Sunday, May 01, 2005

To sundays

Had a pleasantly slow start today. Got up and out of bed at 10:00am, went downtown for my weekly supplies- bean cans and the rest(my love of rajma is really standing me in v good stead here) , then just strolled into the Borders book shop. after a long time. An hour's window shopping there, which was good fun. Read through portions of 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X'. Have to read that one from beginning to end sometime.

Slj is reading 'A bend in the river' by Naipaul. Was discussing Naipaul with her over the phone today, and I think I will go to the library today to get some of his books.

First time I tried to read Naipaul was at REC, and it did not work out too well. I just couldn't stand all the anti-India talk. I could stand it a lot better in Pune. He was a pleasant antidote to the sugary Darlymple. Read Darlymple and Naipaul on India, and you will think they are talking about entirely different countries. India is the elephant and these two guys are the blind men of the parable.

I am not surprised Darlymple is excited by India, because he is a historian, and that is something Naipaul definitely is not. He does not even try. He just gets off the bus, catalogues all the things that don't work, and takes the next bus to another new place. He has no patience for any sort of historical diagnosis of how things came to be that way. So if there is a chance things will change in the future, he never has a clue. That is why many of his 70s and 80s books on India seem so dated now. But still he is a good read, for his sharp eye and acerbic tongue, and his eye for flaws. I doubt he is ever happy with his wife's cooking. She must either be putting too much salt all the time, or too little.