Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jhumpa Lahiri

After badgering myself for past 12 hours about being a lazy-bone,  I am writing this blog. I didn't even peeped here for sometime, didn't even wanted to cause my reading habits have started over shadowing my writing ones. I've become obsessed with reading now a days. I am turning into this online reading junkie who cannot have enough of it. My eyes are straining  like hell and I am spending half of my salary either on books or eye drops. I am writing about this particular one because I've to get this book out of my system. I read Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth almost two months back and I am still stuck with it like a teenager's first love. I've read all her novels, needless to say how much I love her writing. I just cannot get her narration out of my head. It's addictive & simple & profounding, like watching porn as a kid and not been able to get it out of head. I went to Turtle Cafe, few months ago, bought this book and read the last story right away. I know Ms Lahiri's writing is evidently about Bengali Diaspora. The little nuances of her writing creates a kind of belonging one gets from being at peace with oneself. She paints such a beautiful pictures with her words that it stays with you for long, almost like it happened in your life. I felt this same ache when I read Interpreters of Maladies. She ignited the same emotion with The Namesake. She has done it all over again with this one. I started this book from the last story 'Hema And Kaushik'. I have not read it after that one time, I didn't dare to because it was too poignant. Such was her storytelling. It is a masterpiece. Other day I  watched 'The Namesake' again, I'd the most intense & profounding cinematic experience. If Jhumpa Lahiri is a genius, so is Mira Nair.

Excerpts from the book:

Unaccustomed Earth

"He owned an expensive camera that required thought before you pressed the shutter, and I quickly became his favorite subject, round-faced, missing teeth, my thick bangs in need of a trim. They are still the pictures of myself I like best, for they convey that confidence of youth I no longer possess, especially in front of a camera." 

The Third and Final Continent from Interpreters of Maladies.

I wanted somehow to explain this to Mrs. Croft, who was still scrutinizing Mala from top to toe with what seemed to be placid disdain. I wondered if Mrs. Croft had ever seen a woman in a sari, with a dot painted on her forehead and bracelets stacked on her wrists. I wondered what she would object to. I wondered if she could see the red dye still vivid on Mala's feet, all but obscured by the bottom edge of her sari. At last Mrs. Croft declared, with the equal measures of disbelief and delight I knew well:
"She is a perfect lady!"
Now it was I who laughed. I did so quietly, and Mrs. Croft did not hear me. But Mala had heard, and, for the first time, we looked at each other and smiled.