Sunday, April 04, 2004

Just read about half of 'India a Million Mutinies now' By VS Naipaul and left it there .

The title sounds pretty philosophical and sophisticated , and to some extent the book indeed is .

The central theme of the book is the thousands of different small categories of ppl which divides the indian society ,categories of Casts , Religion,Language ,Sex, Rich-poor etc All overlapping at the same time .

There is no single idea of an Indian . Naipaul contrasts this to his own small Indian Community in Trinidad where the indians were in minority so they lived together with each other and there was only one category he was placed in, that of an indian .

But my feeling was that the idea of 'India having a Million mutinies within' gets dissolved somewhere in the first few chapters .

The Book basically is a kinda travelogue of VSN of his visit to india during 1988-89 . He starts with Bombay , then goes to Bangalore , Mysore , Chennai , calcutta and so on . Basically he meets different kind of people , A local siv sena politician , A Secretary and a Dalit poet in bombay , A former Royal Priest in Mysore , A Brahmin in Chennai , A Lecturere (also former Communist activist) in Calcutta .

He talks to them about their lives since birth , their struggles in life and tries to understand the times they have gone thru .

The Text is classic VSN full of minute observations . Sometimes here and there Naipaul writes about his own Ideas of india and his link with Indian culture while he was being brought up in Trinidad . Also since he visited India in Early 60's , He notices changes in all those years .

After reading a few chapters I got pretty bored reading about the goddam lives of those people Naipaul is narrating . Also I got slighly pissed off on the fact that how little I have seen of India .

Anyway , So I left it midway and settled for 'The Catcher in the Rye' which looks goddam promising till now (its slang reminds me of 'Love story' by Eric Seagal). Its Review next time ....

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