Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sparks in a Book

There was not one amongst us who looked forward to being born. We disliked the rigours of existence, the unfulfilled longings, the enshrined injustices of the world, the labyrinths of love, the ignorance of parents, the fact of dying, and the amazing indifference of the Living in the midst of the simple beauties of the universe. We feared the heartlessness of human beings, all of whom are born blind, few of whom ever learn to see.

The Famished Road by Ben Okri.

A Spiritual Guru may take reams of paper or hours of discourse to say something so profound, which a fiction writer has done so simply. Here is another beautiful example:

“D’you know what happens when you hurt people?” Ammu said. “When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.”

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

These kinds of sparks do elevate our spirits. And, they also spur us to dust up the characters idling in our heads and to weave stories around them.

I’ve no illusions that anything I put on the paper will be worth seeing the light of a printing press at least for the next twenty years. By then I hope to acquire some decent skills of being a fiction writer.

But one needs to spell out such grand missions when life seems to be stuck in a black hole.