Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Many Different Characters and Stories Sharing Bombay

As we have discussed home can be interpreted in many different ways. It could be the past traditions of an ancient culture or perhaps our own ancestry. Home for some is the language and our own relationships. In the intertwining short stories in Chandra’s Love and Longing in Bombay home is articulated in a unique way. It’s unique because home is present someway in each story even though they are different genres. 
In “Dharma” is a ghost story where Jago Antia, a soldier experiences phantom leg and also deals with an unexpected vistor ( a ghost) in his own house. He struggles with his supposed home, even though his fear coincides with his yearning to be with his fellow soldiers, because for him that is his home. Throughout the story Chandra vividly describes Jago’s past experiences in the army and how significant they are to him while he faces his present challenges in his haunted house. It seems that he has entered a house that was once a home of another young child. Memory seems to be a consistent theme in the first story, where Jago is filled with the “poisonus seep of memory” (24). It’s as if the child symbolizes his own past and makes him come to terms with it.

The following short stories, “ Shakti” we see the past and present compete where two worlds seem to collide. Similar to Achebe’s Things Fall Apart the old and the new battle it out in an interesting way. It seems that two hostesses have different ways of hostessing, one traditional and the other conventional. Each story including “Dharma” and “Shakti” each give us an insight on what life in Bombay is like for many different types of people. We get the inside look on what home is for a soldier, hostesses, policeman, lovers, even gangsters. Chandra I think does this to demonstrate that just because a group of people share a culture does not mean they are all the same. In fact each story is told in a slightly different way, perhaps to demonstrate the diversity in Bombay. The intertwining of the stories is also necessary because even though they are different the characters share this home in Bombay, where they face different and similar struggles throughout their life.

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