Everybody feels a sense of coming back to home while reading anything written by one’s favorite writer. And The Namesake ironically, is a novel about coming back to one’s home or more precisely , one’s roots. Having read it after The Lowland , Jhumpa Lahiri’s true to self description of the Bengali way of Life and of Kolkata, and how these two mingle and make thier way into the households Bengalis living in the States, was not a surprise. For example, how a package from homeland, after travelling thousands of miles can bear the smell still of the dominant spice of your mother’s kitchen. Jhumpa Lahiri , does not ever go straight into the life of the protagonist but goes on detailing the live of his or her family, as it is them who builds a self. But as the story goes on, and the namesake and its significance is revealed to us, the readers, it becomes evident that Ashoke was not only the person who gave Gogol his namesake, he was also the person who lent him his ”overcoat” through his life. This particular instrument which shapes the whole novel at the end is beautifully depicted in the movie adaptation of the book by Mira Nair. Gogo,l, from infancy till his thirties, did everything , he could to make his place and belong to a country he was born in , but always with a prevalent cry in the background from the two abodes of College Street and Alipore, calling him to be part of that life. The first sense of relating to the place where he was born took place with the dead people , in a graveyard.
Coming back to the context of the movie, the only difference that mattered except the small ones like changing the name of Dimitri without any cause, is that, in the movie the relationship of Gogol’s parents as a married couple was not less forced than the one in the book.
The story is not about the several journeys made by Ashoke and Ashima to Kolkata but a journey of the protagonist’s slowly coming back to his roots rather than going far away from it as he was never actually there.
Japan, Spring ~ A human enters a house of made of wood. It is April 8th. This year , Cherry Blossom is scheduled to come on the 19th. The human thought, what is he going to do in these 11days. He cannot even go back to where he came from, it will break his alibi. It’s that time of the year when the human commits the crime every year . But by the blessing of the cosmos , he gets the way of redemption. Mother Earth and Life conspire with each other to give way for peace. “Peace” ~the human thought, it has become a mockery of the magnanimity nowadays . But who was he to talk about that? This year too, on the 19th , he will be one of the many people who will go to The Sakura Front and watch the blooming. The Yoshino Cherry Tree always wins the tussle and blooms first. The petals will fall on his head, his shoulders and he will dust them off, but maybe not this year. He will see thousands and hundreds of faces there that day . Those unfamiliar faces will seem so kind, so familiar. Then the human will close his eyes and think about his crime, the crime that he is committing at this very moment and the also the arrangement for his alibi that he is making ~ at this very moment. Those red flowers that only bloom during spring in his country will never forgive him. The streets that are covered with the same flowers, the flower reflecting on the white buildings ~ all these scenarios would mark him as an offender. But they will not be able to do anything more than that as he has his alibi ready already. It’s 19th of April . The Yoshino Cherry has bloomed , as every year, he has witnessed it and he is free again from all his sins for a year. He won’t dust them off his shoulder this year , he will let them stay , but who is he to let them stay?After all , the human knows it’s fleeting nature. It’s transience.
Ever since I read The Kite Runner and now that I am reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, I have been very much interested about Afghanistan. They have changed my outlook towards Afganistan in a great manner. It moved me to think how the people there woke up one day and their lives just changed. They saw their motherland change, they saw it turn into debris both literally and figuratively. Everyday I searched different places of Afghanistan before and after 1970s.
But the present state of Afghanistan always had a foggy existence to me. But 2days before when I was returning from college I saw an exhibition of photographs portraying Kabul through its mayhem journey and its present life. Immediately I knew I will have to go there. So the next day I was awestruck seeing the beautiful photographs of the always beautiful city of Afghanistan. All the places I read about like Shar-e-naw , the portrayal of Hazaras.
The feeling was exactly the same as the feeling you get when you see the movie adaption of a book you just read. It was like Pride and Prejudice with the perfect Mr.Darcy in it.
If they let you come, the moment you come, they will decide whom you will love
If they let you come, they will put you in a school where there will only be humans of your gender
Because that will be safer for you
But during a crisis men would be the ones who will be called to save you , because obviously you are not enough to save yourself
If they let you come , they will stare at you in such a way , you would be bound to think what is wrong with you
If they let you come, they would never allow you to enter pure places in your impure state, but you giving birth would be considered the purest thing on Earth
If they let you come, they will save seats for you in public transport, because obviously you are not able to stand as them being the weaker sex
And if they let you come, they would say You had better not come.
