Tuesday, December 23, 2014

People Say the Wrong Things in Hospital

During my recent illness, I was toying with painful idea of giving up on my novel I am writing Mr. Bandookwala. This may anger some and make some go "Ah! So he didn't make it, yeahn?" "So much wasted effort." "Thank God, I won't have to bear his prattle of what stage the novel is in."

Yes people say wrong things. I know, I know, you deny this right? You can see this at funerals. There would be a group of uncouth dregs of society laughing on the solemn occasion. The reason I didn't want people to visit me in hospital was this. People say the wrong things and you can't stop them from doing so. There is one fellow parishioner who I suspect has necrophilia in a very advanced stage. Whenever he speaks he will bring out the medical condition in which people he knew died, along with descriptions in gruesome detail. Imagine him visiting me in hospital. I would have a tough time handling him. I suspect I would collapse. In hospital a patient is thinking of his recover and along comes this tyke, this moron, who talk so casually about medical condition and death.

So I said no visitors, please. A hospital is not the best time to meet me. Drop in at home; we will have a coffee and a chat. I am unshaven and have not slept for six days, what would they think? They will pronounce the end of the road for me.

I thought I had a lot of fight left in me. I still do. I used to play football and was in the college team. Though – smarting from hurt pride – as an extra, sitting on the bench.

After coming home and seeing the manuscript my heart melted. I said to myself I can't let this go just yet. I love this story. I have spent six years of my life on it. Some publisher will surely see it for its quality and publish it.

So I switch off the television at 10 p.m. and say our family prayer and I am in bed by 10.30 p.m. or, at the most, 11 p.m. I am up at 5 a.m. and working, sipping on hot green tea. Hope to give you the good news that the final copyediting is over and done.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Axis Powers: The Word Dominator that Almost Was

I have been blogging about Japan's advance through the south-east Asian region in the past few blogs, a military advance in which I lost my uncle. This is after reading Richard Flannagan's "The Narrow Road to the Deep North," which won the Man Booker Prize this year. This, unwittingly, set off a train of thought the narrative of which is as follows. I would like you to comment freely on what you think of my hi-falutin ideas (worth nothing, though they may be).

Now imagine if Japanese forces had succeeded in building the Death Railway and captured India and went on to East Asia and met up with Rommel's forces in Africa. India would have come under the oppressive rule of Japan, much like China and Korea. Then the history of the world would have been a whole lot different than it is now.

The Axis powers would have had the largest territory in the world and soon Russia and US would have been subdued and brought under it.

This would have resulted in our being subject to two extreme political ideologues the twentieth century has seen: Nazism and Nipponism. Both were oppressive, undemocratic, and dictatorial. We would have had no freedom though we were a free country and India would have suffered from the manufacturing dictates of great Japanese corporations.

The reason why Japan's ambitions have remained a secret is because they didn't permit the documenting of history even by their prisoners. Letters were either burnt or thrown into the sea. They may have kept some record in Japanese, which is uaccessible to researchers. Nippon's votaries were far more ambitious than Hitler himself. They wanted to subdue the world at any cost, and had grown drunk with their own spirit of greatness. They assumed a megalomania unseen in the civilised world.

Japanese bosses are known to strike their subordinates. We Indians would not have suffered this indignity and would have chafed at their power.

Such a behemoth political force as might have been created – nay, almost created – would have seen the downfall of all struggles for freedom.

So my question, which rankles my mind often, is: which was better? Western hegemony with its pretended democratic real politic, humaneness, and compassion or the Axis powers ruling the world. You answer.