Thursday, September 26, 2013

യുദ്ധത്തിന്‍റെ വൃത്തികെട്ട മുഖം

Chimamanda  Nagozi Adichie എഴുതിയ Half of a Yellow Sun എന്ന നോവല്‍ 1967-1970 നടന്ന Nigeria - Biafra യുദ്ധത്തിന്‍റെ കഷ്ട നഷ്ടങ്ങളെ ആസ്പദമാക്കിയുള്ളതാണ്.  ഈ നോവല്‍ തീര്‍ച്ചയായും വായന അര്‍ഹിക്കുന്നു.  University Prof ആയ Odenigbo. അയാളുടെ പരിചാരകന്‍ 13 വയസുകാരന്‍ Ugwu. Odenigbo ന്‍റെ കാമുകി Olanna. അവളുടെ ഇരട്ട സഹോദരി Kainene.   Kainene ന്‍റെ കാമുകന്‍  Richard.  ഈ കഥാപാത്രങ്ങളൊക്കെയും വ്യക്തിത്വമുള്ളവരാണ്.

Half Of A Yellow Sun is an intimate and intensely human portrayal of a destructive civil war that was just a news item to the rest of the world.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in 1977 in Nigeria. She graduated with a degree from the Eastern Connecticut State University. She also earned a masters degree from Johns Hopkins University, in Creative Writing. In addition, she has a Master of Arts from Yale University, in African Studies. Her first published work was a collection of poems. Her novels and short stories have earned her many honors including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Orange Prize for Fiction.

(Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a Secessionist  state in south-eastern Nigeria that existed from 30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970, taking its name from the Bight of Biafra  (the Atlantic bay to its south). The inhabitants were mostly the Igbo people who led the secession due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. The creation of the new state that was pushing for recognition was among the causes of the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Nigerian-Biafran War. The state was formally recognized by Gabon, Haiti,  Cote d’lvoire, Tanzania and Zambia. Other nations which did not give official recognition but which did provide support and assistance to Biafra included  Israel, France, Portugal, Rhodesia, South Africa and Vatican City.. Biafra also received aid from non-state actors, including Joint Church Aid. Holy Ghost Fathers of Ireland, Caritas, International Mark Press and U S Catholic Relief Services

After two-and-a-half years of war, during which a million civilians had died in fighting and from famine, Biafran forces agreed to a ceasefire with the Nigerian Federal Military Government (FMG) and Biafra was reintegrated into Nigeria)

Friday, September 6, 2013

പ്രകാശമാനമായ ഒരായിരം സൂര്യന്മാർ

ഖാലിദ്‌ ഹൊസ്സൈനിയുടെ 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' യുദ്ധം കിറിമുറിച്ച അഫ്ഗാനിസ്ഥാന്റെ കഥ പറയുന്നു . ആദ്യം സോവ്യറ്റ് റഷ്യ. പിന്നെ മത തിവ്രവാദികൾ . ഇപ്പോൾ അമേരിക്ക.ഇവരോക്കെ ആയിരുന്നു അഫ്ഗാനിസ്ഥാന്റെ ഭരണം കയ്യാളിയിരുന്നത് അഫ്ഗനിസ്ഥാൻ പുനർ നിർമ്മിക്കപ്പെടുന്നു . അത്രയും നല്ലത് .  സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യം നിഷേധിക്കപ്പെട്ട സ്ത്രികൾ രുദ്രയാകുമ്പോൾ സൂക്ഷിക്കണം. അവിടെ എന്തും സംഭവിക്കാം. ഇതിലെ ഒരു കഥാപാത്രമായ മറിയവും അത്രയേ ചെയ്തുള്ളു.  അവിഹിത ബന്ധതിന്റെ പാപ ഭാരം വർഷങ്ങളോളം  ചുമന്നതിന്റെ ഈർഷ്യയും മറിയത്തെ എന്തും ചെയ്യാനുള്ള തന്റേടി ആക്കിയിരിക്കാം ഒരുപക്ഷെ .  അല്ലെങ്കിലും റഷീദെന്ന
ക്രുരന് മരണത്തിൽ പരം വേറെയെന്ത് ശിക്ഷയാണ് നൽകേണ്ടത്.  റഷീദ്  മറിയത്തെ നിക്കാഹു ചെയ്യുമ്പോൾ അവളുടെ വയസ്സ്‌ പതിനഞ്ച്.  റഷീദിന്റെ രണ്ടാം  വിവാഹം.  വിണ്ടും ഒരിക്കൽക്കൂടി റഷിദ് നിക്കാഹു കഴിക്കുന്നു, മകളാ വാൻ പ്രായമുള്ള ലൈലയെ.  യുദ്ധം അനാഥയാക്കപ്പെടുന്ന ലൈലക്ക് മറ്റു വഴികളില്ലായിരുന്നു.

