Thursday, September 05, 2013

Tall Man Small Shadow

Many times I thought about writing a review for the book- “Tall Man small shadow”.  I have never written a book review before and to make the matter more complicated the book is written by my father.  Can any son write about his father objectively?  Will a son’s praise not be viewed as a natural way to express gratitude to his creator? Will a son’s criticism not be rated too harsh and an act to separate his identity from that of his father?
I had written a few lines about his book on some websites based on my preliminary reading of his manuscripts. I had read a few chapters of the edited version but had never read the final book until a few days back. Only now I feel I can write about the book. Here is what I felt:-
1.       The story is arranged in short chapters, with each chapter written from a different point of view. A single scene when viewed from different angles gives the reader a holistic view about the lives of book’s characters. However there are times when the reader is left slightly confused because of the multiple angles.
2.       The characters are intertwined by a series of coincidences in a very real-life setting. Whether these coincidences are fabricated or not, the reader is free to have his own interpretations.
3.       A few lines where I could not help but marvel at the simplicity of thoughts are-
a.      Perfection if pursued could dispense the need of God.
b.      If it is death, I am dying every moment. If it is life, I am living every moment.
c.       Mere talent may lead to frustration and pessimism.
d.      When he fails to understand, he philosophizes.
4.       The experience of reading this book is like reading many books in one. Many questions, many philosophies, many thoughts left just short of their conclusion. Sometimes entertaining, sometimes deliberating.
Reading his first book, I could feel that he has many more books in him and perhaps many more philosophies.
 I believe in the saying-“An author should be judged by his best lines.”

 And I know, his best is yet to come.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Love, Poetry and Prose

Some people love only when they are sure that they would be loved back. Is this love selfish? Is it impure? Can love be impure in any case? No one knows about it; everyone talks about it. Especially all these clich├ęs- sonnets. Are there even enough words to contain the enormity of love?
Was Pablo Neruda as fierce a lover as a poet?  Did his woman feel the same pain, ecstasy, fear and longing as we do when we read one of his poems? Who is to say that he was not an erotic lover, not even a romantic but a simpleton and his poems were only a catharsis of his lonely heart?
Can a heart that has never loved, feel the longing for a comforting caress of the lover?  Yes, through poems, I suppose.
But what is the real feeling that is felt when two people are actually in love? Do they feel any different from- Tonight I can write the saddest lines-? What do they feel? How do they feel? If it is any different from poetry can it be penned down?
‘Avoid writing love poems’- A poet has himself advised. Are poets even the right species to seek advice on a phenomenon like love? Half of them are divorcees and other half bachelors. This decision of love cannot be influenced by such unsettled men.
Some might say poetry although marginalizes yet glorifies love. Poetry seduces words together to simplify love. It makes more people fall in love by its rhyme and helps them to forget their everyday prose. Poem is an expression of love to help the common man understand how he feels. I find this argument baseless.
Can poetry describe that penultimate moment; the one just before- two lovers depart. The moment that you desperately want to prolong even if amounts to selling a part of your soul to buy another second. Can poetry justify the act of sacrificing your best for the whim of your lover?
Poetry cannot even tell for sure whether the tension that two lovers feel in their first embrace is like ebbs and flows or more like waxing and wane. Only prose can dare where poetry ends. Prose is what poetry claims to be.
Think, whether the first word that every writer wrote to express something that could no longer be contained inside him- was it intended for a poem or a prose? And what if the first words of all poems put together form a prose and not poetry. If ‘l love you’ is a poem; I, You and Love in between, is a prose.
Love- it has to felt up your spine and out of your brain. Love should better be left alone, to be expressed through prose.