It’s been many days since I last wrote a post. But the thing is I don’t really know what to write about. I mean I have been hearing, reading and thinking a lot of different things and sometimes it becomes difficult to get all your thoughts into words. That’s what is happening with me I guess.
Studying literature has given me a completely different perspective to life. Now, I don’t just read something because I like to read but it has become more of a thinking process. I have come to realize that there are so many things going around us that we absolutely don’t think about.There are so many people around us and everyone has a different outlook to life.That essentially makes life so much more interesting. But we never really bother to think about it like that. You may think I am rambling,but as I said ,sometimes its difficult to get your thought into words.So I am hoping you are understanding my sentiments here.
I have read a lot of books,infact I am always reading something or the other.One book after another.But that will be a completely new post. This post is not about books but about how my outlook to everything I read has changed.
We have many theories in our course and they are not easy,but they do make you think.There are feminist theories and post-colonial theories and Marxist theories (I didn’t know the meanings of any of these till last year but I am getting some idea now). And don’t worry I won’t start lecturing you all about them either. I just want to say that these theories have helped me to look at life differently.Today, we read Rudaali in class which is a short story by Mahasweta Devi. The first thing is that if I were not in a literature course I would have probably never even known about it.I would have assumed that it is just a movie.The second thing is,if I had read it before, I wouldn’t have looked at it like I do now. It’s a very strong story and it is about feminism,socio-cultural differences,the caste and class system in India,the economic status of communities and many more things. Earlier I would have simply read it as the story of a woman who is very poor and when all her family dies one by one,she doesn’t cry because she doesn’t have the time nor the energy to do so.But then she has to work as a ‘rudaali'(a mourner) just to earn money.
We have theories talking about how the colonies were looked at by the colonizers and how this created a certain image of the colonies,which was not true.We have theories about linguistics and how people associate words with their meanings.We have theories questioning how the poor or oppressed are represented and who represents them.We have a theory about whether or not an author is necessary.
All of this makes me think about the society around us-how I viewed the society before and how it is becoming more clearer now.The theories written by post-colonial inhabitants are making me wonder if we truly are free.Or are we still colonized? with respect to our culture,ideas,beliefs and education.
I am currently reading ‘The Palace of Illusions’ which is the story of the Mahabharata from Draupadi’s perspective. I am sure I would have looked at it as nothing other than a retelling of the Mahabharata which has been a part of our culture since time immemorial.But now I see it as a text (see,I’m calling it a ‘text’.I have never called any book a ‘text’ in my whole life!) which tells the story of an ignored princess,her humiliation and her misfortune to have caused one of the greatest wars of all time.
I think it’s amazing how a simple change in your thought process can make you realize so many things which were ignored. I really believe that the two years of my course are going to be a lot of fun. Because see how much it has changed my thinking in only two months! We need to do something new and interesting in life,something different and something that will make us better human beings. Obviously,there are many things like that but a course in literature is,for me,the best.That’s because I love literature anyway and there’s nothing else which gives so much exposure to everything else in the world.Books and plays and poems are the windows that provide some of the best views of the world.