Mosaic Patterns: Module 2

Mosaic Patterns: Module 2


this lecture is titled mosaic patterns module 2 in which we would offer concluding remarks in terms of various layers of discussion we have conducted in the last few lectures the lecture itself is divided into three paths first we would offer concluding remarks by establishing connections between various lectures part 2 will deal with post-colonial bildungsroman and beyond but three would offer new voices let’s first of all look at the outline of module 2 in order to have clarity about our attempt to bring various strands of writers on writing this particular module as we had stated right at the outset was actually centered on the writers vocation and also the cultural demands changing cultural demands on the writer the rationale behind that open-ended starting point was related to the our attempt to let you explore many possibilities they may be mythic historical or cinematic but various images of the writer were evoked and the idea was again to let you really freely explore your own viewpoint the teachers personal connection to the writing process was also shared to establish better dialogue because as we acknowledge right and the outset that the kind of course that we have presented to you there is not too much of that tradition of offering creative writing courses within the university setup and therefore I wanted to establish the rationale for offering such a course both in academic terms and in terms of the creative impulse of the teacher concerned also the next lecture in which we talked about creativity creativity and writing etc this sort of was meant to enlarged the framework of our discussion regarding creativity issues because there is constant research in this area and we wanted you to be familiar with the research and some of the practice in different countries so that you can choose the ideas that appeal to you most you are also aware of how different people conduct these activities and finally you are able to arrive at your own point of view again I emphasize that time and again because there is certainly no desire to develop any imitative mold but it is important to see what is happening in the rest of the world so the third lecture in this part actually also carried forward the same idea but what we did is to evaluate various famous manuals on writing and we offered you insights from these manuals and in the process we evaluated and critique them so that again you have some idea about what we value and what we don’t value but we also encouraged you to read these manuals on your own so that you can decide whether what we left out was indeed what you also wanted to leave out the fourth lecture of this module it revolved around writers on writing and in the next four lectures what we try to do is to share the classroom work that was done while teaching this elective in iit bombay the elective was offered at the fourth year level as i had i have indicated earlier and it also actually was more of a spontaneous process because i had a structure and i definitely had a plan of action but very often the students also had questions which which i added on so all these are shared and the two writers that i have presented in this segment are writers whose work we studied in the kind of framework i have provided here which is somewhat different from the traditional way of teaching literature because here we actually started with the writers on writing and we looked at kumas literary notebook where he separates it from autobiographical writing so it was felt that you know this offered a way of helping the student understand the demands of the literary process which is not purely an autobiographical process it of course has elements of the autobiographical aspects of our lives but at the same time writers undertake an imaginative journey where distancing is also a very important part and of course this is generalization but I think for people who are beginning to write this is a very important consideration and therefore we looked at the literary known book and also we encouraged interrelated reading that is reading of the literary notebook along with the creative work of that particular writer similarly we went on to look at atwood and her notion of the right herself in the case of Camus the notion of the self offered by Camus was somewhat different because he was interested in looking at the self looking at oneself and also he did not have a sense of split that atwood talks about where his awkward feels that the writer has the other and of course we looked at couple of essays and we also tried to unpack her elusive essays so that we could respond to the content in a deeper manner so this was an exercise in reading but reading which is targeted towards the writing process and we also gave you samples from the word that the students had undertaken so that you can see you can yourself see that none of these are really out of reach because sometimes when you are not exposed to literary discourses you can feel very daunted by the material that is presented before you I have really tried very hard to demystify and also kind you know take care of let’s say conceptual and theoretical issues but at the same time I’ve tried to offer it in a way that they become comprehensible to people who may not have in-depth awareness of the discourses it may therefore then happen that those who have in-depth awareness of these discourses they may feel that many of the issues are missing but I think I tried very hard not to even allow that kind of feeling to slip in so it’s a blend