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LM/37 LINGUE E LETTERATURE EUROAMERICANE Curriculum: Culture e letterature dei paesi di lingua inglese L-LIN/10 LETTERATURE DEI PAESI di LINGUA INGLESE I 1 CORSO (CFU 8) Prof. Rossella Ciocca
Family and Indianness Tradizionale luogo di costruzione identitaria primaria sia in termini di genere sessuale che in termini di casta e di affiliazione religiosa, la famiglia occupa nella struttura sociale indiana un posto ancora centrale. Nella nuova India globalizzata e delle liberalizzazioni, essa diventa sito di potenziale contestazione dei modelli tradizionali ma anche, soprattutto nella dimensione diasporica, luogo di ricostruzione nostalgica di una indianità originaria incontaminata. Il corso mira a indagare in un immaginario narrativo e filmico contemporaneo la tensione tra la tendenza a rinnovare ruoli e valori della famiglia e quella a riconsacrarla come luogo deputato alla preservazione della indianità.
bibliografia J. Lahiri, The Namesake, London and New York, Harper Perennial, 2004 M. Ali, Brick Lane, London, Black Swan, 2004 Manju Kapur, Home, London, faber & faber, 2006 Saadat Hasan Manto, Toba Tek Singh (photocopies) Priyamvada Gopal, The Indian English Novel. Nation, History, and Narration, Oxford and New York, O. U. P., 2009 (chapters 1; 5; 7; 8) B. D. Metcalf and T. R. Metcalf, A Concise History of India, Cambridge, Cambridge U. P., 2002 Jigna Desai, Beyond Bollywood: The cultural politics of South Asian Diasporic Film, London: Routledge, 2003 (chapters 6; 8) R.Ciocca Corpi di donne, storie di donne in Brick Lane di Monica Alì
Materiali in fotocopia da : B. Ashcroft, G. Griffiths, H. Tiffin (eds.), The Postcolonial Studies Reader, London, Routledge, 1995;M. Foucault, La volontà di sapere, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1988; H. K. Bhabha (ed.), The Location of Culture, London and New York, Routledge, 1994; S. Rushdie, Step Across this Lines, London, Vintage, 2003 ; Filmografia Fire (Deepa Mehta, 1996) Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair, 2001) Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (Karan Johar, 2001)
INDIA: MOSAIC OF IDENTITIES LINGUISTIC VARIETY Indian languages, 2 main families: Indo-European (Hindi, Urdu, Hindustani, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi etc.) and Dravidian (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam et al.) RELIGIOUS PLURALITY Hinduism, Islamism, Christian creeds, Sikkism, Jainism, Buddhism, Animism, Parseeism (Zoroastrianism)
Indian religions distribution
Indo-Arian and Dravidian
PLURAL but RIGID SOCIAL STRUCTURE Caste: endogamous group or collection of groups bearing a common name and having the same traditional occupation, sharing the tradition of a common origin and common tutelary deities. BRAHMANA (priests; today intellectuals and managers) mouth KSHATRYA (warriors and kings) arms VAISYA (land owners, traders) legs SHUDRA (hand workers, peasants, servants,) feet Outcast people: dalit (broken, oppressed) Harijan (Gods son) introduced by Gandhi
The division of society into four colours or castes (Varna) was developed in the Vedic period. (described in Manus code).The God Brahma created the primeval man from clay. The 4 varna derived from his limbs.
Origins of the system of castes Main literary works of the Vedic period (ancient age, c B.C.) Rig-Veda (hymns, prayers and spells) Upanishads (explanatory comments on sacred texts) Mahabharata and Puranas (epic narrations)
The main story of Mahabharata deals with a conflict several generations long over dynastic succession in the Bharata family that is told in about stanzas. The epic in its textual form contains numerous interpolated commentaries on matters of religion and philosophy, genealogy, history, folklore, and myth that quadruple its length to about stanzas. Through oral transmission the epic saw an almost never-ending accretion.
