Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Booker on Us

Ghisingh, the failed novelist and artist, could never draw the injustice in Darjeeling hills on the world canvas. The man had tried writing letters to the UN, which must have been a bit like that loony from South India writing love letters to Priyanka Gandhi some years ago. And if he had employed his inimitable style of writing in English - as displayed in the letter to the Prime Minister in October 2004 - it must not have made past the intern manning the postal desk.
However, by a far-fetched turn of events, if you will, another novelist is set to bring to the world's attention the story of our hills, particularly the Agitation. Certainly, our perception of her work would never have been in the mind of just-declared Booker Prize Winner, Kiran Desai, as she wrote her book Inheritance of Loss. But it was interesting to browse through her book in Oxford some weeks ago and read about the firing in Kalimpong which triggered off the chain of events we all know as Agitation; that there was a story there that the world would be interested in. Of course, the Agitation is only part of the story; as much as it is only part of our reality. Our leaders make it our universe, which is another story, a tragicomedy.

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