The Museum of Innocence…or is it???

This is a pretentious review of a book I recently finished reading at the recommendation of a friend. It wasn’t the longest story I ever read. (It sure seemed like it though!!) The Museum of Innocence is the much critically acclaimed work by Orhan Pamuk. The story walks us through the part requitted part unrequited love of the protagonist Kemal. It is set in Istanbul between 1975-1984. It gives the reader a glimpse into the European dreams of the Istanbul bourgeois. Boy meets girl, they fall in love , get married and live happily ever after ?? Uh-huh!! But.. boy meets another girl, a distant relation, while being engaged to the first one, sleeps with her and starts imagining a happily ever after with the both of them!!!! Sounds like a shoddy Bollywood movie?? Except this happens in one of the most revered novels of all times. The plot sounds a little frivolous for a book that has been compared to the likes of Lolita and One Hundred years of solitude. Except The Museum of Innocence is anything but frivolous. To lesser minds like that of yours truly , it may seem more verbose than needed. I can use a lot of adjectives for the plot, but taut will not be one of them. The story starts with the protagonist (Kemal) being in a state of socially accepted eternal bliss. However soon he finds himself finding carnal bliss outside this eternal bliss. He (Kemal) falls in love with making love to a distant cousin of his. She (Fusun) is “only a shopgirl” as opposed to the aristocratic well educated socially adept Sibel who he is engaged to marry. After a month of living in this socially accepted eternal and frowned upon carnal bliss, Fusun disappears from his life for a while. He searches for her frantically only to fail miserably. He converts the place where they used to make love into a shrine of their love and her memories. He starts finding solace in collecting objects touched or used by her and later caressing himself with these. Being surrounded by these gave him a sense of being with her. A concept that continues till the end of the story, earning the book it’s name. Being a part time doctor, your’s truly was bound to ask again and again why he wasn’t taken to a shrink or why instead of chewing on Fusun’s cigarette butts he didn’t resort to good old Prozac. But again there s a time and a place for such questions and a classic such as this one is not it!!! Specially when more important and socially relevant questions such as the virginity and chastity specially with regards to women need to be answered.And if I may take the liberty of using the pop culture lingo here, that’s when he loses it. His well meaning fiancé Sibel tries to nurse him back to health, but doesn’t succeed, only to be dumped at the very restaurant that they frequented while engaged. Dramatic much!!! It gets better !!! He tries to inform Fusun of this profound step he has taken. (A regular non romantic brain like yours truly’s might ask why he didn’t do the same when he first fell for her or why must we glorify a douchebag of such infinite proportions who wanted to have an aristocratic socially adept wife and a smoking sidekick, but we don’t ask such questions from a classic now do we??). He does succeed in finding her. The rest of the book is a saga of his long and unending wait for her heart to open to his in reciprocation. He waits for this long enough to lose track of time. If one takes out the romanticism from this hopelessly romantic story, this might seem like a dark humoured monologue on the Istanbul bourgeois’s obsession with the “character” of women. (Hopefully a shady review like this one will emphasise the importance of revisiting a story, from a mindset belonging roughly to the same era as the protagonist’s ). Thanking you. Yours truly !!!
P.S. Orhan Bey kindly excuse me for this one !!!

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Ghosts , spiders and other things which come creeping in!!!

A vagabond, stuck in the body of a rooted soul. There are parts of me that I hide, from you from everybody.
Even from me.
Am I not proud of them? Not necessarily. Embarrassment ? Shame? Guilt? There is no figuring out what trumps honesty?
Am I a gypsy? Or a ghost of the girl I used to be ?
Who is this woman staring at me? From the mirror where I don’t stay anymore . Have I been trying to be the stuff of lores ? Or was I born to make history ?
Questions I can’t seem to find the answers to. Answers I don’t think I am ready to accept?
There is something awfully funny simmering underneath the dark facade. Facade as it maybe.

Midnight Musings

irony is the mood of the weather
different people, emotions haywire
can i call it hormonally charged ??
probably not
ego, anger, lust, love
call it what you may
does it help you validate
the parts of you that scare you
the reflections in the mirror you pity
would someone come along
and validate those
actually like them
like you for em
or despite em
is that all you are looking for
call it what you may
love is not knocking your door honey
stop fooling yourself!!!!

can i call it hormonally charged ??