Friday, February 18, 2011

Amitava Kumar's interview with Arundhati Roy

I am mostly with Roy on the causes she espouses. I worry that while she can stop talking about these issues when she chooses, that is not the case for the people whose very life these issues are. These are the people who are tortured, killed in encounters and have false cases planted against them. Don't get me wrong, if Roy did not speak up for them (yes, "for them" and not "with them" since we do not hear their voices ever), there would be no spotlight on them. And, I prefer A Roy to P Chidambaran who seems to know everything.


I was reading Amitava Kumar's interview with her. Roy had said something very insightful about discovering your creative abilities and nourishing it until it becomes yours. Here it is:

"Behind the speed and confidence of a beautiful line in a line drawing there’s years of—usually—discipline, obsession, practice that builds on a foundation of natural talent or inclination of course. It’s like sport. A sentence can be like that. Language is like that. It takes a while to become yours, to listen to you, to obey you, and for you to obey it. I have a clear memory of language swimming towards me. Of my willing it out of the water. Of it being blurred, inaccessible, inchoate… and then of it emerging. Sharply outlined, custom-made."

I think even with professional skills (let me restrict myself to what I am familiar with) such as legal drafting, arguing in court, counseling clients, at first it seems insurmountable and formidable. But slowly, "it swims towards you".


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