animesh kumar

Running water never grows stale. Keep flowing!

The Alchemy of Desire

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book7A writer goes haywire very often especially when he confronts some very difficult time at his personal front. But this “block” doesn’t stop him from plotting the situations around – as if he is writing a novel – he creates characters, shapes them, manicures them, evolves them and while doing so somewhere somehow he too becomes a part of the novel – smugly thinking of himself a nexus sufficient to complement the lacunae of his own world. But he forgets that thinking can activate one’s brain; it can’t make things move. It can shield one from the mortality. But it can’t deny the reality. It can’t incite the motion. And he forgets it very often. A writer is someone who probes into things in order to phrase it. And forgetfulness is a bane to him.

But, there lies the catch. Does he really forget? Or, is it just what he refrains himself to remember. He is selective and very smart at picking up things he needs. Then, why does he fall pray to the universe? I read it somewhere about the art of an unattached living. It said: Live but don’t expect to live. Ironical? Isn’t it? Just put yourself for a second on a boat amid the tempestuous river. Would you just live that rage without expecting to live afterwards? And if you try expecting, which anyhow you can’t cease, would you become less worthy, less spiritual, less human, less “respectable”? I wonder. The universe has weaved a complex world around us where to fathom even a minutest purpose proves to be an enigma. It is not the fault of the universe. This is perhaps what it was designed to do. What lacked is the scarcity of writers who could frame words around the world to make it simpler and probably easier too. The journey of a writer is a difficult one. Because, he knows everything at the same time. He knows what his characters are going to play; how the world is going to progress; how the story is going to end. He knows everything. And this knowledge proves fatal to his progress as he confronts “writers’ block”. A block which is a “black hole” – nothing can peep inside; noting can surmise.

This is exactly what Tarun J. Tejpal has tried to emblem in his debut novel “The Alchemy of Desire” which is a very long story though, but along with its length, it has the hardest effect too.

It is a journey of a book crossing the stairs of love, sex, desire and ambition. A story of a man, whose true métier is nothing but writing and writing and more writing; whose wife is his only oasis; whose love is his only refugee; and whose pen is his only sword. This 518 pages tome promises to take you behind the papers and inkblots of a book depicting the exasperation and desperation of a writer. And guess who might have bestowed his words upon this debutant knock? None other than the Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul who considers it as a first true quintessential of India’s English writing.

Here is a man who loves his wife intensely and loves his writing even more. He finds support in his wife. He starts off. Then some financial hiccups. And then some personal. Until, he realizes that “Love is not the glue between two people, sex is.” And then, “the flawed nature of selfless love: to be charitable only when one’s need if fulfilled.” And he renounces his wife. The refugee lost and the desert awaited, he finds an old diary of a dead woman. And he is again live. There, the journey begins.

Was it wrong? The alchemy might reveal the truth to you provided you dare to persevere up to the end. And His fault? He is a writer. And an escapist too. And above all, He understands his moves. He knows everything and that sucks. Phew!!!

Written by Animesh

July 2, 2005 at 12:08 am

Posted in Books

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