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Tag: Books

The God of Small Things and the Talkhiyan within it

Being one who has always found solace amid books, I quickly began to recognize that the allure of a memorable book lies not within deceptive and gimmicky plot lines. Rather, such charm and magic will only be found in a story that begs to be understood. The God of Small Things by Arundhathi Roy encompasses that particular charm as it has truly found a niche, deep within my thoughts… Those who know me, will certainly testify to this statement.

…the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably.

Roy narrates the tale of twins, Estha and Rahel, who are marred by their society’s intolerance for the atypical. Estha and Rahel experience the ultimate tragedy – premature loss of innocence. The twins encounter several tragedies, such as the molestation of Estha and the death of their mother, which are inherently the result of their society’s negligence.

By then Esthappen and Rahel had learned that the world had other ways of breaking men. They were already familiar with the smell. Sicksweet. Like old roses on a breeze. (1.39)

Certainly, the loss of innocence is akin to killing a mockingbird, as an innocent child is exposed to the world’s ways of breaking men. Roy brilliantly depicts this tragedy through striking imagery and profound diction. Needless to say, I wholeheartedly recommend The God of Small Things.

Beyond The God of Small Things, I have been deeply moved by its TV adaption, Talkhiyan.

Mere Maazi Ko Andhere Mein Daba Rahne Do
Mera Maazi Meri Zillat Ke Siwa Kuchh bhi Nahin

Express Entertainment, a Pakistani entertainment channel had been home to the weekly series. Adhering to the essential themes and conflicts, writer, Bee Gul and director, Khalid Ahmed, transformed the novel into a Pakistani oriented, Urdu drama. The entire cast awe-insprisingly brought life into Roy’s characters as they efficaciously alluded to prominent motifs within the book – hypocrisy, bitterness and the loss of innocence.  Indeed, Talkhiyan is very unique to typical, run-of-the-mill Pakistani drama serials, which makes this initiative even more remarkable. I encourage my (very limited, but greatly cherished) readers to indulge in the world of The God of Small Things and allow yourself to sense the talkhiyan (Urdu/noun; bitterness) within it.

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If Books Belong to Their Readers

Under the nom de guerre of Rita Skeeter – the infamous and enchantingly nasty journalist of the Daily Prophet, J.K Rowling resurrected the cherished personalities of the Harry Potter series. Upon discovering this news, I immediately rushed to my computer, thrilled to be reunited with my faithful elementary school companions. However, my excitement quickly subsided as it was replaced by disappointment.

You see, I think an author should give their readers a little credit and a little room for their own imagination – which can be achieved by leaving a certain level of vagueness nearing the end of a story. As John Green always suggests, Books Belong to their Readers. Whilst J.K Rowling offered Potterheads an extraordinary saga to relish upon, this latest snippet denies readers a certain sense of freedom. Rowling revisits the world of wizards, painting a vivid image of Harry Potter and Co.’s current state of affairs. Here are some of my findings:

1. The notion, Nothing Gold Can Stay, as proposed by Robert Frost is enforced as the characters of our childhood exhibit signs of aging. Exhibit A: Harry’s hair are reported to be graying.

About to turn 34, there are a couple of threads of silver in the famous Auror’s black hair

Exhibit B: Ron seems to display signs of balding.

In the immediate aftermath of the battle Weasley, whose famous ginger hair appears to be thinning slightly

The evergreen, youthful images of the characters of our childhood are replaced by images  of senility, reminding us of their mortality. Harry Potter won’t be forever, nothing gold can stay.

2. There may have been a Harry-Hermione love affair.

Press reports of the time revealed that as a teenager,  [Hermione] toyed with the young Potter’s affections

It is no secret that Rowling regrets the pairing of Ron and Hermione, preferring Hermione with Harry instead… but one my most favourite part of the series was the oddball couple of Ron and Hermione!

3. Neville Longbottom may have a drinking problem.

Idle gossip suggests that she and her husband, [Neville], both enjoy a little more Ogden’s Old Firewhisky than most of us would expect from custodians of our children

This makes me incredibly uneasy. Let’s just hope that it is merely the suggestion of idle gossips.

Things to consider:

  • The reportings of Harry Potter and co.’s future is done through Rita Skeeter – whose integrity and honesty are very questionable.
  • It can be argued that the series of books belong to J.K Rowling. An author does have the right to revisit her characters or revise the story.
  • The original text of the Harry Potter series stands still. Even if Rowling revisits the Harry Potter clan, it should not affect Potterheads’ relationship and understanding of the series. Besides, if Books Belong to their Readers, in the end, it is up to the readers to decide what they make of the story.
  • The Harry Potter series was my first love affair with literature, so despite all, you are the bomb dot com Ms. J.K Rowling.