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A Suitable Boy- Vikram Seth > A Suitable Boy Parts. 5 - 9

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message 1: by Mathis (last edited Feb 23, 2012 06:15PM) (new)

Mathis Bailey | 57 comments Mod
Discussions on Parts 5 - 9 in this thread.

Please bear in mind,spoilers for this section of the reading may be found within.

message 2: by Mathis (last edited Feb 28, 2012 10:40PM) (new)

Mathis Bailey | 57 comments Mod
This part of the book gets political, which I find quite interesting. However, I think some people would find it a bit boring and drawn out to some extent.

The romantic story spirals into a grim tale about how the people are oppressed by Zamindars ( hereditary landowners); therefore, preventing people to own land and raise out of poverty.
These chapters also introduces a lot of characters. If the author introduces any more I would be forced to break out a pen and To be quite honest, I could do without the lives of Saeeda Bai's backup musicans and their associates. I hope and pray their stories have some substantial value to the storytelling.

However, I'm still enjoying the book. I really don't have any favorite parts in this section as of yet. I cannot wait to see what happens to Lata and Kabir relationship. I also like to know more about Priya, Veena's friend; she seems fed up living with her controling in-laws in such confinement. I wonder if she will ever break-free out of her desolate situation.

message 3: by Mathis (last edited Mar 05, 2012 06:42PM) (new)

Mathis Bailey | 57 comments Mod
I just finished Chapter 7. And at this point, I don‘t think Amit has a thing for Lata. He strikes me as a gay character. For example, his sisters always teases him about not having any interests in girls. Secondly, he enjoys Jane Austen novels. Lastly, he seems very artsy and wordy and debonair. At the end of the day, I think he just enjoys Lata’s company. I also heard that Vikram Seth had used a gay character in his novel “ The Golden Gate” which is written in verses. I starting to think that these ambiguous gay characters are a reflection of himself. Because in this book, Amit is a writer and a poet; therefore, put two and two together.

I wonder if Meenakshi and Arun are They both seem to having an affair with another couple who happens to be their close friends. However, Meena affair seems more obvious. She’s such an insensitive, trollop.

Maan life is a ship-wreck waiting to happen. You wonder is his ship going to sink or weather the storm. He has no goals, no education and no sense of direction. All he wants to do is gallivant, drink, gamble and live off his father's merits. His relationship is on the rocks with Saeeda whom seems like a untrustworthy person.

And Varun is no different from Maan. He needs to build a back-bone and move out, so he could stop taking verbal abuse from Arun.

Ishaq Khan life is a bit boring. His hands are giving him trouble and preventing him to play music. YAWN. Next!

At last, Bhaskar finally found someone to chanllenge him in mathematics , which is Dr. Durrani who speech is jarring with his numerous 'ers'. I wonder what’s going to become of their relationship.

Kedarnath and Veena are having financial problems due to public strikes. Their situation bores me a bit.
I was intrigued that Firoz had a thing for Tasneem. I wonder how that will pan out, given that, Tasneem and Ishaq have a thing going.

My favourite moment by far is when Mrs. Mehra received a shipment of mangoes from Savita, and gorges on them the minute they’d arrived. She's a mess.

message 4: by Terry (new)

Terry Pearce I have some time and sympathy for a number of these characters. Varun and Maan are confused. I think it's hard being a younger brother sometimes. Objectively, they're both idlers, and are wasting themselves to one degree or another, but neither of them have much malice in them, and they're the produce of their circumstances in many ways.

I also have time for Saeeda, given her background. A courtesan is a very difficult life role to get your head around for most of us, I feel. She had no real choice in the matter given how she was brought up, but she seems to be a sensitive soul given all of that, and she genuinely cares for Maan.

I also like Ishaq. I won't say much about him because I'm up to Chapter 9 now and I don't remember what had happened to him at that point, but I feel for him, since a certain scene.

It's never occurred to me that Amit is gay. I'm interested to know why you feel that, if he was, this would reflect the author. Is Vikram Seth gay? I feel that gay and straight authors can write characters whose preferences are both similar and dissimilar to themselves without it necessarily being about themselves, just as men and women should be able to write both sexes.

I'm still loving pretty much every page of this book. I like its slow pace and the time and space it allows for the characters, and the different focuses. I like that we get to see things in different places each chapter, and get to know that chapter's foci a little better. The only characters I dislike are the kind of characters that are needed for spice, that most people love to hate, like Arun and Meena, although hate would probably be too string a word.

message 5: by Mathis (last edited Mar 05, 2012 09:27PM) (new)

Mathis Bailey | 57 comments Mod
Well, I already have given several reasons why I think Amit is gay. If you're not fimilar with Jane Austin novels, she essentially writes about female romances, and not too many straight men are into those type of stories. Another thing that makes me think Amit is gay, is that his parents had given up all hope in him to carry on the family's name, and relying on their second youngest son, Dipankar, to marry. This behavour is common in families with parents when their child is gay. However, I do agree with you that any author could have the ability to create a gay or straight character without it being a reflection of their selves. But I was just stating the possbility that ,Vikram, could be gay. Sometimes authors write from their experiences, and I just see a lot of Vikram in this character, Amit , which I stated before. Finally, homosexuality isn't quite accepted in India and this could have been Vikram's way of living an open life through one of his fictitional chararcters. At the end of the day, Amit probably won't turn out to be gay in the book but I am quite certain there are gay inuendos surrounding his character.

Also following your comment I did some research on Vikram Seth and Gay Rights. And came across the interview below where he came out as a gay man. Here's the link:

message 6: by Terry (new)

Terry Pearce Interesting. Good man; I knew nothing about him as a man, and admired him only as a writer. Now I admire him as a man, too.

Amit could be gay, it's entirely possible, but I don't see it as following from what I've read.

message 7: by Mathis (last edited Mar 06, 2012 10:56AM) (new)

Mathis Bailey | 57 comments Mod
Well, try to dig a little deeper as you read the text. Authors like to leave subtle messages in their work, which aren't always pertaining to the story.

This one of the reasons why I enjoy bookclubs. :)

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