Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Stories From Life


Life is a big bore; it is dull and dreary; it is agony to be born and living; it is pain and sorrow; it is grief and it is just fun and happiness which makes it dull too.

This will be what my life and your life would look to another. In the midst of frantic living and utter lust for life, resulting in miserable acts of survival in whatever comfortable way possible, we forget the dullness, the dreary insipid or even rollicking flavour our lives may actually have. And if we were to pen our story, be it the autobiography or a novelette based on our life and our experiences- with the real life characters, places and situations we have experienced what a drudgery and endless tedium that will be to the reader. So be the biography of our life, unless it is compiled by a person who has imagination to provide the touches and finishing, polishing a life dull, sad, fun filled or plain bore like they do to the piece of carbon chunk.

Life retold the way it unfolded and in letters will be vapid and bland. It may be exhilarating to you, can be poignant and filled with stoicism to be rubbished. But to the other who is told about, it can be a sempiternal bore and that is much  asking to endure.

I guess that is why some creations in literature are exemplary in quality of read, and feel. An example of disaffection to a story of a real life hero, whose endurance, perseverance and obsessive purpose has no peers, is in my opinion the story of Lance Armstrong.  It’s not about the bike. My journey back to life”, is perhaps a story of his life written by himself or a ghost writer. Armstrong was diagnosed with terminal stage testicular cancer at the young age of twenty one. The cancer had by then matistised to his brain and lungs effectively consigning him to a world of no return. Doctors gave him a month or more to live. It was from that terminal and utterly depreciated hopeless stage that he came back to living and went on to win Seven "Tour de France". You expect the book to provide you much insight into the life of a rare breed of human being. But the book was tasteless in words and narration it was as bland as a cold meat. I express this with all respect to a man who dwarfed an illness that makes you forget about life outside the infirmary.

“God of small things”, of the onetime novelist Arundathi Roy perhaps is more known because of the Booker prize the book was awarded. Certainly it may not be comparable to much other excellence in literature. But, for a person of her age and generation (including myself), born and childhood spent in Kerala, the book must be fascinating. More because, I could relate to many happenings in the milieu of Mallu life in the Kerala of the later part of 1960’s. Else the book, though narrated in good English, may be dull to many.

Whereas J.M.Coetze’s ,”The Master of Petersburg, I felt was a story apart. Though the plot was based on Coetze’s real life and the agony of losing his son, it was adapted with Dostoyevsky as the protagonist. The story was well adapted and set up by the author, that a real life sage and the experience is mesmerising in content.

I have always wondered how a student of law or of medicine can read through and understand the literature in their respective fields. They are dreary! The convoluted and abracadabra of words Greek and Latin in origin that we see in books on medical science is far too fathomless to many. However the power and artistry in managing words and weaving of ideas and messages with them makes "The Emperor of Maladies" , a book of almost five hundred pages a repository of treatise that a lay man can enjoy. Else how a book on the story of cancer could be so powerfully conveyed to lay people like me and many other? Siddartha Mukherji is a new avatar in story telling based on real life.

The purpose of writing this is to express my opinion that our life as it would be retold, or rewound and played for someone from the netherworld, a stranger, friend or foe, or even a Rip van Winkle, would end up as an eternal famine that will be full of ennui and donkey-work.

Perhaps that must be why there is dearth of empathy in the world we live.

17 comments:

Happy Kitten said...

The purpose of writing this is to express my opinion that our life as it would be retold, or rewound and played for someone from the netherworld, a stranger, friend or foe, or even a Rip van Winkle, would end up as an eternal famine that will be full of ennui and donkey-work.

WRONG!

Shilpa Garg said...

I agree with Happy Kitten.
Wouldn't a life story's success (for a reader... interesting or inspiring, moving or insightful) depend on HOW it is told??
I mean you can make a dish bland or exotic with the same ingredients!!

....Petty Witter said...

An interesting take, I always come away from your blog feeling challenged by your thoughts.

BK Chowla, said...

Beautifully written and expressed.You have terrific writing skill

Bikramjit said...

hmmm very well said .. so as ot express your opinion ..

life is full of Everything i must say.

and as the others have said its not what you say its HOW you say that makes all the difference and it can be put to life's situation tooo.

also as individuals we will all have different opinions on our life inspite of all that goes on :)

Bikram's

kavita said...

The way it is told makes all the difference.Now a days I am reading this Hindi writer who writes an online journal.And I am awestruck.The greatest stuff that I have read till now are mostly written in regional languages.

rama said...

I too agree with Happy Kitten and Shilpa Garg.

anilkurup said...

@ Happy Kitten,

I appreciate your position. But care to expand on that please?

