Monday, October 24, 2016

Grief Is The Thing With Feathers

by Max Porter

A dad, two sons, an empty house and a grief counselor (a Crow)… together - The Art of Handling Grief.

"Moving on, as a concept, is for stupid people, because any sensible person knows grief is a long-term project. I refuse to rush. The pain that is thrust upon us let no man slow or speed or fix."

అసలు ఒక మనిషి ఇక లేకపోవడాన్ని, ఆ వెలితినీ ఇంత సింపుల్గా కూడా చెప్పొచ్చా!! (Dad:)
She won’t ever use (make-up, turmeric, hairbrush, thesaurus). 
She will never finish (Patricia Highsmith novel, peanut butter, lip balm). 
And I will never shop for green Virago Classics for her birthday. 
I will stop finding her hairs. 
I will stop hearing her breathing. 
A house that is now “a physical encyclopedia of no-longer hers”.

ఆ వెలితిని పూరించుకునే ప్రయత్నాలూ వింతగానే ఉంటాయేమో! (Kids:)
"We pissed on the seat. We never shut drawers. We did these things to miss her, to keep wanting her."
“We had to take the piss out of him as hard as we possibly could. We were convinced that it was what our Mum would have wanted. It was our best way of loving him, and thanking him.”
“We abused him and mocked him because it seemed to remind him our mum.”
పోర్టర్ బాబు, ఏ మగమారాజూ (ముఖ్యంగా పెళ్ళాం బతికున్నోడు) ఒప్పుకోడానికి ఇష్టపడని నిజాన్ని అలవోకగా చెప్పేసి మాబాగా నచ్చేసాడు.
“She had flu. It was unusual for her to be ill. The boys were tiny and it had snowed and she couldn’t bear us rampaging about the house so we got dressed and went sledging in the park. We were pathetic without her. The boys didn’t know where their hats were. Couldn’t get their joined mittens through their puffer jackets; didn’t want to see other boys, bigger boys sledging on the hill. I was hopeless. I took them out without wellies so before we’d even got down the road their little toes were aching. They both whinged and we all felt, all three of us, that without her things didn’t work as they should. They pitied me. I felt acutely embarrassed that my brilliance as a father had been exposed as wholly reliant upon her. Perhaps if I’d known, it was a dress rehearsal for the rest of our lives, I would’ve said BUCK UP YOU LITTLE TURDS, or HELP ME. Or take me, take me instead please.”

After a long, long and a very long time, I was able to finish a book. Though I felt it as absurd and boring at places, it kept me reading, and thanks to the part 3 which was more simple and sweet.

I really liked some of the sentences through out the book. Since my knowledge on Ted Hughes and his poetry is very minimal (especially his Crow), I think I couldn’t connect at many places. Otherwise I might have enjoyed it much better.
"And sometimes the crows are the wisest, even though they are the father/husband.”  
"Grief is everything. It is the fabric of selfhood, and beautifully chaotic. It shares mathematical characteristics with many natural forms."  
“Boys shouted I LOVE YOU. Their voice was the life and song of their mother. Unfinished. Beautiful. Everything.”
అసలు done with grief అనేది ఉంటుందా? క్రో చెప్పినట్టు, You were done being hopeless. Grieving is something you’re still doing. అంతే. 

పుస్తకం పూర్తి చెయ్యగానే, ఈ క్రింది లైన్స్ గుర్తుకొచ్చాయి.

khilte hai chehre, hasti hai aankhe, 
phir bhi nami reh jaati hai 
Thodi si kami reh jaati hai

Thanks to Nagaraju Pappu garu for recommending this book.