When Vinod Mehta returned to India, he was 27 and with his modest savings quickly running out, he was expected to soon make a honest living instead of living off his long-suffering parents. His long hair, kurta-pyjama and broken English ensured that his first job after returning from Britain was that of an advertising copywriter in Bombay. He was a dreadful copywriter, but his first book “Bombay: A private View” was not as big a flop as he had expected. Not surprisingly, he started having delusions of grandiosity.

 The illicit happiness of  other people

Thoma is glad that he is not a woman, because unlike his elder brother Unni, he does not know how to decipher clues. He knows that if he were a woman, he would have spent his whole life missing all the insults hurled at him by other women. To people who do not know how to decipher clues, there is an aspect of reality that is incomprehensible-an aspect of reality that involves people. In this novel too, we see how people think and rationalize—the words they use, and the tactics they employ to “get their way”—to pull down their betters. Thoma’s father Ousep trusts the editor who asks him to reveal his sources in the name of “journalistic tradition”. He is convinced that his father-in-law was mesmerized by his prose. He is surprised when he suddenly finds himself unemployable. Introspection often fails the cognitive elite. Ousep also wonders how humiliating the honest compassion of fools is. But then, Introspection fails everyone else too.

 

Do hang on for my next post, which would decipher my need to write and the urgency to be read. Insightful it is going to be, to be brimful about it. 

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