The long way to......

essays about my daily life. It will be something about India since it makes me happy and bothers me a lot.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Human being might be an animal which keeps doubting and thinking about meanings of its existence. I just wonder why we, or I, cannot help proofing own existence something as significant. Why we, or I, cannot be happy about who I am?

I happened to encounter a book called “Confessions of an Indian women eater” by Sasthi Barata the day before yesterday. I was just curious to know how Indian guy perceives sex. (yeah, stupid motivation) However, it turned out be a good book (much better than I expected). It is fun to read, definitely. There are elements which usually excite reader as sex, booze or moving around Europe. But the book contains more than that. In addition, the book was not overtly Indian. I mean the author did not over emphasize his Indianess that much. (I think some of Indian English novels use Indianess too much as using Western myth or orientalistic image like religious and traditional stuff)

It might be possible to see the story as an individual struggle to deal with dislocation feelings and struggle to seek meaning of his existence. He did try to find it out by sleeping around. (I know my interpretation is partial and could do more deep analysis.)

I never thought about losing my social belongings (well, there is not so strong social belongings in Japan compared with India, though) or dislocation could distract me as such. It may be because I am so emotionally attached person. Or it could happen to everyone. Words cannot express the feeling of losing my space in a society. It deprives my identity (it could be that my identity was so small from the beginning) and makes me doubt my existence. After reading this book (while reading this book), I kept thinking how I can deal with dislocation feelings. Dislocation made Upamanyu Chattarjee to write novels and give a birth to Agastya Sahib in Indian literature world. Some may go for drinking. Some may go for sleeping around. Some may go for marriage. But none of them suits me. One thing I know is that I am the one responsible for finding it out. If Amit, the protagonist, could find way out, I guess I can do. It just that it does not happen in a flash.


Blogger satya said...

That is a nice perspective. I am looking forward to the book, the few odd pages I have read sound quality.

Also I think that the book has been irresponsibly named, it gives the impression that it is one of those Khuswant Singh type soft porn books, which is not true. The first hundred or so pages that I read is rich in literary references and is a rather stark examination of what Delhi must have been like in the years immediately after the British left.

My first impression is that the book was far ahead of its times. I am surprised that I have never seen it mention anywhere ever before, I say this cause I consider myself quiet well informed about Indian writing in English. The name of the author though sounds familiar but then this could be a false alarm, as his name while unusual, the brata is quiet a common Bengali name and they are right there among the early societal leechers.

I thought your homelessness perspective was thought provoking.

First, I will mention what i have told you atleast a couple of times before, that for me literature or books while personal are again not so personal. I remember there was a time when my choice of movies and books (to a lesser extent) were determined by my emotional health. This was counter productive for me, as i failed to appreciate the work if it went against the grain of my thoughts in the phase. I dont know if it was deliberate effort or just the ageing process which made me grow out of it. I may in such circumstances be missing that intense emotional bond with a movie or a book but I am happier paying attention to the craft and the oeuvre.

Secondly, your reading of the text gives you a perspective seeped in existential angst and homelessness or exile or search for a home. I quote you,"It might be possible to see the story as an individual struggle to deal with dislocation feelings and struggle to seek meaning of his existence".

Such concerns have motivated writings since times immemorial and have been well documented. Maybe that is why it is the exiled or the non resident who produce such a huge volume of literaure. Naipual's writings are said to have been motivated by his homelessness and his confusion or his angst regarding his identity and home.

Go deeper you will find a richer reading.

8:08 AM  

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