Indian History ANCIENT INDIA Traces of man from early Paleolithic Aryan invasion theory (recently questioned): about the middle of II millennium B.C. India was invaded from northwest by the Aryans who established in the subcontinent a unifying civilization. The gradual change of color from light to dark skin as we move southwards fits in with a pattern of invasion which gradually pushed the previous populations before it. On the other hand modern excavations brought to light the existence of urban civilizations, antedating the Aryan period, extensively devoted to trade with Mesopotamia (about B.C.)
INDUS VALLEY OR HARAPPAN CIVILIZATION
The Aryans original home possibly south Russia pastoral and agricultural people living in villages made no attempt to occupy the cities they overcame inferior in material civilization superior in political and military organization
ARYAN INVASION OF INDIA ARYAN MIGRATIONS
ARYANS AND DRAVIDIANS
The Aryan civilization moved eastward Sanskrit emerged as national language VI century B.C. end of the Vedic period, a new intellectual and spiritual climate see the rise of Buddhism and Jainism B.C. Alexander the Great s invasion in North-west India
ALEXANDER the Greats invasion of India
180 B.C. – 200 A.D. foreign invasions in northern India (Greeks, Parthians, Tukhara) III century classical age of Indian civilization Literature, art, science and philosophy evolved the forms they were to retain in successive years Northern India was reunited under the dynasty of the Guptas.
Guptas dynasties Gupta reignsClassic art
A.D. Dynastic rivalries, northern India was divided into a number of separate states (the Arab conquest of Sind in 712 was merely an episode and it was not until Islam had been firmly established in the area of modern Afghanistan that the Moslem conquest of India became possible)
ISLAMIC INDIA XIII- XVI cent. The Sultanate of Delhi was ruled by 5 successive dynasties (Metcalf, p ) In XIV cent. the sultanate attained its greater extent reaching Kashmir. After that it began to decline and divide into different regional reigns. Incursions led by Tamerlane occurred in 1399.
Sultanate of delhi
Mughal India 1526 beginning of the Mogul Empire Babur descended from Tamerlane and Jenghiz Khan, his ambition was to recover the territories of the vast Mongolian empire. Ousted from central Asia he had to take refuge in Afhganistan from which he attacked India. At his death in 1530 he controlled the greater part of northern India.
Phases of Mughal empires
Akbar ( ) was the greatest Mogul emperor extending his dominions, practising a conciliatory policy towards Hindu subjects
Shah Jahan (reigns , imprisoned by his son ) patronized culture, the arts and architecture Taj mahal, regal tomb and the red fort of Agra
Aurangzeb ( ) is considered the chief cause of the decline of Mogul empire for his political as well as religious intolerance and bigotry. Hindus were excluded from public office, some of their schools and temples were destroyed, the tax on non-Moslems was reintroduced.
The successors were puppets controlled by favourites and court factions, Northern India was invaded by Nadir shah of Persia (Peacock throne and Koh-i-Nor diamond were ransacked). Foreign invasion were not the causes but the symptoms of Mogul decline.
Babur the conqueror and the decadent last emperor
Mughal islamic art miniaturesMosaics, majolica
Mughal Art (refined court life) watercolor
COLONIAL INDIA: european settlements Portoguese India The quest for India was begun by Portugal. In 1498 Vasco da Gama anchored off Calicut, in 1500 Cochin became the first trading headquarters in India, Goa became the capital of Portuguese possessions.
British Raj in XIXth century A mix of direct and indirect rule
The English East India Company was established in In the first half of XVII cent. it obtained various concessions from the Mogul Empire: first trading posts were Surat, Agra, then Calcutta and later on Bombay. The commercial settlements were soon fortified. Rivalry arose with the Portuguese, defeated by the English fleet. In XVIII cent. the European rivals were English, French and Dutch. Gradually the East India company emerged as the dominant authority: it was able to obtain the concession to collect and administer the revenues in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa paying the emperor an annual tribute.
