Saturday, December 04, 2004

Miller !

Few books have stirred a ferment in my head like Tropic of Cancer. Living in a middle class south Indian society for 26 years is enough to put a thick shell of righteousness around you, and it's not easy not to squirm, when the words "cunt" and "woman" are used interchangeably! But after the first dozen pages had shocked and chased away the prude in me, reading the book was an experience I've never known before, and one that I can never forget. I remembered a quote by Emerson that I read on the very first page of the book "... if only a man knew how to choose among what he calls his experience that which is really his experience, and how to record truth truly". And Miller has done it so extra-ordinarily. The awareness of all the moral,ethical and social tensions that chain me down, progressively became real and tangible. And it's a funny feeling that followed, a medley of happy and depressing thoughts. Happiness in the enlightenment. Depression in the awareness of the chains. Stifling chains. Living, clawing, cajoling chains. All the while etching on the fabric of your brain, till you can no longer remember the time when there were no chains. Replacing the fundamental realities with useless crusades. Killing your appetites and planting perversions in their place. Puke!

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