Friday, May 5, 2006
When in India, you can't miss a slum.. slums are an integral part of your life.. you see it everywhere.. you just choose to ignore it.. what does a slum represent? poverty? depression? unhygeinic conditions? uneducated children?.. well, all this..and you realise.. much more!
when does a slum look like a clolorful attractive place? i guess, only in a V.S. Naipaul novel..
thats miguel street for you..
Miguel street is just a slum area in a corner of port of spain, trinidad.. (but somehow, as i read the book..the picture that formed in my mind could have easily been in chennai/bangalore..i dont know what it is that makes me indianize his books.. maybe its because i always thought he was a indian or maybe he does have that "indian author" touch to him.. i would never know.. my mind is prejudiced now!)..
Its just a noisy little street and its really funny! the story is narrated by a little boy who grows up in this street.. he describes the people as he sees them.. he describes incidents as he sees them.. he grows up in miguel street and one fine day finally leaves the place (end of book)..naipaul has the amazing talent of depicting poverty in a colorful and joyful manner.. drunken jobless men, nosy neighbours, bullying husbands...the list just goes on and on..
the narrating boy is highly perspective and has a keen observation and doesnt miss anything tha goes on in this little street..
never once during the book does the poverty and the living conditions affect you in the wrong way.. the residents dont seem to mind it and you forget to mind it..and when you finish the book..all that you can think of is a happy place with happy people..(thought they dont exactly seem too happy!)..
reading this book is a joyful experience!!:)