Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jodhaa Akbar

Yes, there’s a movie of that name that’s just been released, but more imp-ly there’s new short fiction by Rushdie in the New Yorker.

The movie trailer is full of beautiful people, sumptuous jewelery,* spectacular scenes and still feels insipid as recycled paper. (And I’m aware that director Gowariker is highly regarded for Lagaan—but apart from a few playful scenes, most of that movie’s chest-thumping didn’t impress either.)

Now Rushdie’s story, on the other hand, brimming with trademark impishness and characteristically diagrammatic characters reminds me of why I used to lurve him so much. Here’s a nibble:

The mud city loved its Emperor, it insisted that it did, insisted without words, for words were made of that forbidden fabric, sound. When the Emperor set forth once more on his campaigns—his never-ending (though always victorious) battles against the armies of Gujarat and Rajasthan, of Kabul and Kashmir—then the prison of silence was unlocked, and trumpets burst out, and cheers, and people were finally able to tell one another everything they had been obliged to keep unsaid for months on end: I love you. My mother is dead. Your soup tastes good. If you do not pay me the money you owe me, I will break your arms at the elbows. My darling, I love you, too. Everything.


* I could really spend all day looking at the jewelery. Also in related news, my birthday’s coming.


1 comment:

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