@ Shilpa Garg,

You said it SG, exactly so. That was what I wondered too-a insipid or wonderful dish can be made alive or bland. Same with a story of life."How it is told." I agreed with that in examples I mentioned in my post.

@ Petty Witter.

That is good , but what is your take and why?


@ BK Chowla,
I value your comment Sir.

@ Bikramjit,

I wonder if I did not convey the message, the opinion I have in proper. Life is indeed full of everything, but your life , if it must appeal has to be told with élan and flair. Else why must the other sit through a dull or forget- some phase in your life?

@ Kavita,

That agai is what I tried to say. "The way it is told..."


@ Rama,

Would you elaborate and why?

rama said...

What is there to elaborate?
It all depends on the presentation, some write their story so well, with lots of details, that one cannot put down their books even for a minute, we want to read it till the end.Also some of the real stories even though they may not be well presented, they make up for it for being highly inspiring, motivating, and being an eye opener. It also depends on the person reading too, their state of mind too makes all the difference. So although the presentation may not be up to the mark, what they have to say gets full mark, for they might have touched a chord with the person reading it.
Also we have to keep in mind that everybody's likes and dislikes are so different.
Forgive my comment, if I have not understood, what you were trying to say in your blog.

anilkurup said...

@ Rama,
I was expecting a reason too for holding the view opposite.
In fact I wonder if what I tried to say was not conveyed well.

Let me try to put the matter more clear as I could.
What I feel is our lives are great to us. Our sorrows or say what we call good living, uncompromising, sacrificial etc etc and gaiety filed life also. To some their troubles are unique and would say no one has seen through harsher reality. But after a point we get bored of such statements and see that conceited views. don't we?
Perhaps it may be true that the person is factual.
Take the case of Lance Armstrong's book. A poignant story and a life of perseverance. But when retold it was certainly with lot being desired.
You say what I said, "..it all depends upon presentation".So there is no disagreement, I guess.
And only because we have less empathy to others story , that we have empathy wanting in the world.

anilkurup said...

@ Rama,
And
I wonder how I missed this Blog you have, though you were following mine. Now I find I cannot post comment on it as the window that ask for my profile is not opening up.
Now here it is a wonderfully narrated pic of your life. Exactly what I meant , b&w pic is never going to get far , unless the same is made well ( not exaggerated).

I liked the way your Dad's curse came true upon in your life.I'm sure he'd love that too.
A balanced view of marriage , that is what your narration of your experiences conveys.

And your husband must have known the words of Socrates,"My advise to you is to
get married. If you find a good wife you will be happy; if you do not you will become a philosopher."

rama said...

I really don't know what is wrong, I don't even know how to rectify it. I have been getting comments.
Any way thanks for visiting my blog.it is always good to have more friends.

Bikramjit said...

its not you its probably me , who doesnot understand.

Thank you for the reply i will have to go through the post all over again :)

Insignia said...

What is the take-away here? No one wants to sit through and hear a sob story or a happy story unless they have something for themselves to learn, to adopt. I guess its pretty much about life's stories as well. And yeah you can sure tell your sob stories, but blend it with your learning, how you overcame it and whats there to learn from that. So yes it matters for few people like me.

adithyasaravana said...

little confusing after the read and all the comments.
autobiographies are a little bore. So as to say when it runs to pages together.
And there are certainly some nice writing happening in regional languages. I agree with Kavitha in that respect
and Yeah, after sometime we become less bothersome about other person's sorrow and that too while reading in a novel or a biography.
A thousand splendid suns. is one such. though gripping.. the continuous battering by life never keeps it amusing at some point.. OhH. what difficulty next is the question which hangs as we read..
nevertheless it was a good book to read.

anilkurup said...

@ Bikramjit,

It depends upon our perceptions. isn't it? There were a few books of wide acclaim that I have read, but feel silly to comment from the rooftop that I did not understand much.
Perhaps I may have written something in my silly way that left you wondering, what this stupid fellow has been stuffing in his blog.


@ Insignia,

B, I cannot disagree with you. What surprises me in the comments in this post is even some who disagreed with me in their explanation seem to be agreeing. Or have I got their comments misunderstood?

@ Adityasaravnana,

Yea you have a point there. And that is what I meant.

anilkurup said...

@ Bikramjit,

It depends upon our perceptions. isn't it? There were a few books of wide acclaim that I have read, but feel silly to comment from the rooftop that I did not understand much.
Perhaps I may have written something in my silly way that left you wondering, what this stupid fellow has been stuffing in his blog.


@ Insignia,

B, I cannot disagree with you. What surprises me in the comments in this post is even some who disagreed with me in their explanation seem to be agreeing. Or have I got their comments misunderstood?

@ Adityasaravnana,

Yea you have a point there. And that is what I meant.