Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Pain of Being in Mumbai

I was visiting Mumbai after a number of years. The afternoon was unusually warm - as per the newspaper reports. I noticed a number of people sleeping on the pavements. The next few days I did not notice as many. Was I walking in different areas or had my mind started filtering them out?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Troubling thoughts after reading A Pale View of Hills

I finished reading A Pale View of Hills by Ishiguro a few days ago and I can't put it out of my mind.

I love the way Ishiguro plays with memories. On several occasions, I have argued that B was inevitable because of A only to be told by my wife that A happened after B! My mind seems to adjust and reorder memories to make sense of the world. So, the topic fascinates me and I love the writings of Ishiguro.

But why am I troubled by this book? I found the book vaguely dis-satisfying as I wanted to know more about the protagonist. What made her want to leave her husband and move to England? What were her sufferings alluded to by her daughter? Unable to rationalise her actions, all I am left with is the despairing thought that our actions and decisions have an impact, at times painfully drammatic, on those around us whom we love and for whom we want to do the best.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Indian marriages aren't like that

We were on a family holiday in South India. The hotel where we were staying was going to show "Two for the Road". I was very excited and told my father that it was a great film. I had loved Albert Finney in it. Audrey Hepburn remains my favourite actress even today. (Why is it politically correct to use actor and not actress. Sadly, it is neutering the language.)

My father was not happy after watching the movie. He just said, "Indian marriages are not like that".

I did not contradict him as was my tendency at that time. I do not think that at that age I had given much thought to marriage, particularly the desire for "till death do us part" and the very different reality for, at least, some.