Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sacred Games

Below is a post of mine in one of the orkut communities in a thread related to Sacred games. I had initially of thought of writing this directly on my blog but thought it will be better to put it in discussion.

I have just started reading "Sacred Games" and it has been amazing till now. The central characters of the book, Ganesh Gaitonde (an underworld don) and Sartaj Singh(a police inspector) are very interesting. A distinctive point about the style is the use of Indian languages, especially local slangs, without hindrances like italics, footnotes etc. This adds an extra punch to the narrative.You can read more about the book including reviews here[http://sacredgames.typepad.com].
There's another point I’d like to raise in concern with the book, which I would like to generalize to any work of function.There is a context in the book, where a police officer(Sartaj Singh) is searching a woman's house, trying to seek out some clues as well as her black money. Here author writes and I quote,"...Hema Malini and Meena Kumari and a half-dozen other heroines had been caught with cash in their loos."
I am not in any way concerned about Meena Kumari or for that matter any heroine's image albeit I did try to verify this, at which I was unsuccessful.
The point I'd like to make is does fiction writing give the author a free hand to disparage any celebrated figure, living or dead. Also has writing something sensational or something outrightly deriding become an easy way to publicize your work. This second part doesn't concern "Sacred Games" because it was published way back in 2006,and I don't think Vikram Chandra had any such intentions.
I personally take a lot of pride in calling myself a libertarian but I do feel use of such techniques like unnecessarily maligning somebody,a little repulsive.Any thoughts on this?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The reality across the street

One of the major things I miss from my college is a group of art(read bakar) enthusiasts with whom I could discuss those sudden bolts of lightening which came while reading a good work of fiction or say a wonderful movie which I had just seen or may be plain politics. You could always reason out saying that with web 2.0 I could always use my blog or the orkut communities to discuss with like minded people,still nothing can substitute could those wonderful discussions over a single suttah.Besides I can't see myself churning out posts over every single flashes that come up with the fad of the writing skills that I possess.

So while I was reading,Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games it occurred to me with the kind of cocoon I am ensconced in, my only sources of information being the incestuous media and works of fiction /non-fiction which are spurned out of some years of ground research;I may never the know the current reality on the other side of the street,unless I accidentally happen to cross it.