Allegro con brio

I was never a musician, and was never trained as a musician. Which is why when I heard about the word allegro con brio today, which means ‘at a fast tempo, and with spirit’ (literally, ‘with brilliance’) my heart swells. It is not because it is a foreign word, although I have an affinity to learn bits and pieces of non-English words everywhere, but because of the nature of the word. With brilliance, at a fast tempo. It reminds me of a friend who celebrates her birthday today. A Leo, someone who moves at a fast tempo, with absolute brilliance, not a step out of place.

There’s this bookstore located in Chongqing, China, that I am dying to visit. Mirrored panels lined its entire ceiling. Zigzag staircases help form its whole entire perplexing interiors, creating the illusions of multiplicity and grandeur. The store was inspired by the stepwells in Rajasthan, India — which is why it seems familiar — where huge wells were located below ground which can only be accessed through successive flights of stairs. It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie — one of those from Christopher Nolan’s perhaps — or something out of the pages written by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, where cherished and threatened texts are protected within a secret labyrinthine library.

It somehow feels hard to write at least 300 words today here, but that’s also partly because I managed to write 2814 words tonight for the thesis. When I got to know that PhD students were to write at least a 60,000-word thesis, I used to think “what am I going to write about?”. Now, as I am 60% close to completion, my worry shifts to “how am I going to edit this out?” (my current word count for the whole thesis is 34, 056, and it has the potential to bloat.)

Speaking of numbers, and especially of 300, did you know: if you add all the integers from 1 to 24, the answer is 300? Or that a hedgehog’s heart beats 300 times a minute (what)? Or that Britain has up to 300 earthquakes a year, but most of them are too small for them to notice? Or that John Steinback wrote East of Eden using 300 pencils? And of course, that movie with Gerard Butler, the one coursing with masculinity and oily abs and super short shorts.

And with that, signing off for the weekend.

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