How different things become with the first hint of sunlight – a sunlight I generously hate with all my hatred most days, but waited for in the darkness of my room at 5am last night. I’d open my eyes every few minutes expecting to see a young boy of 17 calmly smiling at me or an older man of gray hairs who created him. Manu Joseph’s Illicit Happiness and his Unni Chacko gave me the creeps. And I loved it :-).
Serious Men was not quite my type. I read it when Sabin lent it to me last year. That one was green cover, this one was yellow. That’s what I first thought when I saw the new book on Manu’s wall. A friend then flipkarts it to me and I start reading it just like that. I am turning pages, I am taking a pencil to write to Manu on the thin sides what I thought of when I read. This was not at all Serious Men. This was mystery without drama and humor without effort and emotion without mush and literature without ten-letter words. My type oh yea. I could sink in so easily. No wonder it started getting creepy when more and more of Unni Chacko came out. That’s who Manu is writing about, a boy called Unni that his father tries to find out about.
There are no ghosts about. There really isn’t room for grief when the big tragedy has been set in the first pages. But that doesn’t make anything less close. The one I liked most is Mariamma Chacko, Unni’s mother. I wouldn’t want to describe any of the characters – Unni’s little bro Thoma or next door girl Mythily or his friends. So emm, this is no review. I was just happy I could be within a book so easily. Feels nice, thanks Manu :-).
I am going to write crudely, about this whole crude business. Crude is not in fact the right word, but since all the other words are too crude for me, I will use crude. Which is exactly what I am about to write. There’s been a lot of -shall we say, disapproval -at my reluctance to use ‘crude’ words. I argue it is only that I have a certain way with words, like they do. But that doesn’t win me any brownie points. It appears, not ready to use these words shows immaturity. As apparently even 12 year olds can do that.
I think I am just a victim of changing times. When I was young, we grew up a certain way, with a certain restraint. And I am quite happy this way. Also don’t have a problem accepting the younger folk with their younger ways.
Another ‘change’ I have noticed is the way people, mm, guys approach me. It used to be subtle suggestions of a crush, a humble marriage proposal. There was never any, mm, (crude is hard!) ‘flings’, no ‘friends with benefits’, nothing more than maybe an eye to eye or at best a hand to hand. Time has unfortunately not changed for me, so each time the newer breed of ‘proposals’ come my way, I squirm.
I wonder then if it’s just time or if it’s me. Being single gives a message being available. I wouldn’t however say the changing times have done our guys bad, no. They are quite gentlemanly, never in the slightest exploiting someone at a disadvantage. They only find it hard to believe there are people like me. I have even ended up becoming study material for a curious student of psychology trying to ‘understand’ me!
Well well… there, that was crudely crude :D.