about myself. After all, who does not like to talk about themselves?

– I am Indian by birth (Bengali, to be more precise); Scottish by upbringing (I left India when I was 5 years old – that’s some forty-seven years ago now); and English by residence. Identity problem? No … I can’t say I’ve ever had one … I’m happy with all three parts of me.

– My wife and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary last August. On the night after our wedding all those years ago, we had been at the royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-on-Avon – to see Romeo and Juliet. So, twenty-five years later, we went back there – this time to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was written at much the same time as Romeo and Juliet, and is, in many ways, a companion piece to it.

– All those years ago, when we were married, and I phoned up the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to ask what was showing that week (no internet then, of course), I was told that I had a choice between Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew. I did realise that I could make a very tactless choice. But I chickened out of it. However, there was no chickening out on an anniversary some thirteen years later, when we really did spend our anniversary night in the National Theatre in London watching Othello. Now, I ask you: what sort of people celebrate their anniversary by going to see Othello?

– I went to university at sixteen. At that tender age, I found myself a student living in Halls of Residence in Central Glasgow, of all places. I was a heavy underage drinker, I regret to say.

– These days, I very rarely drink beer: it is full of sugars and carbohydrates, and is really not very good for me. But I’m damned if I give up the whisky!

– I like the rain. I do – really! – it’s very beautiful, and when it really buckets down, is wonderfully spectacular. And if the sun comes out after the rain, the light diffused by the moisture in the air is so wondrous that I wish I had the ability with paints or with the camera lens to capture it.

– I only grew my beard because I realised that if I didn’t, I’d end up in a few years with a somewhat unsightly double chin. So, given a choice between looking like the Wolf Man or looking like Oliver Hardy, I went for the Wolf Man.

That’s seven, I think.

Thank you very much, Letizia, for nominating me, and allowing me to indulge in this bit of self-revelation. Now, I know I haven’t nominated anyone else, but of anyone with a blog reading this would like to tell us a few things about their own selves, then please do feel free!

6 responses to this post.

  1. Excellent answers, “Wolf Man”! Loved that one in particular. I’m sure beer isn’t all that great for me anymore, but I think my hard liquor days are (mostly) long over. Anyway, congrats on your latest award!


    • I think I have our teenage daughter to thank for the Wolf-Man crack… (Kids these days! They have no respect for their elders! 🙂 ) However, a trim beckons this weekend: my long-suffering wife insists!


  2. I loved reading your list – being Swiss and French and having moved to America a few years ago, I can relate to your identity melange (and being comfortable with all three). Am not a whisky drinker but I certainly do love the rain (perhaps why I love Scotland so much!). Congratulations again! ~ Letizia


    • It’s great having several identities: far from being a handicap as it is often taken to be, it is a positive advantage! When it comes to cricket, for instance I could support England or India – whoever happens to be playing better. However, when it comes to football (soccer), it’s definitely Scotland: some things enter your system at so early an age that even repeated defeats and humilations cannot diminish the attachment…


  3. Posted by Brian Joseph on August 26, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Congratulations Himadri!

    You are well deserving of the award. Your posts are always so thought provoking. It is well worth anyone’s time who has an interest in books and ideas.

    Your Othello/anniversary story and question is priceless!


    • Thanks for that, Brian. For me, a good production of a great Shakespeare play really is the ideal night out – even if it is <emOthello on an anniversary! There was a time as well when I used to drag my wife to every Ibsen play showing in London, until she declared that a bit of Shakespearean tragedy she could put up with, but unrelieved Nordic doom & gloom was going too far! (I think Little Eyolf was the final straw I must admit, that was perhaps a bit too harrowing even for me… 🙂 )


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