Saturday, November 18, 2006

Family Matters

I just finished reading Rohinton Mistry's Family Matters. At first when I picked up the book, I had tried figuring out the phrase 'family matters' as in the matters of the family or the importance of family. I think its the latter, that the author wanted to say.In his own style of writing which contains a lot of dialogue and use of a simple language mixed heartily with Parsi and Gujarati and Hindi words, Rohinton Mistry has written a beautiful novel.

I think of the Parsis and the image which comes to my mind is an old man- a little eccentric bt very amiable and one who always loves children, of a cranky woman swearing gadhera, gaanda. Guess what! both these characters and some more are present in Family Matters. The novel explores the importance of family in the lives of an old man who is suffering from Parkinson's, his step-children, his daughter and her family. The characters are all very realistic and their life in Bombay- all too easy to connect with.

Money isn't the solution to all of man's problems. It is not the final destination but the journey wherein lie the little joys of life. Yezaad is barely able to make the ends meet with his meagre salary and when his father-in-law suffering from Parkinson's is forced into his house, it becomes a strain for everybody in the house. Toast without butter, meals without meat, a bath on alternate days- such things. But this hardship brings the family closer than ever. All members pitch in-even Yezad's 9 and 13 year old sons.

Jehangir in the epilogue says he misses his old father- one who used to laugh, get angry, shout at him used to tell jokes. Now, he is not the same man. This is when they are living much more comfortably than before- in the seven-room chateau felicity home. A man never learns from his mistakes. I couldn't help feeling this way towards the end. Children become adults and their parents feel something slipping out of their hands.

I say it is wrong in the first place to hold on to them.



anuk said...

to huzefa, what did u wanted to write bro.... if this was a review for book...its not well because u didnt put your comments completly...and if u wanted to say a message in context of that book....i also find that message absent....yup for sure this is a good book...and i had read reviews of it...but yours not upto mark.....

need to be frank i miss you in this writing...u could have written better.

but one thing i liked in this is your command of language...its superb..
so goodluch

Huzefa said...

anuk, when i wrote this, i was torn between my feelings for the book and a movie which i had watched recently. I've written one more post. hav a look

Zohaib said...

hi huzefa.

Having come across your blog, I found the piece on this book and decided to read it myself. To me, the end was slightly confusing. Why is it that Yezad changes so much? Was it because he feels remorse for having set up those actors to go after Vikram Kapur? And the only way to seek solace was to turn into a fanatic?
Or was it simply because history repeats itself and Murad and Jehangir were following Nariman Vakeel's footsteps? And Yezad wanted to prevent that by all means possible.
To a certain extent, I find it a little unnerving that Roxana throughout the book is shown as the peacemaker, the one with patience and tolerance for everything. It seemed a little stereotypical to portray the woman as the only stable person with very little feelings of her own.

Your views would be much appreciated. Thanks.