Indian Mutiny 1857 the great revolt of the Bengal native army led to transference of government to the crown. Due to many causes it was accompanied by rebellion of the population and some of chieftains. The pretext for revolt was the introduction of a new rifle whose cartridges, lubricated with pigs and cows grease, had to have their ends bitten off by the sepoys. Indian Mutiny Or Indian Rebellion
1858 Government of India act 1876 Victoria Empress of India The British empire Culture education politics society economy Pros? Unification of the country Codification of laws Use of English as vehicular language Cultural vitality of anglicised élites Technological development (trains, telegraph, mail service) Social reforms (age of consent bill, abolition of sati) Unified Educational system Paternalism Racism (town conception, admission to civil service) Militarism, authoritarianism (Amritsar massacre) Exploitation (colonial economy) Reinforcement of caste system and religious divisions (divide et impera) Against
Towards independence: Gandhian non violent movement II world war The Congress and the Muslim League India Pakistan and civil war
In 1946 after a series of violent riots and fights between Hindu –Sikhs and Muslims, the Congress Party decided to accept the request of the Muslim League for a separate and independent Muslim state. The British authorities were informed and in three months Sir Cyril Radcliffe drew Wagah (successively sadly known as the line of hatred)
The narration of the nation: Gandhi and Nehru, the noble fathers of the nation 1947 Nehru A Tryst with Destiny
The narration of the nation India The bright side: Independence celebrations The dark side: Partition and civil war
We crossed the border at Wagah. I dont know what I had been expecting. Blue rivers and green plains, tigers and elephants, forest- covered mountains. All the wonders we had been promised about the Indian side. But the landscape didnt change. It had the same scrub and wild brush, the same dirt and heat. (Manil Suri, The Age of Shiva)
Muslims said the Hindus had planned and started the killing. According to the Hindus, the Muslims were to blame. The fact is, both sides killed. Both shot and stabbed and speared and clubbed. Both tortured. Both raped. (K. Singh, Train to Pakistan) Saadat Hasan Manto, Toba Tek Singh (photocopies) The territorial wound
Saadat Hasan Manto ( ) Saadat Hasan Manto was born in Punjab, after a turbulent adolescence, he first became a translator from English to Urdu, then a journalist, a critic and a film writer; he published a novel, three collections of essays, seven collections of radio plays and over 250 short stories.
Mantos life and work Manto was a difficult person and a controversial author prosecuted many times for his so called sex oriented expressions. His topics ranged from socio-economical injustice to the typical hypocrisy of traditional South Asian masculinity. In his stories he treated sex, incest and prostitution; he depicted exploited women as main characters and never failed to underscore the abuses women were subjected to. His obscenity consisted in never accepting the usual way in morality and his personal biography as a spendthrift, an alcoholic and gambler didnt help. When Partition took place, he felt forced to move from Bombay, his loved city of adoption where he was very well known and active in the movie industry, to Lahore where his family had already taken refuge. Muslim authors had began to be seen with circumspection and sometimes with open suspect even in the liberal milieu of film production.
Manto in Pakistan Migrating to Pakistan was nonetheless a fatal mistake: the film industry in Lahore stood badly disrupted, he resorted to writing fiction; as a matter of fact some of his masterpieces date precisely this period, but publication for him became increasingly difficult and, in various occasions, he was, for alleged blasphemy, sentenced to money penalties and even imprisonment. He also spent a period in a mental hospital and after only seven years in Pakistan he died falling victim to liver Cirrhosis.
INDEPENDENT INDIA 1948 Gandhi murdered by a Hindu fundamentalist Nehru and the new Indian order, Zamindari abolition (V. Seth, A Suitable Boy) Gandhis Dynasty Indira Gandhi (remove poverty campaign) Emergency
Sanjay Gandhis child birth control (Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance) Communalist policy, The golden temple of Amritsar assassination by Sikh bodyguard Rajiv Gandhis economic liberalism, communalist policy and assassination by Tamil terrorist
CONTEMPORARY INDIA Vivacity and contrasts Liberalism in economy, technological innovation, cultural globalization, backward castes policy, religious tensions, nuclear weapons, Kashmir unsolved question, female emancipation and persecution (S. Rusdie, Indias 50 th anniversary)
THE ENGLISH NOVEL IN INDIA Thomas Macaulay, A minute on Indian Education, 1835 English Education act, 1835 G. Viswanathan, The Beginnings of English Literary Study in British India
THEORETICAL ANALYTICALPERSPECTIVES Gramsci, Foucault, Bhabha 1)Gramscian persuasion about primacy of culture in the exercise of power The supremacy of a social group manifests itself in two ways: as domination and as intellectual and moral leadership. … It seems clear that there can, and indeed must be hegemonic activity even before the rise of power, and that one should not count only on the material force which power gives in order to exercise an effective leadership (Prison Notebooks) (British books constituted about 95 % of book imports in India between 1850 and 1900)
2) Multi-focal multi-centred nature of Power relationships M. Foucault, La volontà di sapere, pp. 82-6; 3) Overcoming binary representation of the relation Colonizer/colonized H. Bhabha, The Location of Culture The language of critique is effective not because it keeps forever separate the terms of the master and the slave, … but to the extent to which it overcomes the given grounds of opposition and opens up a space of translation: a political object that is new, neither the one nor the other, properly alienates our political expectations, and changes, as it must, the very forms of our recognition of the moment of politics.
