Rohinton Mistry-A Master Craftsman


Hands up, anyone who has ever read a book by this man!

What did you think?

Were you blown away or was it just ‘blah’ ?

I’ve just recently finished ‘A fine balance,’ which is a novel set in 1984, in Mumbai.

Now, I stay away from writing book reviews, and this isn’t really a book review, but I will talk about the book, the author and tell you how wonderful they both are!

The man is a genius and knows how to tell a story! He crafts his characters meticulously from the fertile depths of his observations and imagination. He weaves their lives together like Dina Aunty’s quilt and uses imagery and symbolism to further make his novel into something extraordinary.

I came across Mistry, one Sunday morning, whilst having a coffee with a friend in Costa’s, above Waterstones (A bookstore) I can’t remember which book it was, but I remember being intrigued by his name. I was amused at the Indian-Englishness of it; after all, Rohinton sounds a lot like, Rohit, Rohin and Remington, all rolled into one. Anyway, I didn’t have enough money to spare for the book so I left it, thinking I’d look him up when I was back in India, where books are considerably cheaper!

A few days before my flight, I came across him again, in an Oxfam Bookshop. There were 3 copies of the same book, ‘A fine balance’ and I knew I had to pick one up; price was not the issue this time.

And he did it, he had me hooked and reeled me in with his very first line, “The morning express bloated with passengers slowed to a crawl, then lurched forward, as though to resume full speed. The train’s brief deception jolted its riders…”

The book has the quality of grimness paired with light…It’s funny, hopeful but oh, so tragic! I’m not sure how that’s even possible! The man’s a genius!

I have learnt so much from reading this 613 page book, which I devoured quickly and without chewing, that I feel that Mistry must be called my unofficial mentor, from now on. Lahiri and I on a par, I’d say. (I’m not being facetious!) But Rohinton Mistry is on another level entirely! There is so much depth in every single page, with the actual harrowing happenings of the time painted clearly in neat meaningful brush strokes; so much raw emotion without the need for frivolous sentimentality that I just feel humbled to have discovered a great, from whom I could learn so much. This is an important novel in so many sad ways that I feel an injustice has been done to the man who has been nominated for the ‘Booker’ 3 times. Why haven’t I seen or heard of him before?!

I suppose being a writer can also mean being invisible. But for me, right now, he is a shining beacon of brilliance. I bow to you, Rohinton Mistry…You are my guru, my guide through this journey of mine. And unlike Bal Baba, I know you can show me the way!

rohinton mistry

On Being Freshly Pressed!


Well first of all, Thank you WordPress! What an unexpected surprise on a dull Hyderabadi morning.

Secondly, HELLO!

If you’ve found me on ‘freshly pressed,’ WELCOME! I’m looking forward to checking out your blogs as soon as I can get around to it.

To all my early followers and friends, thank you, too. But a quieter whisper of a ‘thank you,’ for you; the kind that needs only a look as between a father and a daughter on her wedding day, because you know me best.

And to the people who really, really know me best; my actual father and my husband; two men who always said I should write a book, a different ‘thank you’. My father said I would do great things. My husband  says I should get off my backside and get on with doing great things. It was my husband who convinced me to start blogging, and look where that’s getting me.  Thank you, although I know that it is not needed or asked for.

The thing is, I feel like I’m growing up as a writer slowly, coming of age, coming into my own. Being ‘Freshly Pressed’ was a mental landmark I hoped someday to achieve, but never actually believed I could get there.

Again, it’s renewed my fervour, reaffirmed my self-belief, made me say to myself, ‘if hundreds of people around the world like my writing on this, small yet perfectly formed platform, known as WordPress, then maybe I can be a writer who will be published one day.

If I’m honest, to be a published writer is what I’ve always wanted, but you know how it is! You actually have to go out and get a real job because you live in the real world, with real bills and real children to feed and clothe. And so, while I almost started, I never really got off the ground. I was too scared to fail so I didn’t give it my best shot. So while I was ‘dithering ’ Life happened and suddenly I was teacher, teaching and loving it. I’m not sure if I was amazing, but I put my all into it and convinced myself that this was my calling. I’m still passionate about it, but more as a social inequality issue. There are too many people in the world who do not have access to good quality education and I hope to address that somehow.

However, today, I am a writer, at least I’m turning into one. I’m a little like the Ugly Duckling; someday I’ll be that ivory swan I see swimming with unspeakable grace upon a clear, glassy lake.  One day, I’ll be able to soar in a cloudless sky, with the rest of the world below me, watching as they hold their breath and wonder at my beauty and skill.

But for now, at this very moment, I’m thankful and humbled by all my readers and followers. I’m  thankful to WordPress for such a clean and shiny platform on which to display my work and I’m grateful to the God of Opportunity and Time for these moments in which to think and write.

Image

from Google Images

 

 

Thank you


I’m not writing anything of any value. I’m not saying anything new, and yet, I’ve got followers and likes. I’m humbled by the few that follow me and I am sincerely grateful if you have left a comment. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you…your support, even if it’s with the click on the ‘like’ button means everything to me, the aspiring writer.

I’m posting exactly the same thing on my short story blog as well, if you click on the ‘My short stories’ link on the left. So thank you if you follow both blogs. You are wonderful, generous people who make me smile everytime you take the time to stop by. 🙂

Devjani.x