of sometimes intellectually sharper theoretical analysis but often the you know whole attempt is to make the material accessible and encourage you to read enjoy and learn from these deep insights offered by great professional writers of our time the other aspect that is actually very close to my heart is related to our presentations on Indian writing and very very consciously we started with writers and narrators because oftentimes in our oral tradition which has its own political dimensions are we find that there are such capable and sophisticated narrators who are really not designated as writers but it also has another side to it which is related to the fact that there is this collective sharing of stories myths legends and that also enriches our context a great deal so I sort of felt a strong need to make sure that the notion of the narrator is also placed before you for your own assessment and therefore we started with this notion of the writer and the narrator but of course you know we’ve pitched it within the framework of folk plays and folktales it doesn’t mean that a novelist is not a narrated or a writer whose writing is not a narrator he the writer is also a narrator but a narrator within the oral tradition has a very very different dynamics and I think there are issues that need to be addressed here also and I leave it to you to do so the other aspect of this presentation is related to the take our take on contemporary Indian writers and their search for creativity in the post-colonial perspective so what has been done here is to look at the number of great examples and of course you know i won’t go into these examples very much but we have emphasized this element of search which i will also briefly describe later on but or what i have also tried to do is to place it within the historical context so that we can see the differences between the nationalist period and writers and thinkers of that period and what writers are doing today and this is not to build any hierarchy but to try and understand the historical dynamics of change and also the resultant you know forms and themes that have developed so two lectures are devoted to that and of course the final lecture is the lecture where I’m trying to tie everything together but what i have done is to advance some of our ideas from this post colonial period which is a very very rich period and so let me talk about that in some detail I have placed the notion of the bildungsroman here once again primarily because we are interested in these yeah young writers who are also dealing with their evolving sense of the cell and bildungsroman from that point of view is a very very useful framework for discussion but I certainly don’t want to stay with bildungsroman but it has influenced the choice of material in terms of at least the initial post-colonial writer you know period the mammories that we’ve chosen the essays that we have chosen but at the same time we will also see what this bildungsroman is so that once again you’re clear about it this the reason I please bildungsroman within post colon colonialism because as I said it has the structurally this element of search which you find not only within the post-colonial bildungsroman but also bildungsroman in the European context it’s a form with close formal connections to biography memorial cinematic form there are other similar genres which right now we won’t look at but you can later on dip into it in order to pick and choose what again is fascinating about this forum is the fact that it deals with the protagonists development from childhood to use and the quest for identity is a dominant and it is often shaped by overcoming various ordeals and therefore you know you begin to understand the kind of changes that are internalized by the character so in that sense it’s a fascinating forum and therefore you will see once again that we picked up the memorials of thinkers and writers like to go or Gandhi and Nehru although that was an ambitious ex exercise considering be or you know Club them together for just one lecture but the idea is that you would begin to think about these writers and their viewpoint their writing and also read them in depth but what we added here is the issue of post-colonial period which is defined by the introduction of English language Western science and democracy and the kind of tussles that ensued because India is a pluralistic society and there are a number of indigenous systems of thought that coexist so the kind of tussles that ensued this is what we have focused on but we have also confined ourselves to these three great thinkers and writers of the National experience what we would like you to do is to move on to another notable period which we have not touched on except briefly in module one is the period of 1980s and 1990s specially for fiction salman rushdie’s midnight’s children I think in that sense is also seen as a post-colonial bildungsroman but it’s not just that it’s much more than that but I given that key idea here so that you have an entry point for that very complicated fantasy it’s a comic epic you can start with that key point and also you can contrast it with our own that Leroy’s god of small things which is seen as a tragic epic as I said these not the labels that define the work completely but in terms of bildungsroman and in terms of construction of identity under pluralistic systems I think it does give you very deep insight which is the role of friction it really engages with spaces that are left out from analytical framework we would also actually like to develop