Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sea of Poppies, Big Boss, and Other Things

Ummm… what should I write about? Usually I have around three subjects running in circles around my brain, all of which are blogging material. Some are good, some are bad, and some are plain ugly. What ultimately emerges is unpredictable, sort of goobagly. Writing itself is unpredictable. I think about something and when it is on the pixellated screen, it is something else altogether.

I am reading “Sea of Poppies” and it occurs to me that the excruciatingly long passages given to Paulette could be the author’s (Amitav Ghosh’s) indulgence, his own way of exposition, his world view, his pettiness, his unique talent and whim as a writer. Many writers do this. I wonder why! Even Rushdie’s endless paragraphs about the inner turmoil of his protagonists are sometimes done to death. Is it a mark of their genius, I am stumped for an answer, or is it just plain indulgence? Who knows, who has answers?

That seemingly endless nonsense they call “Bigg Boss” is dragging on and on. I wonder how they could get a gangster’s girlfriend-cum-mole into a celebrity show like that. And that certain someone who is allegedly a drug addict and divorced his wife isn’t an angel either. I see Ahsan Quershi cracking under the pressure, he doesn’t belong, he is a poet who has been miscast. My heart goes out to him.

My wealth enjoying brother Dhansukhbhai is of the opinion that these days anything would do as long as there’s a name in the market. My other brother Anthonybhai is taking a little break in Goa. “Bas, market ma nam thai gaya che, pachi paisa ni paisa.” He should know. His father Dhansukhbhai (Sr.) scraped together an empire by importing second hand machinery that made oil, how I don’t know, neither did he, and look today where he is.

A few stunners from “Sea of Poppies”: “He (Zachary) took for granted that power made its bearers act in inexplicable ways.”

And another:

Paulette: “If there is anything Bethel has taught me, it is that the kindness of men comes always attached to some prix…”

Now these are deadly observations from none other than the vastly talented Amitav Ghosh. Oh, when, oh, when will I learn to write like that?

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