Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Nirmal Verma passes away...


I always have believed that you should only read Nirmal Verma only when you can handle it...the kind of sadness and loneliness that suddenly comes,creeps up and then envelopes you after reading his work is just indescribable.
Grown up on hindi literature and being an incorrigible bookworm i have read a lot...but the kind of instant and definite effect his writing can have I cannot imagine anyone else having...
it seems pretentious to say that mere words can give you sleepless nights, can fill your nights with haunting silences, that suddenly you imagine that trees are sighing -tired in front of you, or the faded yellow sun behind the gray, cold clouds is whispering a half sentence to you...but it's true....you have to read it to be that aware...
your skin starts understanding the language that your ears are not trained to hear
There was this compliation of three small dramatic pieces of his called Teen Ekant ... i had the chance to perform them too. The performance were torturous...because basically i am not an actor and had no idea what i was doing...but i got a chance to meet nirmal verma when i went to invite him for one of the performances...and he came too with his beautiful wife to attend it..i saw him and almost forgot all lines (i told you i was bad) but he still after the performance gave this big smile and came and patted my head for the brave affort ...the kind of high that gave nothing in life can ever give...
Weekend in particulatr was a story that always takes my breath away...not in that foolish romatic way but it hits you so hard that you are left gasping for breath...

one of this favourite word it seemed was beehad...i wouldn't even try and translate the word in english buy basically when you say beehad you imagine a lonely very lonely desert, where except dry sand that fill your eye and mouth you can't see anything...this word he had used to describe the eyes of a little girl who was meeting his divorced father's girlfriend. the illegitimacy of relationships cannot be penned more honestly than in the way he did in that piece.
yet there was another one ...i am not sure what it was called but i think Bukhaar...where the angst, loneliness, alienation of the protagonist comes out in the form of fever...it was a scary story when i read it for the first time...at the age of 15...probably because there was too much that i couldn't understand so it just scared me.
but even now when i read it recently it made me restless...Nirmal verma is definitely not a person that you can read 'chalte phirte' , i mean you can try but do that at your own risk...beacuse eventually the words will suck you in its world and you will suddenly be too aware of all that in your heart that you keep so neatly and anticeptically buried in your heart.

excuse me because i think i have made him sound like a horror film writer...its just that if you have experienced a very cold evening in delhi and the only thing that you hear is the wind and all you can see is a vague yellow light and you are not even sure what that light is and the annoying addictive melancholy smell of gulmohar following you and everything is still....you would know what i am talking about...when there is movement and life but still everything is still and silent...and after sometime the difference between both the phenomena cases to exist...that is what his writing was about...

I hope that the reader will see through my rambling and will get his writings asap and experience them for yourself...those who feel uncomfortable reading Hindi...a lot of his stories have been translated...and Little Magazine especially did very good translations....
and his words were like a painting so it doesn't really matter what langauge you see them in....

4 Comments:

Blogger aargee said...

hi,

your straight-from-the heart review of the author nirmal verma, has prompted me to read him as soon as possible.

i only know that he is considered probably the first hindi author hinidi author who was genuinely urban - in the context & concerns displayed in his writing.

by the way, may i submit that "beehad" actually means something more than a desert. any arduous or difficult terrain can be termed a "beehad".

11:11 AM

 
Anonymous vimal said...

This is yhe power of his writing that u felt him so near to u.Really Nirmal was a painter of your lonliness.He portraits your sadness,your helplessness.I was also felt after his death that a person has been passed away who had a lot more things to say.Whenever i read "Antim Aranya" or "Lal teen ki Chat" I start to thin that how a writer can touch a million of people in a single way.

2:30 AM

 
Anonymous vimal said...

This is yhe power of his writing that u felt him so near to u.Really Nirmal was a painter of your lonliness.He portraits your sadness,your helplessness.I was also felt after his death that a person has been passed away who had a lot more things to say.Whenever i read "Antim Aranya" or "Lal teen ki Chat" I start to thin that how a writer can touch a million of people in a single way.

2:30 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there :)

Read your blog about Teen Ekaant by chance....just wanted to let you know that we are performing Teen Ekaant on 18th May at Prithvi theatre ( 6 pm & 9 pm ) shows.

I can visualise whatever you had mentioned over there and are undergoing the same experience of learning each word nirmalji wrote and exploring the reasons for them to be there....what will happen of the play only god knows but for the actors its a god sent script :)
Hope you will be able to see it since you also acted in it and can probably let us know what you feel was the effect of our effort :)

cheers

Jagdish Rajpurohit
tigerz98in@yahoo.com
9820122297

10:37 PM

 

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