My illustration attempts to display the importance of the hybrid moment of political change: Here the transformational value of change lies in rearticulation, or translation, of elements, that are neither the One … nor the Other … but something else besides, which contests the terms and territories of both. Cultures are never unitary in themselves, nor simply dualistic in the relation of Self to Other…
The reason a cultural text or system of meaning cannot be sufficient unto itself is that the act of cultural enunciation – the place of utterance – is crossed by the différance of writing. … The production of meaning requires that these two spaces be mobilised in the passage through a third space …[which] constitutes the discursive conditions of enunciation that ensure that the meaning and symbols of culture have no primordial unity or fixity; that even the same signs can be appropriated, translated, rehistoricised and read anew. … agency is the activity of the contingent. … agency is realized outside the author.
Indigenization of the novel … a transaction between two unequal, and unequally motivated, sides in an encounter that, despite its unevenness, was still characterized by exchange of some sort. (P. Joshi) …Indian readers then writers transmuted an imported and alien form into local needs that inspired and sustained them across many decades. (P. Joshi)
Cultural colonization English Literature of serious standard was introduced to educate colonized people. British books constituted 95% of book imports into India between 1850 and 1900 and were present in equivalent percentages among Indian library holdings.
Consumption practices Numerous public and circulating libraries emerged to provide books at small expense or for free. While fiction constituted about a third of the total holdings of a library it was requested up to three times more often than the other forms. Indians preferred popular fiction: romance and melodrama resonated with the circularity and intricacy of the epic plot of, for example, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana full of interconnections and coincidences.
Reading public The reading public included: civil servants, university and school teachers, students, minor ranks of the aristocracy, merchants, clerks. It was predominantly male and metropolitan. A greater majority read English novels translated into regional language.
The novel as a site of agency The novel acquired a social agency that was peculiarly Indian. It became a new form involved in inventing and representing the self; it provided its readers with a new language for figuring out the emerging social relations associated with modernity. In many cases the novel with its populistic and sentimentalist overtones became one of the most powerful vehicles for anti-colonial feelings.
Locations of agency The majority of literary English production entered India through the ports of Calcutta and Bombay. These two capitals were more open to Western cultural influence and at the same time gave life to the most powerful anti-colonial movements (The Great Mutiny and the Swadeshi movement emerged in Bengal, Gandhi from Bombay Presidency)
From reading to producing Sometimes Indian authors gave up English and retained the novel form Bankim Chandra Chatterjee wrote in Bengali; although he was also an essayist, historian, philosopher and social thinker his fame rested on his novels: he was called Scott of Bengal. Anandamath, 1882, a historical novel is his most widely known work: the setting is XVIII century rural Bengal, a time of famine during which a local insurgency seeks to overthrow a cruel and unjust political order of weak and decadent Muslim rulers and British tax collectors.
The mystic leader of the rebellion recurs to the figure of Mother India ravaged by occupiers. The historical dislocation served as a device to host contemporary political feelings. A past in which Indians are present as actors and not as passive and defeated people. As the novel passed from serialised to book form it underwent a progressive softening of its anti-colonial tones, often replacing the term English with Muslim.
