Monday, February 25, 2013

Sunday Read: The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi

Going through my flipboard updates, Newsweek had a story on a debut film ' The Patience Stone'. I thought it would be interesting to read something written by an author who belongs to a known territory. Atiq Rahimi fled to Pakistan in 1984, and at the French Embassy in Islamabad requested asylum.
“Exile, despite everything, gives us a certain liberty, a certain distance with regard to our culture. And a critical eye,” he says. “It’s very creative.”

I had my book delivered this last friday while I was leaving for a " too bored, lets go Shopping in the other end of the City  trip" The bus was late. I opened the book package from amazon.


From the body by the body with the body
Since the body and until the body
Antonin Artaud

Took the bus to the train station..the escalator was faulty..had to wait for someone to carry the push chair down for me..missed the train..continued with the book while waiting.

Introduction written by Khaled Hosseini ( author of The Kite Runner )

It reads....
"It is a vexing fact that women are the most beleaguered members of Afghan society......"

"..Atiq Rahimi gives face and voice to one unforgettable woman- and, one could argue, offers her as a proxy for the grievances of millions."

I read it on the train too, it is a slim book. This post is turning into a novel on its own:p..I just wanted to share the experience and not to write a book Review

The book was written in French originally..Rahimi says that writing it in his aquired language rather than Persian or Dari liberated him from the social taboos that involuntarily obstruct him to express freely when writing in Persian.

Leaving the unfiltered content aside, the message was clearly conveyed. An indestructible soldier  lies on the floor in coma, nursed by his wife of ten years.

'The man is not laughing, and yet it seems as if he is holding back a laugh. This gives him a strange expression, that of a man inwardly mocking those who look at him.'

Rahimi brilliantly uses the metaphor of a Sang e Sabur for this corpse of a man; the black Stone which absorbs all confessions, secrets and formerly unspoken thoughts of a person till the day of judgement when it finally explodes. The book ends with an explosion..with a dead man in the room and a dead but free soul of a woman who finally spoke infront of the stone, after a lifetime of being, in Hosseini's words
'objectified, marginalised, scorned, beaten, ridiculed, silenced.'
My last thoughts on the book are that its not just in  Afghanistan where women 'suffer the most, and cry out the least'. The heroine of the book is not the nobelest of beings..and her turning towards the demon,( however unjustifiable ) to fill the blanks of her childhood, her marriage and her life experiances are the reality of  not just a war torn Afghanistan. Its a human reality in Aghanistan or elsewhere.
The book has been filmed too..directed by the author himself..not so keen on watching it because I killed my appetite to see a book turned into  a film when I watched the Harry Potter movie for the first time. That was it:p

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