Saturday, April 15, 2006

Vidia's Half Life and Magic Seed

I finished reading Half A Life (I also finished reading the second part of the book called Magic seeds). Its good, about life of a disoriented rootless person.

The irony is that such feeling only book characters have this feeling of being without roots. VS Naipaul also have had lived almost the same kind of life that’s may be why he became writer. Such feelings are so impractical that you literally have to give up your conventional way of living to rectify it to your own satisfaction. And this book is not advised for people who want to follow much treaded path. This is what the media too bombards when you see happy family picture
with 2 kids and dog and parents and house. But most of the offbeat movies romanticize the kind of life about which he has written.

I find all his books vehemently and completely autobiographical. I feel a writer can never go beyond himself. And Vidia having lived a life devoid of many things till he was in mid thirties has
accumulated enough to write that will create a big vacuum in anyone heart that has space.

One good thing is that, since he has lived himself in poverty and squalor he knows that set up too well and he feels it better than most other writer. But ironically the people who read him and
admire him most (the media and other writers and critics) are people who are far removed from suffering, trials and tribunals of such life and it all looks quite romantic to them. In fact even VSN himself has gone too far up from that kind of life now living in a plush villa in hillside London. He has always written about oppressed class of people (Africa Asia) and history (Portuguese/Islamic/English) of invasions. And his insight of those oppressed people and history is something very precise and radical, which has not echoed from any contemporary writer or thinker except in a different degree (economic) from Amartya Sen (in his case too he talks ABOUT PEOPLE in a subject where these very people are reduced to statistics

It again emphasizes the idea of idealism (and idleness too) coupled with existentialism. The characters of the book are always on tenterhook and are drifting, are idle and get lost. But then they find their way out of their abilities: exceptional or otherwise. Though at the end, it seems worthwhile to live a life like this which was not streamlined like lives of other mortals. And if there is a trace of resentment about loosing precious part of the life, then it gets eroded very easily, because, the experience by then becomes part of the life: too bittersweet and too dear to lament about

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice musing. some polishing required though. atb