Various editions of the novel The movie released in 1952
In writers published in Urdu a collection of innovative short stories Angarey (Burning Embers) characterized by frank depiction of sex and a general irreverence towards religion. (ex: a wet dream during a nap with the head on an open Koran) The book was condemned from Mosques pulpits as un-Muslim; the British government for fear of public riots banned the book.
In response the 4 writers wrote a manifesto which was to become the first document of the All-India Progressive Writers Association The movement was equally directed against internal orthodoxy and ignorance as well as foreign domination One of the 4 was Ahmed Ali, Twilight in Delhi (1940)
From Urdu to English …Alis use of English is partly to reach the widest possible audience both in India and abroad. However… Ali imports into his English novel Urdu forms borrowed from poetry and ghazals that are themselves the product of borrowings from Arabic, Persian, and Hindustani…(P. Joshi)
Twilight in Delhi records the effects of cultural and social decay on a Delhi Muslim family; in particular the patriarch Mir Nihal has a sensitive awareness of past greatness but little comprehension of the ongoing demise. The action takes place between 1911(coronation in Delhi of George V) and 1919 (Rowlatt Bills which allowed British judges to try cases without juries)
From English to the Indian novel in Indian- English: the revolution of S. Rushdie A fiction written in a robustly vernacular English, manifestly hybrid, mixing the novel with diverse narrative forms both of the modern languages of cinema, television, journalism etc. and of old traditional Indian genres such as the oral epic
The watershed: Midnights Children I became a writer at the moment I found a narrative voice for Midnights Children and that was finding a literary equivalent of that oral narrative from India that had kept the audience rapt for thousands of years
Oral tradition While Bankims narrator took its cue from the serious and judgemental narrator of the written epic, Rushdies clearly comes from the jesting, jocular figure of the oral tradition whose fallacy inspired the unreliable narrator in M.C., Saleem Sinai
All-comprehensiveness of M.C. Saleem Sinai states that an entire universe can be understood from his life; his personal story reflecting Indias history. (a commonplace for an audience raised on the Mahabharata: Whatever is in the Mahabharata can be found elsewhere; but what isnt in it can be found nowhere.
Midnights Children Multiplying Meaning Whereas Bankims narrator helped stabilize meaning, Rushdies, taking his inspiration from the circular structure of the oral epic and the tendency to change and adjust while repeating…, multiplies meaning. History History in M.C. is not so much rendered fantasy, as fantasy and fabulation are rendered possible and even respectable forms of acquiring historical knowledge.
The novels agency In the hands of Rushdie the novel becomes a means to address issues surrounding modernity such as citizenship, subjectivity, identity, community and communalism, religion and politics, nation and nationalism besides aesthetical concerns about meta- fiction, inter- textual play, the role of the narrator, narrative perspectivism etc. Thre Moors Last Sigh, pp. 4-5
The novels agency: nation and narration Rushdie creates a curious myth of the nation: instead of celebrating its moment of glorious birth after a heroic liberation struggle, he interrogates its unglamorous middle age tainted by communal unrest and the threat of separatist violence. Homi, K. Bhabha, Nation and Narration (p.33, 35, 37, 38)
The novels agency But in seizing the authority to tell their own versions of history, sociology, politics, his novels vindicate the right to master their own fantasies and world pictures. The fact that these novels exist marks the liberation of an Indian voice from the official and objective reality answering the mandate of imperialist culture. They articulate versions of Indian history and identity rendering them plural, just legends that make up reality, revealing in a post-modernistic way the fictional nature of reality itself.
The contemporary Indian novel in English In 1980 S. Rushdies Midnights Children transformed the Indian novel in English in an international phenomenon opening the way to dozens of ensuing literary cases.
