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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Friday, October 13, 2006


This is turning out to be some week! I am bone tired, my chest feels like its going to thump out of motion, there have been more than the usual sleepless nights, but then it is news like this that just keeps me going.

I was initiated into Orhan Pamuk's world with 'Snow'. Last year, during Diwali, I spent countless hours nestled in the jhoola in my grandma's garden in Chandigarh, reading, re-reading and visiting Pamuk's amazing world. It all happened much to the consternation of my aunt, who has given up on me and my reading habit.

This piece tracks my journey into Ka's life -

Pamuk's lyrical voice and uncompromising politics speak for itself. Last year he was charged for telling a Swiss newspaper in February 2005 that Turkey was unwilling to deal with two of the most painful episodes in recent Turkish history. That of the massacre of Armenians during World War I, which Turkey insists was not a planned genocide, and recent guerrilla fighting in Turkey's overwhelmingly Kurdish southeast.

The charges were eventually dropped in January, ending the high-profile trial that had outraged many observers. Many allege that it is the political undertones that helped Pamuk get the prize this year. Last year, the prestigious Literature Nobel went to British playwright Harold Pinter, who remains a strong opponent of the Iraq war.

Whatever the arguments, in my book Pamuk deserves the laureate.

Each one of his books resonates long after it is read and over. In fact, his latest work, 'Istanbul: Memories of a City',has reminiscences of childhood and youth together with reflections on the city's past.

In handing out the award, the Swedish Academy said that the 54-year-old Istanbul-born Pamuk "in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures."

Though when the grand announcement was made, this was the author's reaction:
"Who is calling at the middle of the night?' And when I heard that I have received the news, I didn't have anytime to think about it because immediately the secretary of the Swedish Academy called me. So it was a sort of joy and 'Oh my God what am I going to do now? How am I going to address all these demands now?'

Pamuk has recovered from that moment now and fans like me can rest assured in his vow that "this prize will not change my writing habits."

That's enough to keep me waiting for his next book, this time by Orhan Pamuk - the Nobel Laureate.