Shalimar the Clown: A Novel

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His plots proceed by verbal connection and elaboration as much as by character interaction. But the City of Angels now stood on a Very Large Plot of Land Indeed, thought India Ophuls, and those who dwelt there needed mightier protectors than they had been given, A-list, A-team angels, angels familiar with the violence and disorder of giant cities, butt-kicking Angeleno angels, not the small-time, underpowered, effeminate, hello-birds-hello-sky, love-and-peace, sissy-Assisi kind.

A studied duality gives structure to its teeming details. Another doubling, posing the conflict of the extremes within human nature, is expressed in terms of ancient Asian myth:. The shadow planets actually existed without actually existing.

They were heavenly bodies without bodies. Rahu is the exaggerator the intensifier! Ketu is the blocker the suppressor! The dance of the shadow planets is the dance of the struggle within us. Their behavior was worthy of the strongest censure. But at the time of this auspicious outcome, in the early sixties, Kashmiriyat was already under siege. Kashmir had been the idyllic summer haven of the British colonials, who, in , installed a Hindu ruler over a population that, after centuries of Mughal rule, was predominantly Muslim.

The village tolerance and Hindu-Muslim coexistence that Gandhi had hoped would prevail in postcolonial India gave way, in Kashmir, to sectarian battles, fitfully halted by United Nations-arranged ceasefires, and to terrorism aligned with global Islam. But to Rushdie it has been a grievous personal matter. His fascination with fame and theatricality, movies and rock music predated the fatwa, and gives his fiction a distracting glitter, like shaken tinsel. It hinges on an impetuous vow. After killing Boonyi ruthlessly in cold blood, he becomes free to pursue his final target.

The journey from innocence to betrayal reaches its final stages through the pathway of complete destruction. Pachigam ceases to exist. Charged with harboring extremists, the village bears the full brunt of the atrocities of the armed forces. Everyone is killed, people and life is totally obliterated from the place where love had once bloomed and blossomed. The furies thus, find a new home in the action of the armed forces meant for protection of people.

Rushdie here indicates the pathetic situation of the people of Kashmir who have to bear the atrocities of both the terrorists as well as the forces. Life for them has left no option open for them to live in freedom and without fear:. Roth, It is not only fundamentalism or extremism, which proves to be detrimental for life and country; nationalism can also endanger life and freedom when taken in the stringent sense concerning itself only with selfish aim of possession and power.

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Bound in these twin chains, an individual lose all, identity, liberty and life. The fury unleashed by their combined powers creates only havoc and destruction wherever they exist. And these furies find another abode in the heart of India or Kashmira. The knife in his hand that had long been thirsty for revenge ultimately finds its target when Shalimar kills Maximilian Ophuls at the doorstep of his daughter.

India is also Kashmira, the daughter of Boonyi and Max. Her existence gives a new twist to the revenge tale of Shalimar, for her presence makes his revenge incomplete, for early in the story Shalimar had vowed that if Boonyi ever betrayed him, he would not only kill her and her lover but also the child if any from the relationship. The death of her father leaves India shocked and furious:. Like her mother who left home and family for the sake of a false and borrowed identity, India leaves for Kashmir in quest of her true identity.

She returns not as India but as Kashmira:. Kashmir lingered in her, however, and his arrest in America, his disappearance beneath the alien cadences of American speech, created turbulence in her that she did not at first identify as culture shock. She no longer saw this as an American story. It was a Kashmiri story.

Shalimar the Clown

It was hers. Yet his hurt ego fails to find satisfaction in their death because his efforts to obliterate their presence are negated by Kashmira, a living reminder of both Boonyi and Max.


  1. Flame-Broiled Whopper.
  2. Language and Material Culture.
  3. Storm in the valley of death.
  4. Site Information Navigation!
  5. Paradises Lost.
  6. Site Index.
  7. Rushdie’s “Shalimar the Clown.”!

Hatred can never extinguish the Life Force. It lives on in the hearts of people, like it does in Kashmira.

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The children of paradise

Kashmira embodies the emergence of a new beginning from the chaos and turmoil of betrayal to the arrival of a bright new dawn, full of hope and regeneration. Her presence is an indication by the author that Kashmir will not be lost; it will emerge from the darkness into the light of true freedom and hope for all its people, a new life.

Salman Rushdie

Kashmira symbolizes this new beginning in her realization and acceptance of her true identity, in her love for Yuvraj, and ultimately in her emerging victorious by executing the hatred and violence of Shalimar. She was no longer a prisoner of fury when she lets her arrow find its mark. In the story of his characters is intertwined the story of Kashmir, its life and culture, and the degeneration of this Paradise into Hell. In fact the novel:. The novel is not only an odyssey from innocence to betrayal but also an affirmation and belief on the resilience and strength of the human spirit, a belief in the future.

Truly a trilogy of innocence, betrayal and new beginning, Shalimar the Clown is a story portraying the life cycle of death in life and life in death, a perpetual cycle of birth, destruction and regeneration. It represents a new life, a new beginning with the dissolution of all divisions and segments. There was only Kashmira, and Shalimar the clown. All divisions dissolve and disintegrate paving the way for the reign of Humanism, for the victory of the essential Life Force present in all of us. Works Cited 1. Rai, 'Postcolonialism: Its Meaning and Significance'. All Parenthetical references of the text are to this edition.

Jason Cowley, 'From here to Kashmir', Rev. Of Shalimar the Clown. The Guardian Weekly, Vol.


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Jason Cowley, p. Dhawan, p. XIV, No. Marco Roth, 'Give the People what they want', Rev. Marco Roth, Jason Cowley, 'From here to Kashmir', p. Jason Cowley, Channels In Focus. In his latest novel, Shalimar the Clown Rushdie, , he voices this concept of a borderless world and its implications: Everywhere was now a part of everywhere else. Listening to the Iron Mullah, he realizes that: By crossing the mountains they had passed through a curtain and stood now on the threshold of the world of truth, which was invisible to most men. Roth, It is not only fundamentalism or extremism, which proves to be detrimental for life and country; nationalism can also endanger life and freedom when taken in the stringent sense concerning itself only with selfish aim of possession and power.

She returns not as India but as Kashmira: Kashmir lingered in her, however, and his arrest in America, his disappearance beneath the alien cadences of American speech, created turbulence in her that she did not at first identify as culture shock. Email ID. Can't read? No part of this Internet site may be reproduced without prior written permission of the copyright holder.

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