Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 11: God bless America.

Feeling a bit better this morn, I started my day with Sonnet 11, in which Shakespeare advises his addressee to have children because nature has created him as a stamp to be used for printing more copies of his beautiful self.

Next, I managed to finish Hamlet (the movie), albeit interrupted by a trip to pick up Priya from volleyball, multiple emails exchanged with potential internship organizations, and a nap. I really enjoyed Director Zeffirelli's version, and I believe the original language was made very understandable (and hilarious!) by the way in which the actors presented it. My favorite scene remains one we viewed in English class this year, when Hamlet decides that "the play's the thing . . . wherein [he'll] catch the conscience of the King." I find Gibson's acting delightful in this scene, and his delivery of Hamlet's sarcasm here unbeatable.

As I was watching, Ruby Chachu (my uncle) sent me a message about a number of the play's central themes, and aspects for which to look out while viewing the film -- I certainly plan to watch the movie again with a more keen eye for these subtleties. But in this play more than any other I have read of Shakespeare (too few), I appreciate the playful wit of Shakespeare's language above anything else. Despite the grim themes which overshadow the story, I found myself audibly laughing at frequent intervals while watching (and while reading the play earlier this year). Perhaps this is the first of William's plays which I have read with an ability to understand the humor of double meanings and malapropisms, but I certainly find it overwhelmingly entertaining. I recommend this film (and play!) to any existentialist with a sense of humor and appreciation for language.

During the aforementioned pick-up of little sister, Papa told me about a conversation he had on the phone today with Ratnakar Gaekwad, the Chief Secretary (head of state government) of Maharastra and one of my dad's most valued mentors. I will be spending a month with him in Mumbai this year, and I just can't wait. I am truly inspired by his optimism and activism (my dad says he is a mix of Nelson Mandela and Napoleon) and we respect him immensely. Spending time with his family this winter will be an unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime learning experience.

This afternoon, I had a phone interview with Vera Johnson of Sasha Bruce Youthwork, an organization which provides education, counseling, and support to at-risk youth and their families in D.C. After I told her a bit about my objectives for this internship (including gaining insights which I will be able to apply to Gyaan Ghar), she offered me the opportunity to work on a number of the group's different initiatives, with various members of each of their departments ( She invited me to Intern Orientation on Wednesday and Didactic Training on Thursday. I look forward to this exciting possibility!

One highlight of my day was getting a chance to talk to Elliot Wilson (my good friend and former National Junior Classical League President) about his experience as a freshman at Harvard this year. He is having a great time, and I can't wait to explore some of the classes and extra-curricular opportunities he mentioned!

In the evening, Priya and I went for a walk in the neighborhood, encountering two beautiful does in a neighbor's front yard and one majestic moon in the sky. 

Back home, she taught me to play Ingrid Michaelson's "Starting Now" on the piano -- a song which she herself just learned today! (Click here to hear the song, one of my favorites at the moment: As I head to bed tonight, I pray for the amazing heroes of September 11, 2001 and their families.

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