The reason for this post? After The Hanging and Other Stories by OV Vijayan. Finished it over the course of a packed weekend. From the surreal to the heartbreaking, from allegories to little seeds of thoughts, it was more than just a good read. A good read ensures you enjoy the good while you are reading it. Not after the last page has been turned. A classic like this sticks with you, much after you have finished reading it. It happened with me with Khasakkinte Itihasam, then with Dharmapuranam, and now with After the Hanging...the search is on now for Gurusagaram. If any of you reading this blog regularly (five at the last count) happen to chance upon it, let me know ASAP!
OV Vijayan. This man now firmly occupies the #2 spot in my personal list of ‘Best Indian Writers in English’. If only by virtue of having translated his books himself, and even with that he is leagues ahead of those just out to prove that their vocabulary is as good, if not better than the whites themselves (or that they have a good dictionary/thesaurus). Most are just writing about things we all know and are part of us – making the banal and the commonplace – seem exotic for the white man’s consumption, and the confused rootless generation of today. Not so Vijayan. He wrote, yes, about things here and now and of what could be....but ever in a way so as to give us from here a new perspective, a new way of looking and of thought. Not just through his novels and stories. As an acerbic and unforgiving cartoonist, OV also occupies the #2 spot in my ‘Best Indian Cartoonists’ list.
PS: The #1 spot in the list of ‘Best Indian Writers in English’ was, is and will always be RK Narayan with his ‘Common Man’ brother the #1Indian cartoonist.
PPS: A quick flash back to this, a previous post concerning OV