Indian writers in English before Rushdie: Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao, R. K. Narayan, Khushwant Singh, V. S. Naipaul, Kamala Markandaya, Anita Desai (she already wrote but declared a debt to Rushdie) et al. after Rushdie: Shashi Deshpande, Shashi Tharoor, Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy, Vikram Chandra, Rukun Advani, Upamanyu Chatterjee, Anita Nair, Manju Kapur, Vikas Swarup, Kiran Desai,, Kamala Das, Aravind Adiga
Diasporic voices V. S. Naipaul, Hanif Kureishi, Monica Ali, Nadeem Aslam, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rohinton Mistry, Bapsi Sidhwa, Amid Chauduri, Chitra Divakaruni, Ardashir Vakil, et al. Indian Diaspora Before Partition: towards the empire (Mauritius, Fiji, Tanzania, Kenia, South Africa, Trinidad as indentured labourers) After Partition: GB, USA, Canada as emigrants
Priyamvada Gopal, The Indian English Novel. Nation, History, and Narration, Oxford and New York, O. U. P., 2009 Introduction Chapter 1 Making English India Chapter 5 Midnights Legacies Chapter 7 Family Matters Chapter 8 The Literature of Migration
Ali was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to a Bangladeshi father and English mother, moving to England at the age of three, where she was raised. She is the author of Brick Lane, her debut novel which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in Other Novels Alentejo Blues (2007) In the Kitchen (2010) Monica Ali
Brick Lane named after Brick Lane, a street at the heart of London's Bangladeshi community follows the life of Nazneen, a Bangladeshi woman who moves to Tower Hamlets in London at the age of 18 her English consisting of "sorry" and "thank you" to marry an older man, Chanu who is twice her age, with a face like a frog, a tendency to quote Hume. He is pompous and kindly, full of plans, none of which ever come to fruition, and then of resentment at Ignorant types who don't promote him or understand his quotations from Shakespeare or his Open University race, ethnicity and class module".
The book was adapted to a film of the same title in 2007.
Controversy The novel caused controversy within the Bangladeshi community in Britain because of what certain groups perceived as negative portrayal of people from the region. The majority of Bangladeshis living in Bricklane are originally from Sylhet. Parts of the community were opposed to plans by Ruby Films to film parts of the novel in the Brick Lane area, and formed the "Campaign Against Monica Ali's Film Brick Lane". The film, starring well-known Indian actress Tannishtha Chatterjee was successfully made and distributed both in the UK and internationally.
BRICK LANE The Mother The Sister The Daughters The Friend Nazneen The Husband The Lover The Husband The Lover
Jhumpa Lahiri (born 1967) is a Bengali-American author. She was born in London the daughter of Bengali Indian immigrants. Her family moved to the United States when she was three; Lahiri's mother wanted her children to grow up knowing their Bengali heritage, and her family often visited relatives in Calcutta.
When she began kindergarten her teacher decided to call her by her pet name: Jhumpa, because it was easier to pronounce than her "proper names". Lahiri recalled, "I always felt so embarrassed by my name.... You feel like you're causing someone pain just by being who you are." Lahiri's ambivalence over her identity was the inspiration for the ambivalence of Gogol, the protagonist of her novel The Namesake, over his unusual name.
Lahiri's debut short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies (1999), won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize. Her stories address sensitive dilemmas in the lives of Indians or Indian immigrants, with themes such as marital difficulties, miscarriages, and the disconnection between first and second generation United States immigrants. Lahiri later wrote, "When I first started writing I was not conscious that my subject was the Indian-American experience. What drew me to my craft was the desire to force the two worlds I occupied to mingle on the page as I was not brave enough, or mature enough, to allow in life." The collection received mixed reactions in India, where reviewers were alternately enthusiastic and upset Lahiri had "not painted Indians in a more positive light." A second collection of short stories Unaccustomed Earth was published in 2008.
Her first novel, The Namesake (2003), was adapted into a movie of the same title by Mira Nair.
The Namesake: The story spans over thirty years in the life of the Ganguli family. The Calcutta-born parents emigrated as young adults to the United States, where their children, Gogol and Sonia, grow up experiencing the constant generational and cultural gap with their parents. Lahiri's writing is characterized by simple language, her characters navigate between the cultural values of their homeland and their adopted home. Lahiri's fiction tends to be partly autobiographical and frequently draws upon her own experiences as well as those of her parents, friends, acquaintances, and others in the Bengali communities with which she is familiar.
Manju Kapur lives in Delhi and has three daughters. She is a professor of English at Miranda House. Her first novel, Difficult Daughters, received the Commonwealth Award for the Eurasian region. The book is set during India's independence struggle and is partially based on the life of Kapur's own mother.
