- Dr.Pragya Suman
Excerpts from the book in process
I have not decided on the caption of my forthcoming book. Most of it has been written in a reflexive mood. In Marquez's words, don’t write about what has not happened to you. I am not sure I have thoroughly followed it, but somehow they are linked. Most of them are in fragments, and I am trying to bind them in the thread. Following are pieces from the chapter in which British India is sketched, just a few lines-
As the six years of exhausted second world war converted the Britishers into a sucked-out sail, the lantern of the British Empire in India was dimming down. Father saw the last edge of the British Raj. He was merely nine years old while stepping into post-colonial India. Kafka was not alive in the twilight of the Empire, he had left a mundane melancholic house for the heavenly abode, but his vermins—he left behind were wiggling—hidden from the world’s eyes.
Heavenly is a conjecture, don’t certify it, one of his vermin told with a scratching sound; I saw him skittering beneath my writing desk. For a brief moment, I put down my fountain pen and started to draw a hybrid pyramid, which I learnt after visualizing in my SocialStudies book. It was a population pyramid chart illustrated graphically. I molded it in the tone of the Indians living in the claws of the colonial regime. India was white and brown. A hybrid hue smelt the country and clayed India in segments. The upper component was pointed and white, the middle part was brown, and the lowest one was brownish black. The uppers were not pure white, as some browns succeeded in infiltering there; they weaved the cordial adjustment. Their foods, clothes and lifestyle got entirely westernized. Eggs, porridge, forks, knives, fluent English and Henry Pool& Co suits, they knew the effects of superficial sketches of symbolism. They metamorphosed more quickly than awakened Kafka at the bed and shunned all these symbols at once after hearing the ebbing tides of the colonial regime. Dhoti, Kurta, Achkan and Sherwani replaced western wearing to be a democratic king in post-colonial India; it was essential, at first, to fish out the symbols of the oppressed clothing items. After clothing comes the imitation of the meal. The middle-class and educated Indians looked towards these elite creatures in a mesmerized mood, but for the Indians living in penury, they hardly mattered.
the tribulations of being a slave,
in the British autoclave.