Saturday, March 14, 2009

Devdas (and also Amarkant Verma and Meursault)

I first read the magnum opus by Sharatchandra Chattopadhyay on Friday, January 1, 1999. Since then, I've had an admiration for that impatient arrogant escapist self-pitying loser, the protagonist of the novel 'Devdas'. In fact, at one level, I identify with him. Yes, I do... just like I identify with the reluctant detached truthful Meursault of Camus' L'Etranger or with the passionate Amarkant Verma of Maniratnam's Dil Se.

I just realized that all the three characters die at the end of the story - Devdas in a drunk state, outside his beloved's house; Meursault was hanged to death, and; Amarkant Verma was blown away with his beloved suicide bomber.

Yes, there are a lot of more famous, more admired, and more admirable heroes in reality and in fiction and I love them too but I love these more. Perhaps because there is something in all of these three that I wanted to but couldn't be. I never could be so unfeigned like Meursault or so persistent like Amarkant Verma. And most of all, like Devdas - I was never so brave (or coward) to refuse to move on and to sink the life in a glass of memories. Yet, I left a part of myself back there, forever.

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