Story of a lost journalist

August 25, 2011

Brothers Karamazov and Ajayan Sir

Filed under: Books,Personal — Cris @ 00:30

“Where are you?” Ajayan Sir, in his long jubba and trying-to-look-serious eyes peering above his specs, would ask every morning when we meet in office. I smile and reply “Alyosha had a long talk with Ivan.”

Ajayan Sir’s eyes would lose all the seriousness it mustered and brighten up. “What a scene! And Dmitry… what a character don’t you think?”

Yes I do.

It was one of the most wonderful gifts I got. Brothers Karamazov. Ajayan Sir, who kept showering praises on the book and rebuked me for not having read it, one day placed it on my hands. I first gathered he was lending it. But then he said he bought a copy to gift me. But alas if I were half as expressive as Dostoyevsky I could have told him what it meant to me. And what it meant to be talking about it everyday. He’d tell me “I ask my daughter the same question. Where are you? And her mother has no idea what we are talking about.”

The book took me into it for all the three long weeks I have been with it. This is the problem with big novels and storylines. We are in the midst of it for so long it is difficult to fathom we are not anymore. I can still feel surrounded by the Karamazov brothers on all sides, different scenes flashing across my eyes… the crazy and funny father running around, making a mess of everything… the innocent but violent Mitya, the indifferent but thoughtful Ivan, the all too angelic (too good for my taste) Alyosha…. And the other characters. I was disappointed with both the women characters – Grushenka and Katya. They were represented as strong characters but I could not see any character in either of them. Sad. My liking for a book – biased as it may be – depends a whole lot on women characters. But here, the women though play a vital role did not somehow come into the crust. Even Smerdyakov (I never thought I will get his spelling right) – the man servant at the father’s house has a stronger impact in fewer scenes. And Ilyosha… oh dear, when Ajayan Sir said it made him cry, I had no clue. But little Ilyosha, his miserable dad and mom and sisters and all those boys… gloom!

Well I didn’t plan to write anything on the book except that the whole thing was special to me. It being gifted most unexpectedly, the three weeks of reading it, the inevitable discussions next morning… I will remember this book forever for more reason than one.

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7 Comments »

  1. The only way to read Dostoyevsky is to buy two strips of anti-depressants before starting on it. His early works are even darker. For his first novel Poor People one needs four strips of anti-depressants

    Comment by Madhavankutty Pillai — August 27, 2011 @ 00:04 | Reply

    • @Madhavankutty: really? I was involved, but not so depressed, at least not throughout. Maybe I will be when I read him more, which kind Ajayan Sir has promised will happen 🙂

      Comment by Cris — August 30, 2011 @ 15:33 | Reply

      • Well, the depression was euphemism; just a slightest of exaggeration; creative liberty on my part 🙂 His characters never find happiness. Some find a measure of peace after touching the depths of suffering but that’s about it. Mr Dostoyevsky was an intensely unhappy man, bedevilled by many demons and then, to turn some more of his bolts loose, they put him before a firing squad before letting him go at the last minute

        Comment by Madhavankutty Pillai — August 31, 2011 @ 22:59

    • Hahaa, Dostoyevsky isn’t half as depressing as Sartre. Check out the Age of Reason by him and have Prozac ready for every turn of the page.

      Comment by Nihaal — December 26, 2011 @ 13:27 | Reply

  2. the reading experience – well expressed. and nothing like living in a fictional world in tandem with the real world we live in. the thought of the fictional world waiting for you at the end of the day, or whenever you get time – – it ‘s a beautiful experience.
    like Mahavikutty Pilai sai, some of this world can be terribly depressing – dostovsky(i’ve read only his C &P), solshenityn to mention a couple. yet once you ener the world, it becomes irresistable.

    Comment by kochuvettKochuthresiamma p j — August 29, 2011 @ 18:50 | Reply

    • @KT: I know, especially the depressing part is inevitable.. But yes the thought of the fic world waiting at the end of the day is lovely 🙂

      Comment by Cris — August 30, 2011 @ 15:32 | Reply

  3. 🙂 well written..

    Comment by Javed Miandad — December 23, 2011 @ 07:21 | Reply


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