better understanding of what the writers of this particular period have to say about scientific issues because we notice that Tagore engaged with scientific issues because english-language signs and democracy these were three ideas that grip the imagination and it was these three were seen as important elements of decolonization process so we would like you to look at grammas which is a book which he of course doesn’t think very highly of himself but I think we should need to look at it all over again especially because of its SF nature I don’t that the roys of course book I have already mentioned the novel but also political essays such as the end of imagination what we notice here is that some of the writers have actually not necessarily you know engaged with scientific issues in terms of their fiction but I think it’s interesting to note that all three of these important writers have handled the issues of science and technology in their own way by critiquing our society our country and our national policies related to science and technology amitabh pushes the Calcutta chromosome the hungry tide I think both need to be also looked at very carefully both for their you know aesthetic value their significance but also for science and nature related ideas that have been internalized and expressed and explored and also the essay on nuclear science policy title countdown so this is by enlarge more of a reading list but we definitely want you to carry forward whatever are humans we have presented before you by connecting it to a recent framework and then bring it to your own immediate surroundings we also actually have been fascinated by the kind of impact that popular fiction like chetan bhagat’s five point someone has had on a large number of our students many many students who actually were not readers of fiction in English have started reading it after Chetan Bhagat’s five point someone which is rather interesting phenomenon because Chetan Bhagat does look at the underbelly of this highly idolized engineering education system and the syndrome that is that it represents and also we have discussed it earlier in relationship to the film 3 idiots although this is in the realm of popular fiction and you know popular cinema but I think both deserve a careful look and as also social phenomenon we would like you to contrast Chetan Bhagat’s piece especially a small segment in terms of what Gandhiji said about machines while in conversation with Mahadev Desai this particular part where there is a parody of the teacher is extremely popular amongst the students and I suppose I know why but I think I’d like you to have a look at it and also enjoy the contrast but also think about the kind of contrast where Chetan Bhagat’s teacher mr. professor Dube in the novel he is interested in celebrating machines his teaching mechanical engineering and he says fall in love with the world around you mr. professor do be smile for the first time and I’m reading from the text for you will become the masters of machines so certainly a very very different point point of view from the one that Gandhiji raised in terms of a sort of sense of philosophical investigation of what it means to think of machines and I think both from biological systems that is biological human destiny to the destiny of the nation I think Gandhiji had a seamless sense of connection where as hell the language is entirely different and unfortunately this doesn’t really work out as you will discover in the novel so I think we need to look at popular fiction of this kind also with you know great seriousness and also see why more and more people are reading this because this is not a simple case of acceptance of a given system but a way of actually also trying to critique it and understand its complications finally I want to let you know that we are also searching for new writers when we talk about our interest in how the whole issue of English language and scientific Western scientific knowledge versus indigenous models etc became a key element of decolonization we’ve also been searching for writers and one of the writers who gripped our attention is actually is our asar who’s actually abuse arey introduced us ironically to his work and I won’t sort of read this whole thing but you know he died a writer whose work was hardly noticed and it is very much sadly in the possum old where the writer in the garret struggled against the world because although he was full of talent and also you know great deal of intellectual curiosity by somehow despite his participation in the you know progressive Writers Association and also his prolific writing career I think somehow except those who read or do I think the book has not reached us so let me place the work that was actually mentioned as I said this was in the obituary that samajhti wrote and I’m very thankful for her you know for this write-up because it woke me up to what different people have been doing I’ve been investigating this science and literature connection for a very long time and it was maybe touching to read this whole profile but in terms of the work that he published the first science-fiction novel that he published was odd he zindagi then he went on to publish a landmark collection of science stories and poems called la sharika which means the non-participant and then his other novel is called machine okie mohabbat written in 1953 I just want to place these remarks here from a gantry tease interview where I think mumtaz rizvi one of the commentators recall that Assad was so far ahead of his time and so sure of being so