Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Remains of the Day

'The Remains of the Day' is an award winning novel by Japanese author Kazuo Ishiguro. It was the very first novel in my life that I started reading. It was in the year 2001 when my elder brother came back home from IIT Guwahati with a B.Tech degree and this very novel from IIT library and asked me to read this novel. Since then it was on my to-read list but owing to my lack of interest in literature, I could never read it. Anyways, of late, I finally read this novel in August this year and since then was on my 'to-write' list and finally, I am writing this.
Being a highly recommended novel by somebody who has read over thousands of novels, there was a very high amount of expectations from this.
It is a story about an english butler of Darlington Hall, Stevens, who, being provoked by his lord Mr. Farraday, goes on a break on a motor trip of England and recalls his past, about his dignity towards duty, about his relationships with his father and amongst many things about his lost love that he cherishes to re-visit in this motor trip of his.
The whole thought of the motor trip came into a reality for Stevens after he recieved a letter from his ex-co-worker Miss Kenton about her married life. Stevens deduced from the letter that she was not very happy with her life of late and could well be thinking of coming back to Darlington Hall. Now, this is completely an interplay of his thoughts and reality. Those days he was facing problems with the shortage of staff at the Hall and was always recalling of his happy days there working with people like Miss Kenton. At such a time getting a letter from her was purely a coincidence but thinking about her coming back was out of sheer human emotions. When you think of something about someone, his or her every action seems like supporting your thoughts. This is what happened with Stevens. He was thinking of getting Miss Kenton back and when he got the letter he quite unknowingly deduced that she was not happy with her marriage and might be considering of coming back.
Well, in the beginning of this novel, I thought it to be a kind of a travelogue that will get us to different places and different expeiences and will tell us all about the things Stevens feels and experiences in his trip. As, slowly and steadily, the story unfolded it turned into many faces. Sometimes it was completely about his earlier lord, sometimes about the post-war politics in Europe, sometimes about the Darlington Hall itself, sometimes about his duty and butlery at the mansion, sometimes about his relationships with his father and sometimes about his clash of ideologies with Miss Kenton, a co-worker. With time it all unfolded into a recall of his lost love with Miss Kenton and the main motto of the car trip came out to be meeting her and taking her back to Darlington Hall. The swift progress of the story from one face to another, in itself, is something that imparts a greatness to the novel.
Apart from the way the story was written and the put of the real human emotions, there were several other things in the story that made it worth reading. One such thing was Stevens recalling many incidences of his life. They all, at the beginning, seemed useless but they very efficiently pointed out many of the aspects of Stevens' character like his loyalty, his punctuality, his responsibility and others.
All in all, I think after a few failed attempts with Chetan Bhagat, I finally got something in English literature that I will cherish long in my life. Once again, I would like to thank my brother for recommending this and I would also like to recommend it to one and all.......................

Monday, September 28, 2009

Apologies Again!!!

Once again, I am starting my post with this ever favourite line of mine!!! Its been a long time since I wrote my last post on Kaminey. Again, I am looking into the reasons behind this long gap and as excuses, this time, I have a lot. Well, there have been two 0r three posts in the drafts stage from a long time but sadly, for most of them I am not even willing to complete. Again, I have excuses for this also.
My blog has mostly been on hindi films as the central issue and since, there has not been any new hindi film after kaminey that worths even watching so writing on them is a long shot. Its been a festive season here but sadly, it has not been that a festive season in bollywood. A few films that are realeased after Kaminey include 'Dil Bole Hadippa', 'Wanted', 'Whats Your Raashi' and others. Dil Bole.... being one of the Yash Raj banner film could have been good for many but looking at the recent trends of that production house I could not gather the courage to go to the movie, and in fact, after 'Tashan', 'Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic' and 'Bachna Ae Haseeno', I had even promised myself that I am not going to watch any movie from Yash Raj's. As far as Wanted is concerned, the reviews have not been so bad but by promos it looked like just another action movie of Salman's, something like Tere Naam. Frankly speaking I don't like Salman much and neither I liked Tere Naam as much that I could go and watch it again; so wanted was out of the reckoning. About 'What's Your....', being a Ashutosh Gowariker's directed film, it arouse a bit of curiosity in me but thinking about it in some detail, it was again out of the list. No doubt, Ashutosh has been a fantastic film maker after making Lagaan, Swadesh and Jodha-Akbar. All these films have something in common, they all are serious movies with something of a new look in them. One more thing that was common was the lenght of all these movies, they are too slow and too long. When looking at Ashutosh from these angles it was hard to believe that he is making a romantic comedy. And now looking at the reviews of the film, it seems he has failed miserably. This movie is again very long with 12 boring songs and for such a movie, wasting that much of time is nowhere a healthy option.
It was about why I could not write anything on hindi films. Then, I had a few drafts on some 'current affairs'. They only remained in the draft stage and are now expected to be in that stage forever since those 'current' affairs are not current any more. First there was the issue of swine flu spread in India then there was the internal crisis in BJP and then there was this austerity issue of congress'. Thanks to the present day media that we have, these were the burning topics in each and every household on each and every channel for the last copule of months or so but presently, this same media forgot all these topics after one or two days for each of them. Finally, I decided to write on the state of media in our country and then I thought there have been already many voices for this and many debates have already taken place on what should be the role of media and hence I decided against raising my voice and adding to already a maximal voice on this very topic.
Lastly, I had decided to write something on 'The Remains of the Day', a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. This was my latest endeavour in the field of English Literature and I admit I liked it very much.I wanted to write something on this but it could not come out. Well, this time I have no any concrete excuse for this and it was out of my sheer laziness that I could not write it. I still hope to write on it someday and hope that day will come soon.............................