Thursday, September 13, 2007

You Roack My Woald!

It took me moment to gobblefunk a title for this post, and maybe the Lord of The Gobblefunks would have approved. It's his day after all. A mail from Magrudy's two days ago reminded me that today is Roald Dahl Day, and encouraged me to take the Roald Dahl Day Challenge, which essentially consists of challenging tasks such as these, to win a prize.

1. Wear something yellow (Roald's favourite color)
I'm wearing yellow sandals.

2. Wear one or more items of clothing backwards
The item of clothing is tending to bunch uncomfortably, but I've managed to get through the day.
I'm also wearing lipstick on the inside of my mouth.

3. Drop 'gobblefunk' convincingly into a conversation
Check opening line.

4. Swap a Roald Dahl book with a friend
Sudhendra, you BFG! Today IS a good day to return the 'Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl' that I gave you 7 years and 22 days ago!

5. Visit Magrudy's Junior in Jumeirah (04) 3444193 for fun activity at 7:00 pm
No gym, I'm headed to Gymeirah today.

6. Talk Backwards
Did I when looks strange got I.

7. Tell a silly joke (Roald Dahl loved swapping these with his kids)
A dyslexic man walks into a bra...

8. Give someone a treat (Roald was a great believer in treats, whether it was a bar of chocolate or a lovely surprise)
I passed peppermints around at work.

9. Make up an Oompa Loompa dance and get all your friends to join in!
I've already picked up "Shaka Laka like an Oompa Loompa" from Virgin Megastore at City Centre. Now, to find enthusiastic friends....

Doing this was so much fun. I wish every other day was Roald Dahl day.

But seriously, way back in college, when I discovered the twisted short stories of Roald Dahl, I was awed by his genius. Lamb to the Slaughter, Galloping Foxley, Nunc Dimitis, Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat and Parson's Pleasure were my favourites, and I must have read each of them a dozen times, eagerly waiting to get to the twist in the tale, and then savouring the delicious ending. When it came to endings, nothing beat Taste, and I would visualise in rich detail, the dinner party and the look on Richard Pratt's face when the butler came into the room.

I'd probably read every short story by him before I discovered his 'children's stories'. I enjoyed a second childhood in my teens on reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. It was unexpectedly thrilling to discover that these stories had come from the same pen that wrote those wicked short stories. Almost like finding out that your prankster uncle was the real Santa Claus. His book of Revolting Rhymes has me in splits to this day.

I thought I'd gotten accustomed to the weird genius of Roald Dahl, and then I read his biography - Boy and Going Solo. He describes ordinary events and places in such an interesting, visual way, that his world comes alive in your mind. Whether it's his experience as a 'tester' for Cadbury chocolates, or getting shot down in Africa - you can't help feeling that it sounds like a plot in one of his stories.

It's been a long time since I read any of his works, but the email from Magrudy's and the Challenge brought back wonderful moments when I lived in Roald Dahl's scrumdiddlyumptious world, and never wanted to leave.


Alpha said...

Great post!!! I must thank a dear friend for introducing me to Roald Dalh when I turned 30! He is a genius.

Leela A said...

Alpha: Thank you :) When you turned 30, did you say? All along you've been convincing me you're 29!

Anonymous said...

ONE typo and "Willy Wonka","Wangdoodles" and "Hornyswagglers" could mean the karabooz here!

Anonymous said...

I am the Jhumpa Lahiri of Oompa Loompa

Leela A said...

e: You're Prince Gobblefunk alright :)

Cherie: I can just see the introduction,"Hi, I'm Jhoompa from Oompa Loompa..."

Anonymous said...

.....with plenty of OOOMPHA!!!

Anonymous said...

It's pronuonced Jhampa(like Champa) actually!
and hey, show some respect for the lady!

Anonymous said...

Oops! Sorry, eavesdropper :D!

Anonymous said...

The blog IS public media, isnt it?
(and an open forum)
Im absolutely flabbergasted at this unfair accusation, ma'am!

Anonymous said...'am? Because the ID is Cherie? (It's actually 'cherry picker' but shh ;)!!!True it is much like a nudist's camp this blogosphere...a very private exposure in a very public place, ma'am (is it safe to call you that?)

Leela A said...

Cherie: I'd like to see you do the Roomba-Soomba :)

Madhu: Just being punny, us lot. Welcome to these parts. And yes, we're open to the public, so please don't take offence :)

Cherie: That's a nice um.. tan. :-))

Anonymous said...

You should see me do the "tan tan-a- tan" in that case ! Oh BTW I did take salsa lessons too :D!