Stories within stories

7 Apr
It feels great to read, to be able to immerse oneself in what’s going on as the pages turn. Standing witness, sometimes from afar while sometimes right in its midst, as stories unfurl and narratives thicken. I love being able to read and be a part of the author’s story and a part of the characters’ kahani. Some rich, some poor, some literate, some illiterate, some political, some driven, some placid, some dynamic – it’s overwhelming to know and be a part of so many and so much. 


I’ve just finished reading Amitav Ghosh’s ‘The Hungry Tide’. Enraptured in the stories of Kanai, Piya, Fokir and so many left me spellbound as I closed the book to keep it away. A book that made me just look at the cover once, twice and thrice. Amitav Ghosh does that. His stories are miraculous, powerfully scripted and overwhelming. He is a writer I thoroughly enjoy reading. His work is intricate, ornate and vividly fine with details he doesn’t spare a miss. His other books ‘The Glass Palace’ and ‘Sea Of Poppies’ are equally mind-blowing.





Another author I must mention as part of the Indian diaspora is Rohinton Mistry. He weaves magic. He’s an author who is just so natural and bold, someone who is so fresh from the diaspora that tries so hard to be “Indian” all the time. I loved his book ‘A Fine Balance’ and I recommend it because that piece of fiction couldn’t have felt more real. A story that shatters these rose tinted glasses we wear and delivers not just with words but raw untainted emotions of a reality we are so much a part of but fail to see, or are ignorant/unaware about. 





I love reading these two authors, most often in an alternate order. One from the east who exudes the culture of West Bengal – the intellectualism, the fussiness, the depth of everything ornate, the finesse – and the other a Parsi whose work reflects the life of Mumbai, its spirit, its rawness, its heat and its tempo. I love how they both have a knack of weaving so so many stories of so many people into one piece of work. I marvel their talent. I thrive on their writing. I love how they are so natural, so transparent, so fine, so balanced, so real and what really seals the deal for me is how in-my-face honest they are. There are absolutely no pretensions and acts to become Indian, being a part of the diaspora and being the NRIs that they are. The best part is that I get what they are talking about and I love that they write where they come from. They do not act like translators to the West and are who they are – distinctly Bengali and Parsi respectively, and distinctly Indian. It matters, especially when you’re an internationally renowned Indian author.


My days are a moving bubble and I know it. One day I’m a part of Piya’s story, the next a part of Kanai’s and so on. Today I’m a part of Holden Caulfield’s story, the protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s ‘Catcher In The Rye’, and I cannot wait to see what happens. 





Reading. I’m so glad I have the time and inclination to do so. And Flipkart is the icing on the cake.

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2 Responses to “Stories within stories”

  1. - Ubiquitous - April 9, 2011 at 9:08 AM #

    Love this post; it makes one want to pick up a book, any book and start reading. :)And I totally agree with 'They do not act like translators to the West and are who they are – distinctly Bengali and Parsi respectively'I love Indian Writing, I love honest writing and (as an aside)I love the Bengali and Parsi cultures for more reasons than one! :)

  2. Babushka April 9, 2011 at 11:07 AM #

    Same here… Though the Parsi culture from afar for I know not much :)

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