Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rushdie's Book Midnight's Children - 30 Years on!

Can't believe it's 30 years since Salim Sinai was brought to our collective consciousness by Salman Rushdie, says this article in Outlook. The article was written by Anvar Alikhan a contemporary of Rushdie in Cathedral and John Connon School in Bombay (the Anglican school in which we Anglicans couldn't find admission, contrary to what people accuse us: of being clannish). Cathedral is an elite school in which only industrialists' children study.

Midnight's Children liberated Indian English fiction. We thought we were free. But the take off was aborted after Rushdie until Arundhati Roy and Vikram Seth came along. But the momentum was lost, we didn't have anyone to fill the gaps and what remains is a stunted literary scape where a few feeble attempts at novel are made, but nothing substantial. That's my opinion. Then we became busy in social networking sites, instant messaging, 24-hour movie channels and reality shows. (They need reality shows to show them reality these days, a job done by novels in our days. **smirk**)

The failure of India to be something in the literary firmament with so many speakers of the language still puzzles me. A hundred million people speak English (the largest number in the world), don't they need a shared history of their own? I sometimes wonder.

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