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Category: Writing


Ariza | 31 July 2006, 6:42pm

I am reading a novel where this guy goes back to the place he feels most connected to after many years. This led me to thinking about the places I would like to go back to and my right to claim to these times. I'll write about that later. I asked one of my friend where he would like to be. He told me of his college times in New Delhi.

Sometimes I doubt the power of words and just when I begin to loose faith in them a friend like this appears and reconstructs a world i could never have any right to be in for me. At these times I like to step out of myself and accompany the story and live it with the narration. I wonder what claim do great writers have when such seemingly ordinary people can tell stories so well. Then I begin to feel better and carry the flavour of these words with me for days together.

What my friend doesnt believe is in HIS power of words. I have asked him to write many times but he refuses. "Are you mad! Who would want to read it!" May be he is right but I tell him to write for me, for days when I just want to cuddle up to a story. He calls me a parasite. I told him that there are times when my stories are sufficient for me but then there are times when I dont want to hear about my city, my life or my his-story. Then I want to hear of places and stories other than these.

I cant tell his stories and he asks me to. But believe me he tells them well. He knows who he is.

" I cant put it any more sincerely."

Current Mood: Cheerful
Current Music: Omkara

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The city and the Story

Ariza | 22 July 2006, 7:28am

I am reading Daniel Defoe's Journal of the plague Year this week. It tells the story of the plague that ravaged London in 1666. As Defoe creates the slow progress of the plague through the city I found the narrative interrupted by repeated mention of the localities affected. I could see Defoe sitting down patiently with the map and taking care, plotting and mentioning the progress in his growing manuscript. But why? Wasn't he clear that he was writing a fictional account? More importantly what purpose did it serve but clutter the narrative with unnecessary names?

Even in the narrative of Dickens we find London interrupting, in Dostoevsky Petersburg is mapped out as we follow the characters through the city. I am also told that in James Joyce's Ulysses the character Leopold Bloom follows a path that has since been made famous as some sought of a Bloom's line. Obviously these writers took a lot of pain to put these references into their story lines. But why?  Sometimes these innocuous references become famous like with 221b Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes or the 9 3/4th platform of the Harry Potter books. Even those are firm settings in a story which although non-existent are more than fictional. Think of Hardy in Wessex, Faulkner in Yoknapatawpha and so on and on. This is not just limited to Books. New York forms a character in many movies, Los Angles, Paris and London for others. But this is especially clear in the movies of someone like Woody Allen in which New-York comes out like a canvas on the background of which stories are told. He did this with his recent Match Point where, for a change, he uses London.

I can think of the people living in London now reading the Journal. I could imagine myself to be one of them and living in one of the localities that Defoe mentions where there is a mass grave with hundreds of people buried in it. It can bring history alive, when you know that the ground you stand on is littered with it. That explains Defoe. Then there is the argument for narrative necessity where the author finds it easy to create the image of a character for a reader by telling him where he lives, how he travels, where he works. This is as much a need as describing what he feels. That most of his readers might not live in the city of his story doesn

Current Mood: Feeling Better
Current Music: Les Fuiles Mortes

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Two women

Ariza | 5 July 2006, 11:36pm

Arun always had a problem dealing with women. As a child, he grew up hearing so little of his father and so much of his mother that for years he believed that women's freedom was a satiric term. His mother was the only one with a job in the household, and she was also the one who had to take care of her children to which her husband didnt help by making sure that she had a child every year for the first five years of her marriage. Somehow Arun came at the end of a long line of four sisters so that his mother came to love him more just because his birth made sure that her husband didnt want to try for a boy anymore. But that was the only place where she gave in and hence to Arun his father became a peripheral figure in his life: a man who hung around his house for some strange reason. His mother taught him to respect his father by an argument that was pure logic:< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


"He is the reason you are here. He was the only one who wanted you born."


Arun grew up with something more than respect for women. He watched each one of his sisters struggle with their youth. Each one that blossomed became even more attractive than the last and so his mother had to deal with a long list of suitors along with them. He saw his sisters return with tears in their eyes from the comments they heard from these men who had a funny way of confessing their love. He then saw his mother admonishing each girl and training them to carry themselves among a world of men. Soon each of these sisters came back educated in the choicest of curse words and he saw them use it with class. He learnt these words with the same urgency of purpose that he saw in his sisters. One suitor put this vocabulary in perspective:


"With sisters who can cuss like that, who's gonna bully that kid!"


He also learned about loss from the women in house. From the time he was fourteen he saw each one of his sisters marry and go away. Of course they never went very far as they all settled down in the same town, but they were all allowed to pick their grooms and they all made their families with the same earnestness that they had seen their mother work with; so that Arun saw that they were never the same after the wedding. A certain backward checking glance on a talkative husband or a mischievous child always accompanied them wherever they went. Arun learnt first hand how the demands of love can grow inside a marriage and he saw his sisters slip away into their families until he was left alone with his non-existent father and his demanding mother. Somehow the exit of her daughters made her demand more out of Arun until he was sure she knew what he dreamed about. She confirmed this one day when after seeing his soft step and careful manner around her she told him:


"Dont worry. I am not dying so soon."


Arun stood shocked in the centre of the room because he had dreamed of his mothers death and had woken up with the sense of loss still raw in him.


It was against this backdrop and at the most inopportune of moments that Arun had fallen in love. 

Current Mood: Lovestruck
Current Music: Madonna

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Ariza | 31 May 2006, 8:06pm

We are all lonely. which of these applies to you.

by Charlotte Bront

Current Mood: Sad
Current Music: None

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