You should not have written an autobiography of 600+ pages. That’s insane. How are we, the poor readers supposed to read it all? Yes, your life was happening, and you had a lot to write about – but gosh – 600 + pages?
I won’t blame you. I really shouldn’t. You were dumped into prisons (by the way I really hated it every time you referred to a prison as a ‘gaol’) so many times and so you decided to finally write a book on yourself. And then you wrote and you wrote. I am sure that if you had written only about yourself, you would never have been able to commit the sin of producing such a thickly-vickly book. In spite of your book being titled “An Autobiography”, it is quite clear to me now that it was only half an autobiography – because half the time, you simply talked about the Indian struggle for Independence from your eyes! You wrote about it crisply and it made for a nice reading – I am not denying any of that. In fact I am happy that I managed to read more than half of your book. But now, I really feel like giving up.
You have been talking about this struggle since quite some time and now it seems to be a never ending affair. There’s hardly any trace of a climax! I mean, if I hadn’t known for a fact that India indeed attained freedom after about fifteen years of your completing the book, I would have simply assumed that this country could never ever get any freedom! What a prolonged struggle – and you already wrote so much about it, fifteen years before the final aim was realized! God knows what proportion your book would have taken had you written the same after becoming the first PM of free India and all that. God only knows!
I might sound like a bastard for saying this – but after these 350+ pages that I have consumed, I really don’t feel like going back to history anymore – through your words. I no more want to witness the day to day struggle that took place, the Martial Law, the Civil Disobedience Movement, the horrors of Naini Prison, the problems of Indian peasantry, and on and on. You guys really put your heart and soul into public service – that’s great and all. But can’t I just be happy to know few names from history, call them great, thank them half-heartedly for their efforts, and then forget about it all? Can’t I simply ignore that so much of shit had to be faced before the Brits could be kicked out of the country? I really might sound like a bastard you know, but I must tell you this – you really have exhausted me. You have exhausted me to such an extent Nehru that I feel like screaming out for everyone to hear this – I don’t give a damn to how India became free!
The whatever little I had picked up in school history text books – wasn’t that enough? Text books are written so matter of factly you know, that events look like series of definite steps. First this happened, then that, then blah and bingo – after few chapters – India became free! It was so sweet and simple to have lived with that kinda hidden reality. Why did you so totally change the way I had looked at the Indian history Nehru? Why did you do this?
I won’t blame you. I really shouldn’t. But I thought that I would let you know that I have decided to give myself a break for sometime. I need a change.
Do you know which book I picked up from the Oxford Bookstore today? Actually I picked up two books – 1. Between the Assassinations – by Adiga and 2. The Avadh Punch – Wit and Humor in Colonial North India – by Mushirul Hassan. Although I was interested in finding out how Adaga writes (ever since Bisnupriya told me that he wrote like me) I really didn’t want to pick up that Tiger book that got the hooker prize and all that. I mean every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be reading that Tiger book you know. It feels so pukish to buy a book simply because it got some intellectual award! I am sure that half of them who bought the Tiger book after the prize was announced, didn’t even read the book. Anyway, to each his own. At least Bisnupriya read it – that’s good enough.
Oh yeah, before I forget – happy new year! Jai Hind!