happy happy, joy joy. 2005 is here. a little older, a little bolder, may the new year bring us a little kick in our coffee, a little more whiskey in our bailey's;) its raining here in the bay and i feel like belting out 'barkha ritu aaiee.'
anyway, behenji has had it up to here (hand right under my nose), with 'easy exotic' south asian literature. they either roll out the magical realism carpet, trying to imitate the two great R's (Roy & Rushdie) or else the characters and plots are crazily convoluted to up the cool quotient. its been a long time since a South Asian book has come into the scene quietly and gently swept me (and probably others) off my feet. or made me fall off my chair, jump out of bed, or sit on the toilet for hours for that matter. where are the experimentors of language? the outlaws of plot ? the genre benders? someone who is being touted as the literary offspring of R&R and the god child of Kundera is Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi . while I haven't read the book, I have heard mostly negative comments from other South Asians along the lines of 'not original,' ' language too flowery,' 'magical realism copycat' or else 'Siddharth who?'. Which really does make me wonder what is going on? I went to Shanghvi's website and was suprised by the pink in it, the glorious peacock on the left of the page, and this photo of the author. what I wanted was an excerpt of the book, a flavor of this much touted author's prose that could not be had through peacocks, turbans or that killer silver necklace around Shanghvi's neck! a summary of the book can be found here. somehow, a line from The Beatles' song 'Baby You're a Rich Man' comes to mind:
How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?