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Midnight's Children - Tribute
When reading the historical novels of James Michener, I'd always lament the fact he'd never bothered to write about my Bombay and my India, it was an aching loss, something I wanted to fix in good time, when I indulged in the fantasies of my own prowess as a spinner of tales. What I never really realized was that such a book had been written, only a few years following my birth, and it was a book I'd read too, but never grasped, not in the least. That book I've just finished reading, a second time, and the import of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, is heavy and obvious. Undoubtedly one of the great books of our generation, a brilliant work, acute and impeccable, it is an enthralling bit of literature, written with deep feeling and by an uncommon talent. The narration of the first thirty years or so of India's independence, the hopes that freedom and democracy brought, and the hopelessness that invariably accompanies those ideals are captured with a magical and apocryphal look at historical events, through the eyes of an observer who sees in him reflected his country's birth, adolscence and gawky jump into adulthood. Much water has flowed under the bridge since the novel was first published, the generation hinted at by Saleem Sinai, born of the late seventies and the early eighties, is today's yuppie, the generation of IT services and economic booms that don't reach the masses, the generation of a billion people, an immense teeming mass that is as yet uncertain about what which way to go, of changing city names and dreams of lunar travel, my generation. I've jumped ship, so to speak, and write while sitting in a city a full twelve hours behind the city of my birth, but the ties remain, strong as ever. I've said this before, and say it again, it is pitiful that such an important writer, important both to Indian as well as world literature, a man who has held up the mirrors we gaze our images in, has been treated like a pariah by the country of his birth and that of his fecund fantasy.

"has been treated like a pariah by the country of his birth and that of his fecund fantasy"

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE PRESENT.since the new millenium Mr Rushdie has been to India a few times returning to the city of his birth and the setting of quite a few of his brilliant work. He was quite warmly welcomed except for the few misguided souls found almost in any country.
He even expressed his desire to visit more often signalling that the sordid matters of the past is laid to rest
The Satanic Verses is still under ban, the BBC was not allowed to film Midnight's Children, the Shiv Sena stirred up things about the Moor's Last Sigh, etc.
Things are on the mend yeah, but there still needs work to be done.

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