Notes v/s reviews

At one point in time, I thought that the only way to write about a book or movie is to write reviews. So I read book and movies reviews, read up on them as well and started writing them. But I always felt very constrained by the form. There is a format and one must abide by that format. The format must have worked for a while but then I started outgrowing it. Till one day, it felt all wrong and I dreaded even writing reviews because I was trying to squeeze my reactions into a form that didn’t fit me. My reactions were very personal, my interpretations were shaped by my reading, and the structure of the review didn’t acknowledge it at all. But write I must. So I’ve started writing notes. The wonderful thing about writing notes is there is no one stringent form! I don’t have to worry about sequence as long as it is logically structured. I feel free; I can breathe and revel in the formlessness of writing notes.


32 thoughts on “Notes v/s reviews

  1. @Rohit: Since you’ve recommended it, sure I will! Yeah, Calvino has been on my “must read” list for a long time. Finally, finally, I am reading him after studying him in college years back! LOL!

  2. He is wry, he is funny, he is a master storyteller. You’ll love that set.

    I recently discovered my love for Murakami. I guess the title of your page comes from there 🙂 I am going through a major pseudo songwriting phase of my life, otherwise I would have written a million posts about him!

  3. @Rohit: I know I will! Just need to finish the long list of unread books on my beside table first! But Calvino is like high up on the list of books to get next.

    Yeah Murakami is my cocaine. I need him from time to time. But I must warn you, he is addictive… but you must know that already. Songwriting sounds wonderful! You can pay your tribute via a song too, ya know? Not everyone has to write!

  4. 🙂 I shall really try.

    Murakami IS addictive, yes! On my recent visit to Bangalore, I spent four hours at this bookstore called Blossom and found everything by him. I worship him. Like I worship Shashi Tharoor, Bill Bryson. 🙂

  5. @Rohit: Don’t say a word! Blossom is like one of my favouritest store in Blore! Three floors of books on every imaginable subject.
    Murakami is worship worthy! 🙂
    Well, got to logoblog via a friend. When I have to come up a pitch for the logo, that’s where I go to pick up great tips!
    You are most welcome! Will check that one out now. Do you like sing also?

  6. Yeah, when no one’s listening. I am the wannabe Steven Wilson, Keith Richards, Zakk Wylde, Trent Reznor put together.

    I wonder if you’ll like it. Rest I haven’t put on my blog yet. Like you, I am a little reserved too. That song is more of a random dedication so I published it there.

    I spent half my salary at Blossom man! I love it! I love that whole street. Coffee House, Blossom, and further down, Hard Rock. 🙂

    1. You made me laugh!

      Maybe someday. I am seriously shy about it. 🙂 I am not saying no though. Maybe someday, hopefully soon! 😀

      Arre! Green Sweater is a beautiful song, in the THIRD person. 🙂 I really like it! I like the fact that it tells a story and is not sentimental precisely because it is told in the third person!

  7. @Rohit, well, I’d still like to hear it… you never know what you got until you have a perspective, am I right?

    Your songwriting is like my poetry. It’s too personal to be out there, I understand. But “Green Sweater” is fabulous.. at least on print! I found myself trying to hum it! 😛 I am still wondering what could the tune be.

    Hahhaa! Oh yeah, Blossom does that to you! You cannot cannot absolutely go there and NOT spend half (maybe more) of your salary! Oh yeah, that street, Church Street was what made my stay in Bangalore bearable.

  8. Well, I just published another one on my blog, to prove a point. Call me a bugger 😀

    I have a couple of friends who make music (I always wanted to – maybe someday I will) – now they seem interested in some lines I put together. I am not sure, but if this turns out to be something nice, I shall be singing about it to everyone. Hahaha.

    So the decision’s yours. If you can find something that can be pubished, I’d love to read it 🙂

    Bangalore had a couple of interesting things for me actually. Church Street for sure, as we have established, it has things we love. There is this place called Road Trip in Indra Nagar – love it, love it, love it! – great food, no jazzy crap, only a simple arrangement. Great great food. Then there’s always Java Cafe over the weekend too, with the bunch of old men playing jazz. Ah, B’lore has some culture that way.

    1. And I just commented. 🙂

      You must do what you want to do in your heart. Coz any other way is a surefire way to be unhappy. So, you must write songs.

      And you must broadcast it to the whole world when this thing becomes a reality! (Note: I said “when” not “if”.)

      Of course, I hope to publish them one day: one of the reasons they are not on a blog. 🙂 So before that happens, I will definitely need some feedback/opinions. 🙂

      Bangalore: It’s a bit difficult to be objective about Blore for me. True, it has the culture and is open to new ideas. But I am not fond of it. Let’s just say I will tell the story someday!

      1. Really? perhaps you’ve already written about B’lore here. I shall look till the “someday” bit happens for us, here. 🙂

        I am so thrilled that those pieces have a bigger place! I am willing to wait it out then.

  9. And thanks a ton for your praise for Green Sweater. Ex-girlfriends always inspire me a lot. 😀

    Will wait for you to publish then, as you haven’t *really* said no, as I understand.

    1. Well, you can’t exactly turn inspiration away when it comes… via whoever it comes? So, it doesn’t matter what inspires you, as long as you are inspired, that’s all that matters. 🙂

      Lol! Yes of course! I haven’t *really* said no. And thanks for asking! 😀

      1. Yes. It’s funny when inspiration comes along, as it usually does with a box of memories. Perhaps that’s what gets us to write, paint, sing, document it in some way.

  10. @Rohit: I have written something but not everything. Yeah, sure! 😀 Someday always happens. And thanks so much! 😀

  11. @Rohit: Yes, of course! Some things touch us deeply and that is why probably inspiration can visit, coz we have our guard down. Well, art and pain go a long way back. Some of the best works of art (I am using the word “art” to mean any creative effort) has been about loss and longing.

  12. You’re right 🙂
    I sincerely believe as well, as I was told by a very close friend, that the best pieces of writing (and art now that you put it in perspective for me) happen in pain and/or anger. How funny it is to be able to confirm that with one’s little mind-altering experiences!

    1. 🙂 I always thought creative effort is the pinnacle of human evolution. Indeed! Confirmations happen when you least expect it though! 🙂

  13. I share your sentiments on “reviewing” books/movies. Review is too formal, while Notes is more unaffected.

    AFJ, I think I removed you from my blogroll at some point because you left the blogosphere for a while and I thought you did it for good. But I’m glad to read you again (saw your name at Rohit’s). So, I’m linking you back and happy to connect once more.

    1. @Abaniko: Thanks! It’s always good to know that one is understood. Good to see you here! 😀

      Oh that’s okay! I did take a break and I didn’t know if I would be back myself! For a year, I didn’t have the urge to write and it was pointless blogging just for the sake of blogging. Thanks so much! It feels good to be back! 😀

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