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Thursday, March 26, 2009

My take on Marquez


A story...... can say a sequel to what I read once long time back... (The Chronicle Of A Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez) I don’t know what other may think of this piece but this is how I wanted it to be. I didn't know earlier that I can imagine things in such a livid sense...

There was a girl who was betrothed to a handsome man of the whole town and above all this man was worldly wise, intelligent, sailed whole sea, and came back to settle down. He was known for his riches and intellect. He came to this poor village and fall for a young girl who was rarely seen out of her house except on Sundays for mass. She was beautiful like a pearl her smiles were like that of a baby sleeping contented in mama's arms; her deep dreamy black eyes had fairy dreams. He became her suitor and parents agreed both sides and wedding was celebrated with boom. At night when she was waiting for him in the anticipation of what’s going to happen. Trying to imagine how he will touch her and what he will say after looking her veiled face and countenance full of blush. He came with flowers in his hand and smiling bright. He sat beside her on bed and touched her hand lying on bed. He bent her a little and kissed her neck deep with one hand stroking her hairs. He laid her down and kissed her full on lips from over the net of her veil. He flung the veil across the room and slid his hand underneath her dress. He discovered the warmth of woman and slid his trousers down and then the disaster struck over the life of newly wed couple. On finding her slit too easy to penetrate, he springs back on his toes and screams aloud calling her whore. A Whore! A Whore? In frenzy, he tore down her dress into shreds and wraps a towel around her lower body. Pulling her by hands, dragging her all the way down to her parent’s house, he flung her on the floor in front of bewildered mother and sister.
He brandished her as whore and believed her to be non-virgin. He discards him saying that she is not virgin and not pure to be taken by him. Shocked family beat every nerve in her; kill her spirit with blames and abuses. She remains as mute as a stone on the streets being hit by wayfarers. Suspicion grows on a popular man of the society and he was killed and her loss of virginity was avenged by her brothers. They went in jail and dies there off.
Life gets back on track for everyone but for her life of a long wait begins thereafter. As repudiated by her husband, she retires to a small cottage on the outskirts of the village and sits by the window sewing and knitting for villagers. This is how he eked her living and lived a life of forsaken bride. Her daily chores included a letter to her husband who had long forsaken her and forgotten (?) too. Letters contents used to be sometimes passionate, full of grievances, narrating daily chores, talking light, loving, missing notes, and tortuous and in the end carried a note saying she is still waiting for him to come and take her. She had faith that strong belief that one day he will come and be her man forever. Thus, she spent lonely nights tossing in bed feeling his arms around her and wetting the pillow underneath.
Never she left the cottage and grew old on her sewing machine, knitting and sewing still. And, one thing she never stopped, i.e. writing letters to her husband. There was no one to make her feel loved, infuse life into her dead and inert world, and acknowledge her existence. Never the cottage door got opened, shut with no latch as it was from the very first day. He came forward and lifted her off the stool she was sitting on. She was in her shredded wedding gown and took her to bed. He laid her down and she looked t him for the first time unblinkingly. He came closer and said this is what you wanted- “me to come to you, lo! I’m here.” And, while speaking thus he broke into tears and hid his face in her neck shrouded with her long hair. She placed her hands on his head and buried his face in her bosom feeling the wetness o his weeping soul deep within herself, quenching her thirst, her love for him. They went into a deep sleep then for long time as if had spent ages wide awake.

One day, one day the door was ajarred with force and a man old, in tattered wedding suit, with bald patch on his head, and carrying a heavy suitcase stepped in. She knew it was him even when she didn’t look up to see who flung the door open. He thumped the suitcase in his hand on the table in front and it burst open spilling hundreds of letters with her name written on them. Yet she kept on doing her work and never gave him a look.

What I wrote above is different from the way Marquez’s ending. Marquez has given a brilliant ending to the novella showing the triumph of love and devotion. Marquez had shown Bayardo coming back to Angela after long hiatus of seventeen years with two suitcases in either hand. One suitcase had his clothing and the other had letters from Angela tied in a color ribbon, unopened, and arranged date wise. Can there be another end for this story?

Those were the times when, if hymn is loose that means girl is not virgin and she has indulged into sexual liaisons. The girl (Angela Vicario) gave a name of some man (Santiago Nasar) in the village thinking that as he was so popular no one would dare lay hand on him. But, to her ill fate her brothers (Pablo& Pedro Vicario) killed him despite the fact that the suspect was their close friend. She was in shock of being repudiated, dragged, humiliated, and beaten on her wedding night by her husband (Bayardo San Roman). To avert further beating she used the name of poor man who was being murdered. She destined his death. Marquez left the question unanswered in the novella, for instance, who, actually took Angela’s virginity? Was he Santiago Nasar who deflowered her? Did she tell truth? Was she really not a virging before her marriage? Why she never spoke truth even when Santiago was about to be murdered?Why she remained mute throughout the novella? Why, nobody in the whole town stopped Vicario brothers from the brutal killing? Did honor of Angela was restored with Santiago's killing? The question of honor, isn't a facade of society? Like these several more questions remained unanswered. Marquez played his role of a chronicler and presented the incident that had happened sometime in past with some fictional elements incorporated in it. Angela never defended herself too and never uttered anything until she was tired of being beaten up and spoke Santiago’s name because no other name came in her mind.
It might be a case that Angela was too shocked and definitely a woman will be in such a terrible state, when , on the very night of her wedding she will be dragged on the streets, draped in towel, partially nude and be thrown at her parent’s home. The broken hymn might be the cause of some accident or physical activity in her daily chores and not sexual intercourse. But, who gave a darn to it?

Marquez is one of the brilliant writers in the history of literary cannons. His writing style is too different from all the literary ages. Magical Realism! He talks of supernatural in such a natural manner that it seems as if it’s a common man standing besides you narrating a story full of ordinary human experiences. Be it the ‘Love In The Time Of Cholera’ or ‘One Hundred Years Of Solitude,’ Marquez etched out every story in a world which is too ordinary and yet have an aura of something beyond human knowledge. Everything in the world of Marquez’s writing is imbued with age old myths, superstitions, magical moments, occult instances and yet they are way too human. He is a magician who weaves a world of magical instances and myriad mythical hues around you and let you delve into the world of mysticism. Clairvoyance, honor, magic, history, mythical realms, super natural elements rules the world of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s writings.