ജീവിതം അങ്ങനെയാണ്.  ലൈലയുടെ കാമുകൻ താരിഖ് തിരിച്ചു വരുന്നു.  ലൈലയ്ക്ക് താരിഖ് വെറും കാമുകൻ മാത്രമല്ല    
I thought you were dead – Laila said
I know You told me
Laila’s voice broke.  She had to clear her throat, collect herself.  “The man who came to give the news, he was so earnest……..I believed him, Tariq.  I wish I hadn’t, but I did.  And then I felt so alone and scared.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have agreed to marry Rasheed.  I wouldn’t have……”
“You  don’t have to do this,” he said softly, avoiding her eyes.  There was no hidden reproach, no recrimination, in the way he had said this.  No suggestion of blame.
“But I do.  Because there was a bigger reason why I married him.  There is something you don’t know, Tariq.  Someone.  I have to tell you.

As he was leaving, Tariq said, “ I want to meet her.  I want to see her”
“I will arrange it,” Laila said
“Aziza….Aziza…” He smiled, tasting the word “ Aziza, it is lovely.”
“So is she.  You’ll see.”
“I’ll count the minutes”……………….
“I wish I’d taken you with me,” Tariq nearly whispered.
Laila had to lower her gaze, try not to cry.
“I know you’re a married woman and a mother now.  And here I am, after all these years, after all that’s happened, showing up at your doorstep.  Probably, it isn’t proper, or fair, but I’ve come such a long way to see you, and……oh Laila, I wish I’d never left you.”
…………………………….”And your mother?”
“She was……….She was downstairs, talking to that man.”
“ I see,” Rasheed. “Teamwork”……….
Mariam began to say something, but he raised a hand, and without looking at her, said, “It is too late, Mariam”………………….
Mariam clawed at him.  She beat at his chest.  She hurled herself against him.  She struggled to uncurl his fingers from Laila’s neck.  She bit them.  But they remained tightly clamped around Laila’s windpipe, and Mariam saw that he meant to carry this through.

He meant to suffocate her, and there was nothing either of them could do about it…………..In the toolshed, Mariam grabbed the shovel.

Rasheed didn’t notice her coming back into the room.  He was still on top of Laila, his eyes wide and crazy, his hand wrapped around her neck.  Laila’s face was turning blue now, and her eyes had rolled back.  Mariam saw that she was no longer struggling.  He’s going to kill her, she thought.  He really means to .  And Mariam could not, would not, allow that to happen.  He’d taken so much from her in twenty-seven years of marriage.  She would not watch him take Liala too.

Mariam steadied her feet and tightened her grip around the shovel’s handle.  She raised it.  She said his name.  She wanted him to see.
He looked up.
Mariam swung…………….

“No one will know”, Laila breathed.  “No one will find us.”
“They will.  Sooner or later.  They’re bloodhounds.” Mariam ‘s voice was low, cautioning ; it made Laila’s promises sound fantastical, trumped-up, foolish………….
“When they do, they’ll find you as guilty as me.  Tariq too.  I won’t have the two of you living on the run, like fugitives.  What will happen to your children if you’re cought?”
“Who will take care of them then? The Taliban? Think like a mother, Laila jo.  Think like a mother. I am.”
“I can’t.”
“You  have to.”
“It isn’t fair,” Laila croaked.
“But it is.  Come here. Come lie here.”
“It is fair,” Mariam said.  “ I’ve killed our husband.  I’ve deprived your son of his father.  It isn’t right that I run.  I can’t.  Even if they never catch us, I’ll never………..” “I’ll never escape your son’s grief.  How do I look at him?  How do I ever bring myself to look at him, Laila jo?”
“For me, it ends here.  There’s nothing more I want.  Everything I’d ever wished for a little girl you’ve already given me. You and your children have made me so very happy.  It’s all right, Laila jo.  This is all right.  Don’t be sad…………”

The title of the book comes from a line in the Josephine Davis translation of the poem “Kabul” by the 17the century Iranian poet Saib Tabrizi
“Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs

And the thousand splendid suns that hid behind her walls”