Almost two decades ago, my father gifted me, ‘The God of Small Things’ written by Arundhati Roy. The book was immensely popular, a copy was peeping out of every prominent window of the bookstores or was happily waving at you from every roadside vendor’s table in the lanes of busy Connaught Place.
I remember reading it on my bus ride to college. And my first impression was this that the book was sad, intense, and bleak. There was too much grieving, sadness, and multiple tragedies. I couldn’t fully understand the significance of love, memories, and unlived childhood. I could not relate to the ‘mistakes’ people commit to get a defeated life.
The whole story was too much to comprehend for my young and ebullient mind. To me, life can never fail us. We are born to win, to be happy and to fulfill our dreams. At the stage of life, where I was standing, there was my whole life to look forward to. I was knocking at the door, I believed would lead me to a life which was full of possibilities, happiness, and sunshine.
The book went to some dusty corner of the storage shelf.
But then the times change, circumstances of life change and our preferences change.
And then we change, in spite of all our refusal.
I couldn’t resist myself from watching ‘Talkhiyaan,’ (meaning bitterness) a Pakistani drama, which is an adaptation of the same novel. I could relate to every layer the author had woven. The rigidities and complexities created a nuanced, intense, uncalm but also a catastrophic account. I couldn’t sleep the night I finished watching it.
The questions, dreams and faded memories clouded my night sky.
While the life full of discontentment and bitterness withers away in front of my eyes, I am still pondering over whether at the end, do we fail life or life fails us?
Image 1: Still from Pakistani drama, Talkhiyaan