that when he wrote a poem called dinosaur fifty years ago he noted that people wouldn’t understand it just then and again you know in terms of this lack of recognition that I just talked about his family was very sort of I think however very passive in some ways and also in some ways reconcile to the fact that he had such a tough life where his work was never recognized he wanted to be read he published he was not in Kafka mold he was more in the Camus mold and he wanted to be read but after his death his family talked about his marginality and this is what they had to say and as I said it really moves me each time I read this he says being people acquainted with facts and fiction we know how people in India treat their writers not just in or do but also those who write in hindi punjabi and any other language but english so it is alright said a member of the family Riley finally our interest is in generating discussion and creative work on the ways science and technology has pervaded our lives this is one of the themes that runs through our attempt and not because we are pleased in the IIT setup but because we are placed in a world where science and technology has really begun to make very deep inroads in our lives and in our consciousness and therefore we want to see this pervasive and powerful impact of science as an ambiguous sign of rationality and progress we want to deliberate on or discuss contrasting views and ideologies of science technology and social value also continuity’s and discontinuities of the discourse that actually during the Swadeshi period when Gandhiji wrote in Swaraj posited the indigenous versus the non-indigenous in a very sharp manner we want to see the continuity’s and discontinuities of that discourse and we want you to arrive at your own conclusions we don’t only have set conclusions to offer you finally we are committed to new voices and new themes and therefore I’d like to say that our emphasis is on you and your voices we are really not confining ourselves to only one single possibility although we have our own choices and our own interests in different kinds of voices but I think we would like you to explore your own voice as clearly as possible in that connection I think it’s very very important to place Rob Pope’s quotation of vm foster at the center of your attempts and this is really a very problematic area because as I said often when you’re you become a reader you are daunted by the reading process but writing process is a different kind of activity so the separation has to be worked out by you this is what Rob Pope has mentioned look before you leap is criticisms motto leap before you look his creativity’s so i think when i was looking at this and looking at the demands that it places i was reminded of Kobe’s words when he says Jin do not Tina paya Gary panipat memoir abuddin dhara raha Qunari bet so basically take a plunge and in fact we encourage some of our students to take this plunge and we offer some of the new voices in terms of what our students have been writing on their own they’ve not been caused or schooled but they agreed to share their writing be very thankful for that and that’s a section where I think I leave it to the students to present their work to you I’d like to introduce Smith up in her car you have seen her in lecture one of the second module when she read out the part of Simon de bua I would say so very well in this sort of segments have asked her coaxed her rather to read her creative piece after her interaction with her last time I slowly discovered many aspects of her research and creative work both in her own words she wants to be described as a student of sociology or social activist and a poet who writes primarily on the travails and boons of her diasporic identity alive passed between three countries tanzania the United States and India has been and continues to be the central subject of her poetry and prose so here is Smith that a feminist in pieces I am a feminist in pieces with a thousand reigns of life scattered over three continents I have no real home nor a sense of belonging the voices around me often say that I am living in three diasporas breathing in three cultures communicating in three distinct idioms I often feel less like a citizen of the world and more like a nomad of the imaginary traversing a train and incessant borders that exists only for me with roots that barely group the earth I stand on and a voice that seldom resonates with the souls around me I am a walking contradiction belonging to no particular world to no particular continental womb I am a feminist in pieces born of a black mother miles and miles away birth of a culture that celebrates color rhythm and unity I am weaved to a brilliant quilt of Rebs plaques golds and greens I have stood with my fists clenched in revolution against police brutality for taking back the night and towards building a stronger nation but in the end I have always stood alone at the crossroads of this deeply matrix life and wondered about which one leads home I am a feminist in pieces fighting for the rights of my sisters with a headwrap as my crown and a body studded with symbols of my history I have taken more than one journey towards the light towards the freedom that my sisters and I sought in honor of Sojourner Truth Harriet Tubman assata shakur and Angela Davis still tied to my mother’s umbilical cord I walked all knowing that I was black African beautiful and destined to fulfill the dream I walked all black African and beautiful or did I struggling to hold myself together bursting at the