For years there was not a drop of rain in the desert.
But suddenly one day-clouds gathered over the sky-a cool breeze flows-and suddenly there is a splash of rain…..
How a toad who has lived years in the desert without a shower of water will feel?
****.or the Anatomy of Melancholy by Mathew Selwyn is the story of a modern day youth who is in a desperate bid to seek the meaning of life. He is like the toad-who have waited for years for the shower….
But where is the rain?
The flowing wind, the blue sky, the fragrance of spring, the grassy village roads- still attracts him. But life is not the same wild innocence for our protagonist. A cosmopolitan life has made him breathe in the suffocating environment of the modern day world. Like the hurriedly moving pigs as shown in the Charlie movie-he is one of the pigs among the countless pigs thronging the city every day. He is the hollow man-the stiffed man lost in the smog of the city-but sometimes like a splash of shower-the fresh thought crosses his mind
‘There’s a problem here. You’re not draft, you see it, you understand my plight. Shit, we all feel it-it’s in every atom of the world around us, each breath we take more suffocating than the last. The churning silence that is life-the wonderful tangle, the mess of existence. Step right up for the ride of your life, join the bandwagon, come on board. You, me, we’re all in-there is no opt out. That’s our problem; we’re struck firmly on time, rooted in reality.’
Life has been discovered from different perspectives-the meaningless meaning of life has been attacked with sharp arrows of satire. The satire in the book has not come as a deliberate attempt-but came spontaneously. Our protagonist wants to escape from the messy life hooked with social media sites –devoid of reality. He wants to rebel against a life where virtual reality will make you its slave- a life where virtual kiss will replace a lovely pair of wet lips. After all, window of life can never be the digital windows.
Here is no water but only rocks in this barren land. In the words of the poet
‘Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered for distant, over Himavant
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder
Data: what have we given?’
And where does the root of escape lies. To him-the root of escape lies in the sex-the physical intimacy which is his mantra of freedom. It is for him Freedom from boredom of life-freedom from misery of life-freedom from daily grief, despair that at times threatens to attack our basic existence. To him sex is a quest of discovering a piece of his existence. It may sound philosophical-but it is reality. So sex comes in various modes, in various forms throughout the book-be it lesbian intimacy, be it polygamy, be it some other forms of sex that our civil society may dub as highly unethical. But the reality is that sex descriptions never seem vulgar throughout the whole book-it is so spontaneous, so natural-like a nude study of Ruben!
It is the story of the modern age-where the history is all set to repeat itself. A depression-prolonged, silent is creeping into the minds of the human-making them die a thousand times before their death. Or I may be wrong. It is the story of our times when in every passing minute, in every passing hour, in every passing day human feels silent cold jaws of death-erasing their existence-compels to live a life of ghost
‘Most people don’t need to fear absence anymore-we’re blinded, permanently. There’s no need to suck out the light show that protects us either, inoculation precedes the sickness now. Sedation isn’t an option, it’s a shared reality. Most people don’t see the beauty of the system, how perfect our salvation is.’
Mathew has an incredibly powerful pen-it is not easy to catch the attention of the reader in a novel narrated entirely on first person. A confession of a lad who is addicted with the opium of modern world will flow chill down your spine.
Not thinking about the fate of the protagonist-but thinking about the reader’s fate. Because, that protagonist is a mirror reflection of everybody –his story is everybody’s story.
Where we are heading? Where the vortex of modern times will eventually lead us into?
Will the life complete its circle? Will our protagonist be successful in devising a meaning of life out of the Pandora’s Box that the modern world has opened for us?
Or we have opened it for the modern world……..