Novels Difficult Daughters, 1998 A Married Woman, Home, 2006 The Immigrant, Custody, 2011.
Home, 2006 When their traditional business - selling saris - is increasingly sidelined by the new fashion for jeans and stitched salwar kameez, the Banwari Lal family must adapt. But instead of branching out, the sons remain apprenticed to the struggling shop and the daughters are confined to the family home. As envy and suspicion grip parents and children alike, the need for escape - whether through illicit love or in the making of pickles or the search for education - becomes ever stronger.
plot The novel is an account of three generations. Banwari Lal comes to India after partition and, with the help of his wife's jewellery, carves out a sari business in Delhi. Success comes slowly, and in the early years he is forced to marry his daughter, Sunita, to a man of dubious credentials. Even as the family gets richer, Sunita is abused and then, perhaps, murdered by her husband - leaving behind a son, Vicky, to be brought up by the Banwari Lals.
Vicky becomes a bone of contention. his grandfather feels guilty about what happened to Sunita and hence responsible for him, but his sons and their growing families have less reason to make space for him. With the death of the benevolent Banwari Lal, the shop is modernised and the family house changed into self-contained flats. The joint family and even the business are fragmenting; the price of both cohesion and fragmentation being paid in different ways by different characters. One of these is Nisha, whose careers as student/woman in love/worker/mother are followed in details.
Home belongs to what must now be counted as a subgenre of Indian writing in English: domestic fiction, stories of weddings and deaths, arranged marriages and love affairs, cooking and gossiping in a joint or an extended family in south Asia or, with differences, among south Asian immigrants in the West.
Mira Nair The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2013) Amelia (2009) Migration (2008) The Namesake (2006) Vanity Fair (2004) Monsoon wedding (2001) Mississippi Masala (1991) Salaam Bombay! (1988)
From the realism of Salaam Bombay! I moved on to the hyperrealism of Monsoon Wedding starting with a base that is authentic. …In some ways this is a version of Bollywood, a genre strictly and uniquely Indian Mira Nair
A story set in the modern upper-middle class of India, where telecommunications and a western lifestyle mix with old traditions, like the arranged wedding young Aditi accepts when she ends the affair with a married TV producer. The groom is an Indian living in Texas, and all relatives from both families, some from distant places like Australia, come to New Delhi during the monsoon season to attend the wedding. The four-day arrangements and celebrations will see clumsy organization, family parties and drama, dangers to the happy end of the wedding, lots of music and even a new romance for the wedding planner with the housemaid.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001) Through smiles through tears or Sometimes Happiness, Sometimes Sadness Subtitle: Its all about loving your parents Director: Karan Johar It was the highest earning Indian film in the overseas market until 2006, when its record was broken by Johar's third film
Plot Rahul is the adopted son of "Yash" Raichand, a rich and famous business man, and his wife Nandini. Their biological son, Rohan, is younger than Rahul. The father is very proud of his family's status and traditions, and instills in his sons a great respect for their elders. When Rahul returns home from university in England, he meets and falls deeply in love with a poor girl named Anjali, who lives with her father and her little sister Pooja. Yash decides to arrange Rahul's marriage to his affluent friend's daughter, Naina. Rahul, however, breaks the engagement and admits that he wants to
marry Anjali; this angers Yash, who berates Rahul for not considering Anjali's social status and for disobeying his father. Rahul, horrified that he has hurt his father, apologizes to Yash and promises to do whatever is asked of him. He goes to tell Anjali that he cannot marry her, only to find that her father has died suddenly. Unable to bear the thought of Anjali and Pooja alone and unsupported in the world, Rahul marries Anjali on the spot. When he brings her home, his enraged father disowns him, and blames Rahul's actions on the fact that he is not of Raichand blood. Rahul, believing that Yash no longer loves him leaves with his wife and her sister. Ten years later, on his way home from university, Rohan stops to meet his maternal and paternal grandmothers and overhears them discussing the split; they tell him the whole story.