seams with black pride American patriotism and an indescribable Indian asst I’m a cocktail for which there is no recipe the voices inside me say that I am less a rooted revolutionary and more the seasonal pollen that floats above the fields settling wherever the gentle and furious win state me I belong to no one place no one culture no one ideology I am an alien wherever I go simply because the soil that I hover above never takes my roots never beckons to me never embraces me I am a feminist in pieces asking questions for which there are no real answers breathing movements of which I am never really a part of because they say I am seated by birth at the top of the social hierarchy a hidden of sorts because of my brahminism an oppressor because I have light skin and Aryan desk features a perpetrator of violence against the invisible masses because I own much more than a Shack situated on the banks of a polluted city a feminist in pieces my voice suffers a spiritual and moral laryngitis consumed by a guilt that I understand but will not own bothered by the social infection of poverty in them and oppression I have cared for and cared about those who have laid blame squarely on the shoulders of my ancestors and I my sense of conviction and pride rickety from accusations tremulous under the rage of the benighted beasts of my faster cracy and erratic in the presence of convention are reduced to that guilt that I understand but will not own will not wear that guilt I understand but cannot feel the broken people all over the world in sync with their hatred of everything I am body rebel against the permanency of their untouchability revealing everything that reminds them of centuries of collective humiliation dehumanization and a life entrenched in suffering but i do have suffered my gender my feminine mystique my voice from the lips that cannot speak have also been exploited battered and forced into a deep slumber silence so now I often wonder am I not broken too I am a feminist in pieces seeking to deconstruct that which I am to reconstruct that which I think I should be willing to rage against the winds of resistance I am a feminist scaring my pieces with heart and passion for cause which I cannot call my own for cause that they will not allow to be my own cast aside raced aside all this engendering has collapsed me unraveled me crippled me left me as nebulous as I was before the union of my parents spirits but still I rise with my visas in tow because I see how feminine feminism replenishes me I look forward to the day when my black mother draws me into the strength of her breasts when I am no longer just an alien buffalo soldier trudging forth faster red rock giants and when this country of my skull accepts me as a woman without deference and reverence of patty rata a feminist in pieces no more will I be I will have transcended the chaos of three diasporas three lives in three distinct women my Holy Trinity will meld into one and I will finally be a feminist in peace in one whole piece thank you ever so much smita for this very gripping and moving piece I’m sure you know we can talk about it endlessly and we will later on thank you very much the student who will present her literary work is Rashmi Chaudhary I had discovered her voice and her expressiveness in number of different sessions in IIT where she presented her poetry I think you yourself will discover it and see the kind of candor and power her voice has I have requested her to introduce herself in Hindi although I just do want to point out that she is equally comfortable with English but that’s a second language bill clearly a second language which he gradually picked up through text books and through college education and now for her research is a vital part of her education and she considers this second relationship as a vital element of her critical and creative awareness so she doesn’t really have an uncomfortable relationship with English language though inglot of Hindi flows from her heart so her context suresh me she will introduce herself namaskar mera naam rush pitch 03 here worth man Sam ma make sure chat room or Mary shows kavish a premier oops a man signum are you but Arthur with her hindi ba siya SE mira awad Gerizim and raha hai ki hindi hishaku many bushman SE apni khabar ki AAP ali pasha group medic hi mera an egg russian I Patrick Patrick om Prakash’s kuchiki ham radio or kavi sammelan okasari much happening of Ithaca props on bruh bruh club who are him jihad 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chuni falaka nila nila Vettori hey chuni falaka nila nila seamartini lucky she’s a little star of stuff somerton a lucky hey she said it off the roof though nobody thought it just didn’t say hungee I do nobody thought it just didn’t say huh muah yellow Oh buddy the ditch is sitting say hum honky I do whoa junkie be a saddle of title stop woohoo junkie me instead of thought of top Hisashi Shenandoah lucado shomen uchi histology she nado Lucado shomenuchi Hisashi she nado de kado shoe- key without engi hunza magery delta delta tar en get home sale McGarrett have thought of the boobage ET celtic yahoo body hale-bopp ochita kotaku yahoo body help boobity tickle attack yahoo body help zamani make a bodily nasarah of stylez pal Zamani keep and sell it after after or was I Rishi her jaw Lord Allah Jessica caliber mitooni gelada logico cripple me to me gelada logistical creepin me Tony bisaya come on come on a greater level of Tosca bisaya come on come now girlie loves butter stuff seamartini 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