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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh mi Gosh I am an Intellectual (OMG)

In 1967, I graduated from Government Victoria College.

As Field Marshal Manekshaw said , at that time too a queer was a person who read Tennyson, when all your roommates were out playing football or basketball or roaming outside..

I was a semi-queer in those days.

I played soccer football reasonably well and also read, not necessarily Tennyson.

That is why I was surprised by Professor M.K. Sanu's article on this week's Mathrubhumi on Albert Camus. OMG , is it possible that a renowned literary person is discovering (or rediscovering?) an author whom atleast a few of my generation was familiar with almost forty years ago? Is it possible that the pain of existence, the nostalgia, the eagerness to return back to the womb, that were the dominant themes of those days is coming back again? Is the succeeding (or preceding?) article on M.P.Narayana Pillai an omen ? Are we to be tried again in the the Court of George the VI ? Are we Ramus getting back to the Big world of Small men? Who will be the Guruji who will help us maintain our sanity?

I must have read La Stranger, La Chute, Rebel, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus and other Stories, etc by 1972-73 and liked them so much. And I do not know French. I do not know Mr.Sanu either, personaly. But I used to know the late Professor Guptan Nair who was in the Malayalam Faculty at Victoria. Years later, I read a comment by him on Arundhathi Roy's book 'God of Small Things" It was about a reference to EMS. It was crystal clear that he had not read the book when he made the comment. Gods do have feet of clay some of the times at least.

To keep yourselves in the 'intellectual forefront 'must be quite taxing.

And that brings me to the 'Response" of Ms.Geetha to Ms.Devika of Trivandrum in Mathrubhumi weekly. I am not joining issue as I have not read Ms. Devika's article. But Geetha writes Malayalam as it should be written. Like Churchill said: 'short words are best; short words when old are the best of all'. Most of our Malayalam literature critics thinks in English and translate into Malayalam and makes a mess of both languages.

My mother was expressing a desire to re- read Mrs.Henri Wood's "East Lynne" for over three, four decades. It was out of print. My father used to say that it is a third rate sentimental novel. Finally. I got her a copy a few years ago. She must have re-read it. She did not mention about the novel again till her death. I have the book with me now. I have not attempted to read it. Nor will I.

Some places or times are not worth revisiting. An apprehension about likely disappointment can be quite daunting.

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