Run For Cover!

Here is good and bad news, both in the same package.

Arundhati Roy is to return to fiction writing, 10 years after winning Booker prize with her first novel, The God of Small Things. In an interview, Roy said she would ‘stagnate’ as a writer if she were to continue to publish only non-fiction.

Which means her non-fiction did not exactly set the world on fire. This was expected after her scorching first piece on the nuclear tests appeared. However, it didn’t quite work out that way. From a rude upstart to a nuisance to a minor irritant, and finally to insignificance, Roy’s “non-fiction writings” didn’t fetch her the fame required to constantly remain in the limelight.

Hence the switch, back to her true calling.

She explains her return to fiction candidly:

I also feel very imprisoned by facts, by having to get it right,” she said…

I guess this is a very telling admission of her inability to make a reasoned argument. She’s realized that bulldozing your way through an argument with herculean word-prowess doesn’t make the argument valid. Which is why she views facts as prison-cells. Or perhaps the lady finally has come to her senses after being lampooned at every turn despite the vast umbrella of legitimacy the Outlook magazine tried to provide for her.

Not everybody is endowed with the same talent. I couldn’t for example, for the life of me, analyze issues the way the Acorn does. And that doesn’t make any difference to the kind of person you are. What makes the difference is alarming statements like this one:

I don’t want to be imprisoned by that, or by the morality that is expected of activists. I have never been that pristine person, that role model.

What exactly is she saying here? That she wanted to become an immoral activist? Or that morality is not such a big deal? Or that activism absolves you of the crap you write and do? That as an activist, you are somehow above the mere mortals?

By her own admission, if she’s not really the pristine person, she should never have stepped into activism. Activism of any kind requires strength of character, leading by doing. Which is why it didn’t work out for Roy.

No, wait! I think she’s just used the wrong word; the correct word is unethical or illegal, if you will. For, she probably refers to the flood of criticism she received over the infamous Pachmarhi land grab. Unfortunately for her, the world didn’t simply wink and say, oh, but celebrities are above such cheap nonsense. She should realize that even the Sanjay Dutts and Salman Khans and Tiger killer Pataudis of the world have dung thrown at them albeit for a short period.

The world of fiction should brace itself for the next onslaught Booker-winner: another semi-incestuous book set in Kashmir–better still, set in Empire because the whole Imperial World will be her canvas–drawn right from the penetrative depths of Roy’s ingenious imagination.

This is a really sad day for this blog.

6 comments for “Run For Cover!

  1. Harish Duggirala
    February 19, 2007 at 7:42 PM

    “The Outlook after the rape of that Congress MP”

    Correction there wasn’t even a rape, the daughters weren’t even in India at the time evidently.

  2. Harish Duggirala
    February 19, 2007 at 7:40 PM

    What does she mean when she says that she is returning to fiction, hasn’t she been writing fiction all these years?

    Like that fraud of an article she wrote in The Outlook after the rape of that Congress MP Ehsan Jaffri’s daughters being stripped and burnt alive, this was a master piece of fiction as we all came to know after Balbir Punj’s expose.

  3. Sandeep
    February 19, 2007 at 10:41 AM


    Well said. Comma after “seriously…” Hmmm…let’s see how that sounds: Seriously, Sandeep!

    Eeeps! I’d rather let it be the way it is!

  4. Dee
    February 17, 2007 at 11:47 PM

    I’m not much of a Roy fan. In fact her book – God Of Small Things put me off with all that forced vulgarity.

    BTW, if you put a comma after Seriously then it will sound a whole lot different than you being serious, more like you being caught with your hands in the cookie jar …hehehe…my bad;)

  5. hari
    February 15, 2007 at 10:17 PM

    Return to fiction? 😛

    I thought most of what this woman wrote as an activist would have figured under “Fiction” anyway. 😆

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