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Comparison between the introduction hullabaloo in the guava orchard and a passage to India

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A novelist through his work has to try and project to the reader, the glimpse of the world he is going to make the reader live in through the introduction. May be the complete essence is not portrayed in the preface, but the soul of the writer’s work has to be reflected. These words explicitly emphasize the significance of the introduction of a novel. It is the introduction, which gives us an articulate understanding of the style of author, the manner in which he elucidates his characters and the location in which his narration is based on.

In her debut novel, ‘Hullabaloo In The Guava Orchard’, Kiran Desai, daughter of the famous Indian writer Anita Desai, through her humorous ironic style has magnificently and articulately penned down the happenings of an absolutely bizarre Chawla family in a small Indian town called Shahkot. Deeply rooted in Indian culture, Kiran Desai’s ‘Hullabaloo In The Guava Orchard’ reminds us of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “though this be madness there is method in’ it. ”

As a preface to the actual happenings in the life of Sampath and his days of hermit-glory in the guava orchard, the authoress, through the introduction gives us an outline of the eccentric characters in her novel. The authoress, at the start gives a portrayal of the rain-deprived town of Shahkot. She describes the summer, which refused to end, the literal condition of draught and famine, which ‘made even the butcher turn vegetarian’ in a very ambiguous manner interspersed with ironies which just help in mounting the reader’s curiosity.

The authoress describes Sampath’s grandmother as a cliched old Indian woman, with beliefs that had no evidence and with tales that had an unknown origin.. It was ‘Ammaji’ as she is referred to, who gave Kulfi {Sampath’s mother} traditional Indian, tips of precautions during her pregnancy like “make sure you smell nice and the baby will smell nice too. ” According to Kiran Desai’s introductory description the only stereotypical character in the novel is the father, Mr. Chawla.

Reminiscent of middle-class fathers, he is a government employee, who shows his concern for his children’s future, but remains aloof from the extraordinary oddities of life around him. In complete contrast Mr. Chawla’ s wife, Kulfi {which actually is the name of an Indian ice cream} has an imaginary world of her own settled deep into her, which is not reasonable to anyone, neither her family, nor her neighbors and in fact at times not even she herself, could reason out lucidly the happenings within her.

Kiran Desai’s describes the unusual habits of Kulfi like sketching weird landscapes on the walls of the house, drawing pictures of spices and fruits, which, in reality never existed and various other unusual sketches like that of a boar entangled in a jungle of papaya trees. And it was in these unusual circumstances, with the advent of monsoon and the arrival of the much awaited relief food in Shahkot that Kulfi gave birth to a small son—who the people of Shahkot believed to be the arrival of good fortune. And this was how; he was named Sampath, which means good fortune.

By the introduction itself we get a quite clear picture that nothing about Sampath was ordinary, neither his birth, nor his family. The writing in the introduction shifts between passages of subtly observed dialogue and evocative lists compiled from the names of exotic fruits and birds, and the ingredients of lavish imaginary meals. The result is a thoroughly charming, funny and occasionally touching insight into the absurdities and ambiguities of life in small-town India. On the other hand E. M. Forster’s A Passage To India published in 1924 was a result of the inspiration he received during his two- year stay in India.

In the first chapter of ‘A Passage To India’, Forster establishes Chandrapore as a prototypical Indian town, neither distinguished nor exceptionally troubled. He describes the monotony of the town of Chandrapore, which presents nothing ‘extraordinary’ except the Marabar Caves, which is the main location of the story. The author, in his introduction has also given the colonial situation, which was present in India during the time the novel was being written. The author makes, very apparent the vast difference between the English colonial elite and the native population of India.

Forster makes it clear, that the British elite treat the Indians with disrespect, through the conversation between his central characters Dr Aziz, Hamidullah and a lawyer named Mohammad Ali wherein the three friends express their opinions about the possibility of Anglo-Indian friendship. In a very pleasantly intense manner the three of them share their experiences, and opinions about Anglo-Indian friendship. The author also introduces the important character of Mrs. Moore, an English woman in an encounter with Dr Aziz in a mosque to which Dr Aziz is very emotionally attached.

It is significant that Forster does not begin the novel with the description of any particular character. This places the story in context of the town of Chandrapore in particular and the nation of India in general. The two remarkable novels ‘hullabaloo in the guava orchard’ and ‘A passage to India’, both written in absolutely contrasting periods evidently have a great deal of differences between them. Kiran Desai’s debutant novel and ‘A passage to India’ the last novel of Forster published during his lifetime epitomize thoroughly their enormously divergent styles of writing.

In the introduction itself, this contrast is evident. While Forster chooses to give a description of his location, the town of Chandrapore, Kiran Desai opts to give a sketch of the characters. The two writers, in their introduction give a description about two different Indian towns. While Forster describes the ordinary nature of Chandrapore in a more clear-cut way calling even the Ganges unholy here, Kiran Desai talks about the dryness of Shahkot with much more irony by using phrases like “the police suggesting a frog wedding to be performed by the priests to get in the rain.

A notable difference is also that fact that unlike Hullabaloo, every element of the conversation in chapter two of A Passage To India has some significance to the later events that occur as the story unfolds. While in Hullabaloo, every character and occurrence has a certain degree of ambiguity attached to it, in A Passage To India they are more realistic containing a greater degree of gravity.

Hullabaloo’s introductory strength is the steady fluidity in which the story unfolds itself y the use of lucid images, and a ‘brutish’ set of characters whilst the power which attracts the reader to A passage to India is the self-dignified character of Dr Aziz, the love for beauty within him against the back drop of the colonial background present in India at the time this novel was written. With reference to openings of these two novels, one can infer that an introduction of a novel is one of the most essential parts of any literary work. As an author one of the major concerns when beginning a novel is to give the reader an idea about the world you are about to present to him.

An author would definitely be concerned about the way he introduces his or her characters because it is this introduction, which traces a lasting impression about the characters on the readers mind and can either evoke the reader’s curiosity or deter him away from the novel. The language usage is also of equivalent importance as it is the introductory language, which sets the standard and the pace to be followed throughout the novel. Also the author is always careful about the way the story unfolds itself in the introduction as maintaining the set pace is a characteristic feature of every fine novel.

All in all the introduction of a novel, if not the structure forms the base of the structure and it is a proven fact that for a dome of steel to stand, the foundation cannot be made of straw. The opening of a novel, for a reader is the pointer, which steers the novel in the direction, which the novel should head in. A good opening sets the tone of the novel with respect to language, pace, and direction and it reflects the very spirit of the novel. As it is said, “Well begun is half done. “

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