‘Either he goes or I go.’
I am currently reading Kiran Nagarkar‘s Ravan and Eddie. It has been a slow read. I must admit it is not very easy for me to comprehend what Nagarkar says on many occasions. But I get it, somehow or the other. His standout quality is the attention to detail that he provides where you least expect it. He packs in a fair punch of humour to go along. The result is that I can’t stop laughing every time I try to recreate the situation as he describes it.
Here’s an example. Ravan, the little monster of a kid, is practicing Tae Kwon Do like there’s no tomorrow. He practices the martial art anywhere and everywhere he can. One day, while practicing in his small home in a Mumbai Chawl, he convinces his good for nothing father to stand still while he makes some deft moves around him. If his father moved, and something went wrong, Ravan was not responsible. But disaster is only waiting to happen. This is how Nagarkar describes it:
Ravan circled his father, his hands aiming, unfolding, doing figures of eight over his father’s head and all the while continuing to stalk him: he then flung himself sideways into the air as he let out a piercing scream. Did his father move, dodge his head, step back half a centimeter, blink his eyelids? These are academic issues. Shankar-rao’s specs were lying smashed on the ground and he was bent over double. He didn’t say a word because he couldn’t. His diaphragm had climbed up and stuck to his throat. His testicles had grown so big, it was a wonder he wasn’t floating into Eddie’s house.
The weight of silence in the outside room finally bore down on Parvati. She came out of the kitchen. She went back. She returned with a glass of water with sugar in it and tried to feed it to Shankar-rao. He flung it away with his left hand but brought the hand back to his groin in a hurry.
Shankar-rao spoke after forty-five minutes. They were his last words on this planet. At least they sounded that way. ‘Either he goes or I go.’
I hope to review the book once I am done with it. At this pace, and with all the comprehending and laughing to do, I should be able to finish it in about 4-5 more sittings.