May 19, 2008

Jodha Akbar

No... not the recent movie by Ashutosh Gowarikar but a short story by Salman Rushdie (published in the New Yorker recently).

Although I have merely seen trailers of the movie and so far have read only the first paragraph* of the story and although I have immense appreciation for the amount of work that goes into making a visual spectacle of a movie like the one made by Gowarikar, I would rather indulge and luxuriate in this orgy of seductive words than be seduced by the visual feast of Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan on the silver screen. That said, in the last decade or more, Rushdie's recent novels have left me horribly unsatisfied.

* At dawn the haunting sandstone palaces of the new “victory city” of Akbar the Great looked as if they were made of red smoke. Most cities start giving the impression of being eternal almost as soon as they are born, but Sikri would always look like a mirage. As the sun rose to its zenith, the great bludgeon of the day’s heat pounded the flagstones, deafening human ears to all sounds, making the air quiver like a frightened blackbuck, and weakening the border between sanity and delirium, between what was fanciful and what was real.

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