When he goes to his parents' home, some of Anjali's old friends tell him that Rahul has settled his family in London. Vowing to bring Rahul and Anjali home and repair everyone's broken relationships, Rohan tells his parents that he wants to go to London to study; Yash reluctantly agrees. In London, Rahul has started his own business and lives comfortably with Anjali, their son Krish, Pooja, hiding great grief behind a happy facade. Upon arrival, Rohan finds that Pooja is also a student at the university he attends. He tells her who he is and asks her to help him bring the family back together. He soon becomes a part of the family and reminds Rahul and Anjali of how much they miss India and their parents, drawing pangs of guilt in Rahul.
Slowly, the truth comes out and he tries to convince Rahul to go back to India. He even goes so far as to trick Yash and Nandini into coming to London with the hope that Yash will reconcile with Rahul. His plan fails, but Rahul and Nandini share a joyful reunion. At this point Anjali, too, attempts to persuade Rahul to go back to India and make up with his father. Rahul, convinced that his father does not love him and wants nothing to do with him, remains adamant until they learn that Yash's mother has died, and that her last wish was for Rahul, Yash, and Rohan to light her funeral pyre together. Rahul, Anjali, Krish, and Pooja go back to India to participate in the funeral, but they do not speak to Yash.
Finally Nandini confronts Yash and tells him, for the first time in ten years, that he was wrong in cutting ties with Rahul, whom he had brought into their home with such love and care. This leaves Yash stunned, and at odds with himself. Rohan finally manages to convince Rahul to visit their parents' house for Nandini's sake. They go with Anjali and Pooja, and find Yash humbled and sad. Yash asks for Rahul to forgive him and berates him for believing that his father did not love him, and for not returning home sooner. Things end happily, with Rohan and Pooja's wedding and a belated celebration of Rahul and Anjali's marriage.
Deepa Mehta (emigrated to Canada in 1973 Filmography Sam and Me (1991) Camilla (1994) FireFire (1996) EarthEarth (1998) Bollywood/HollywoodBollywood/Hollywood (2002) The Republic of LoveThe Republic of Love (2003) WaterWater (2005) Heaven on EarthHeaven on Earth (2008) Cooking with StellaCooking with Stella (2008) (co-director) Midnight's Children - based on the novel Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (2010)Midnight's Children
Trilogy of elements Fire Earth 1998 Water 2005
In the Ramayana Sita, Ramas wife, is kidnapped by Ravana. Once she is recued by her husband, Sita has to demonstrate her purity getting through fire without any damage In the movie by Mehta the myth is rewritten with reference to the characters of Radha and Sita and set in the city of New Delhi.
FireFire (1996)1996 ad feedback Ashok runs a family business that sells takeout food that also has a video rental store at the side. Ashok's extended family includes his wife Radha, his brother Jatin, their ailing mother Biji and their manservant Mundu, all living under the same roof. Jatin, at the insistence of Ashok and their mother, Biji, agrees to marry the beautiful Sita in an arranged marriage, although he is actually in love with Julie, a Chinese- Indian. At first glance, you see a happy middle-class family going through the normal paces of everyday life. However, as the layers are slowly peeled back, we find a simmering cauldron of discontent within the family, with almost every family member living a lie. Plot Synopsis: The film's prologue takes place in a field of flowers. Young Radha (Karishma Jhalani) relaxes with her mother (Ramanjeet Kaur) and her father (Dilip Mehta)...
Both marriages in the family turn out to be emotionally empty, without love or passion. While Ashok is an ascetic who has taken a vow of celibacy, Jatin is a handsome ladies' man who is still openly seeing Julie even after his marriage to Sita. Ashok has pledged his total devotion to a religious holy man, a swami, in order to purge his life of worldly desires and temptations. Radha, bound by her sense of duty to her husband, agrees to go along with his wishes. With both husbands ignoring their spouses' emotional and sexual needs (albeit with reasons that are totally opposite from each other), it is only a matter of time before Radha and Sita look to one another for comfort and to satisfy their own passions. In this environment, it is only natural that Sita and Radha become fast friends, and, in time, much more than that. But their love is not without its share of painful obstacles.
On its opening day in India, some movie theaters were attacked by Hindu fundamentalists, and the movie was eventually banned for religious insensitivity. The film was banned in Pakistan for the lesbian relationship that the movie plays around.