Friday, April 16, 2010

The Pickup

The Pickup,a novel by Nadine Gordimer, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. My rationale for reading this book was simple, it won Nobel Prize and must be excellent. The reading takes long and I have finally flipped the last pages. I have no substance to comment about this book. It was not engaging and thrilling. The plot and characters are easy to follow. But the style of the writing is very confusing. One can not distinguish easily who is saying what  in the story.  After all it is a difficult reading.

The gist of the story is a young beatiful white girl met a blackman (he is a Mulsim, not sure the colour of the skin, just assumed), when the former had a mechnical problem with her car and asked for help. The young immigrant, who is a faceless, and formless, without a valid ID happened to be a mechanic . The car repair business brought them together and a relationship blossomed. The young lovers, engaged in sensual pleasure and lured to each other.
However, the sturday immigrant was finally tracked down by the US immigration and despite of all legal battle that ensued, he lost all and ordered to leave the country in a specific time.

Julie, the white young girl summoned all her strength and pulled her every strings, but in vain. As the day of the depature approach, there was tug of war between giving up her love  and going for it.  Call it a love or what,  young and impulsive  Julie chose to leave everything behind in a rich country and abandoned all her comfort to accompany with this stranger to a stranger land.

Landed in a foreign country, where everything is different from U.S. Julie slowly adapted to living conditions there and besides found a vocation of teaching English to interested young women including her her in -laws. For Julie life means something else to her. It is more about openness, closeness and intimacy and the bond . Back in the U.S she has no close relatives, and besides estranged from her mother and dad.  Here in this new land, she found the companion of women, who are warm hearted and very nuturing. But her restless young man, attempted again all possiblites to get a visa and imbargo to any of the western nations for a greener pasture.  Finally, through Julie's relatives, he managed to get a visa to go to U.S. He believes that 
America is the land of honey and milk, where the poor can start from scratch to reach zenith of their life.    Where he could fully realize his potential and climb up the ladder of sucess. America is is the final destination for big dreamer.

Julie after learning this news, was surprised, and then also managed to get money from her uncle to cover their return flight tickets.

While the man's household reveled for the prospective of the young man's dream to be fulfilled, however Julie changed her mind. She refused to return to her country with her lover. She was his wife and she wanted to remain in his turf. The harshness of the desert and minimal material comfort in her new found home didnt deter her.  Undoubtely, there was psychological fight and emotional battle at the time of departure. The young Julie   did not give in, she didnt want to leave her newly found home. This foreigner woman spoke the local tongue and felt at home in a strange land despite of the loneliness and However men were destined to be in the oil field, as the novel read in the last page. -- he will come back--

Over all, the novel is abstract, philosophical and metaphirical and allegorical. I dont know if it is true as what one of the book critique about the book says  " it redefines "home' for our times, and it stays mindful of the shrinking world we live in". For me it was a book that needs to be reread one more time to get a good sense and grasp of it.

Monks save lives

Informations abtained from  contacts in Jyekunda gives a different pictures of the relief work, Chinese state is not showing any pictures of the thousand monks on the scene who were the first responder and acted heroically.