The story of Amir and Hassan. More precisely a story of friendship. Not any ordinary one, a friendship with a lot of doubts from one part and utmost self-sacrifice and infinite love from the other. Throughout the chapters it is mentioned quiet a time that the people who are fed from the same breast share a bond, but at the end we come to know that the bond was not only of that but a bond stronger than that, the bond of brotherhood. With each passing chapter, with an added number to a chapter, it’s like you are growing with them. Coming back to the friendship, the story deals with Amir’s friendship with Hassan, with Baba, with Rahim Khan, with Soraya, and with Sohrab. But in one way or other all the other acquaintances of Amir were a result of Hassan’s alliance to Amir. All, except Soraya’s were an indirect gift from Hassan to Amir. When after many years, Amir came back to his homeland, he returned to the most familiar tourist spot of him the same way he left it twenty years ago. Each of character’s fall will make you feel , will make you question the world, make you question your God. Hassan, got everything by the end, he had Ali as his father, he got a wife and a beautiful son, he even got his mother back. But the thing he most wanted throughout his momentary life was Amir’s happiness. And he kept no stone unturned to give him that. Even by his death, he gave him a gift, he gave him a son. On the other hand, Amir is in the epitome of round characters, as Rahim Khan says, its never late to be good again. The antagonist is not just Assef or anyone in particular, but the whole world, the ethos of the world and the wrongness of the world. At one point, you will want to stop reading because you will not be ready to face what is coming up but you will not be able to stop either because it’s so good and your mind will not be yours anymore, it will travel to Islamabad, to Kabul, to San Francisco and the red bridge with only the towers in a foggy day. At the end, the whole experience will leave you in an awe and all you will want is to have that ‘‘A THOUSAND TIMES OVER’’
Aranyadeb. Our college held a screening for this movie today. I went to watch the movie with my friends to chill and without expecting anything. Then after much chaos regarding the speaker and many things , the film finally began. The movie began with a reflection of a typical North Calcutta childhood. Then different other sides or one may say layers of the story were gradually introduced to the viewers. The movie’s director Debasish Sen Sharma was present with us and the stories he told before the movie started were seen being depicted in different parts of the movie. It could be understood that various traits of Aranya, the protagonist of the movie were taken from himself only, which he even accepted when asked. Coming to Aranya, he was a character , I feel , who teaches us that its not always about being sane but being different is also an option. But in another way it shows that the world is yet to be ready for people like Aranya. Deb, Aranya’s best friend is equally important a character. The consequence of Deb shows us what guilt can take from a man but in a way gives him as well. The movie can also be said as a movie about friendship. The Aranyadeb of ‘Aranyadeb’ is not the one by Lee Falk but a combination of the superpowers of Aranya and Deb. There were moments in the movie where you will shiver, you will cry and you will smile at the same time. It is recommended to everyone who reads this to watch the movie which is going to be screened on the 8th of this month at Satyajit Ray Film Academy from 6pm.
The book starts with description of Jew Anne’s regular life, her school and her family. Then the world turns over for thirteen year old Anne and her family when they have to move to a hiding place to hide from the Nazis. There they started living with another family called the Van Daans. Life did not remain normal for Anne from then. She had to drop from her school, though that did not suppress the want to learn things in her. She continued learning different languages, history, mathematics etc. The letters that make the diary of Anne Frank were all addressed to Kitty, who was Anne’s imaginary friend I suppose. As you go through the story you will feel like you are Kitty, the stories that she tells would make you feel like they were meant to be heard by you. And as my sister says, you will feel for her while reading, you will suffer her pain. Though her life was not as normal as any girl in her teenage years, the characteristics of adolescence were prominent in her, like having a crush , which was both the Peters in her life, her problems with her parents etc. As the story continues, their life in the ‘’Secret Annex’’ becomes more and more dreadful. There arrives various problems like lack of food, burglars and above all the fear of being exposed which was constant. The thing that moves me about Anne is that although their life was hideous in the Annex, she knew that she was living in a far better state than most of the Jews and she appreciated that. At the end , it was really distressing to read her last letter and it was even more bitter knowing that she was not aware of the fact that that was the last letter that she was writing. At the epilogue , when the readers are being informed to Anne and her family’s fate, it was , in two words extremely painful. At last , her father, Otto Frank escaped from the concentration camps , her mother died, and soon after that, Anne and her sister both died of Typhus. They lived in the ‘’Secret Annex’’ from 1942 to 1944. If they could manage their hiding just a year, they would have survived, that is the thought that came to me when I finished the book, and I think that is the thing most readers thought as well. All the residents including Anne were looking forward to the end of the war not knowing that it was just a year away. Her dream of someday becoming a writer and let her story be known to the world was indeed fulfilled, but that came with a price, which was her life. The world indeed is aware of her story now but she did not live to see that.