I have very few words to describe the feeling after having read my very first Franz Kafka writing. It was frightening and at the same time depressing....moreI have very few words to describe the feeling after having read my very first Franz Kafka writing. It was frightening and at the same time depressing. I wanted to get over with the ordeal as soon as possible as I reached the very crux of the story's happenings. The story and its narrative were very much unsympathetic and thats what makes Kafka what he is. Well, I dont have to panic for being any more verbose, to describe 'In a Penal Colony'. It is simply 'Kafkaesque'.(less)
Well, if Saleem Sinai were a living contemporary of mine, I would have been as ashamed of having to live alo...moreAt Midnight rose, the Promiscuous Twins!!
Well, if Saleem Sinai were a living contemporary of mine, I would have been as ashamed of having to live along with him as would have been with living in that sort of a land itself. But the very cruelty of this thought comes pinching you in the ass when you realize that what Saleem Sinai was cursed into becoming was not the result of Salman Rushdie’s pessimistic view of an India or his convulsive magically realistic blasphemy of its dogmas, but because of the very truth that, this originally is contemporary India and you cannot discard the epiphany. Salman Rushdie is the mesmerizing author and Saleem Sinai is the ill-fated protagonist of this book called ‘Midnight’s Children’, so painfully and ironically named after India’s poetically vivid Independence at Midnight.
The Author has cast on paper a seemingly diabolical view of a damp India as has he seen on his sightings when he toured through India. India through the interesting times of nation building to India as when he finished the book. When Indira Gandhi had the reins to the chariot of post-independence India and was being hailed by her party with slogans as “Indira is India and India is Indira”. Well, anyone who hears of Indira would not dare forget the Emergency period that even a ten year old can relate her to. The same Indira who though imponderable but obsequiously had been under the clutches of her own son who girdled her across the whole of India like an incarcerating whip to summon under her file the very subjugates of democracy. The very Indira who had the largest army of sycophants at that time than the flattering count of pious Gandhians in post independence India. Though it cannot be proved to be a substantive statement, but the effect of her quiver of slaves as seen in the pages of history will never leave us dubious. Well, that's only one among the destinations through the timeline of life that Saleem Sinai fatefully gets entrapped in.
To remark on the entire travelogue of the protagonist will be against my rectitude, as I would be spiritually spoiling the fecund thirst of the future readers of this masterpiece. Yes, I still stay to the fact that it is an exhilarating and spiritually quizzical episode. Now, to cut it short, and to describe with limitations would only rarefy the intrigue of the prospective and aspiring readers. The language is marvelous, the plot crafty, the dais more spectacular and the execution even more flamboyant which leaves a cinch on the reader as strong as the bigotry of the racist. Saleem Sinai born at the stroke of midnight, when the whole world slept, when India woke to life and freedom, will take you into a surge of ominous circumstances and consequences that changes the destinies of India and his, forever. You get to read through the life of the fatalistic twins of the midnight, Saleem Sinai and India and their life from infancy to the shambles of Emergency period. I like to believe that, had Salman Rushdie waited 20 years more to consolidate his views of my mother country, I would have been dragged away from my incest for this life, this Indian life, and would have vomited the very Indian soul out of my brooding body. He came close to that with this venture. Eagerly waiting for the on screen version of the book directed by Deepa Mehta.
Bifurcations of opinions are inevitable when it is a human mind reading the thoughts of another human mind. The writer, I would say, has not touched upon the very aspect of goodness and faith of India and its people, but has taken the route to sarcasm of its antagonistic forces, but he has hit the right chords and it does not turn bleak at any point of time throughout the read. Read if you want an exciting, blasphemous and provocative read and rather not because you want to mourn the failure of a lethal civilization. - Sree (less)