Thank you Navneet for giving this opportunity. This is a blog posted by me in Sulekha 5 years back.
Can We Have The Same Feelings Like Another?
The inspiration for this blog is the blog “Comparison — Is It Good Or Bad?” by Mangalaji and the comment on the same by Sounderyaji. So my sincere thanks to both of them.
I have been fascinated by the stories of RK Narayanan, MulkRaj Anand, O. Henry, Charles Dickens etc. When I read their short stories/ Novels, many times I used to get myself identified with a character and start feeling their feelings. For that matter is it not the hall mark of a good story? When Mulkraj Anand describes the child in the short story “The Lost Child”, we can feel each and every thing that the child observes and also that of his mother and father.
“He hurried towards his parents, his feet obedient to their call, his eyes still lingering on the receding toys. As he came to where they had stopped to wait for him, he could not suppress the desire of his heart, even though he well knew the old, cold stare of refusal in their eyes. “I want that toy,” he pleaded. His father looked at him red-eyed, in his familiar tyrant’s way. His mother, melted by the free spirit of the day was tender and, giving him her finger to hold, said, “Look, child, what is before you!”
Similarly when we read RK Narayan’s story about the mango problem being solved by swami in his book Swami and friends
Half an hour later Swaminathan sat in his father’s room in a chair, with a slate in his hand and pencil ready. Father held the arithmetic book open and dictated, “Rama has ten mangoes with which he wants to earn fifteen annas. Krishna wants only four mangoes. How much will Krishna have to pay?”
Swaminathan gazed and gazed at this sum, and every time he read it, it seemed to acquire a new meaning. He had the feeling of having stepped into a fearful maze…
His mouth began to water at the thought of mangoes. He wondered what made Rama fix fifteen annas for ten mangoes. What kind of a man was Rama? Probably he was like Sankar. Somehow one couldn’t help feeling that he must have been like Sankar, with his ten mangoes and his iron determination to get fifteen annas. If Rama was like Sankar, Krishna must have been like the Pea. Here Swaminathan felt an unaccountable sympathy for Krishna.
“Have you done the sum?”, father asked, looking over the newspaper he was reading.
“Father, will you tell me if the mangoes were ripe?”
There is a beautiful poem “Mambazham” by Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon in Malayalam which was recited by my father when I was a child “Ripe mango” is called as “Mambazham”
In Malayalam “Ripe mango” is called as “Mambazham”.
The poem starts with the weeping of a young mother on seeing the first ripe mango falling in her courtyard from the tree. She remembers that four months back her darling son who is no more now has come plucking the mango flower- buds with joy. But she scolded him for plucking them as it would not yield fruits and for doing that he needs spanking. The child felt disheartened and sad and threw away the mango flowers, and said I am not going to come to pick up the ripe mangoes!” He threw the buds on the floor and walked away.
The poet reminds us that children are like GOD and their words could come true.
One cannot finish reading the poem without getting tears. Following is the gist. It may not be that effective like reading the original.
I think in all the above, even as a reader we can feel and I think the writer would have definitely feel it all the more for I had been trying to write some short stories and articles following the great masters and could feel the same.
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