Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chasing Maya: An introduction to the characters

Invariably, our lives in this world are driven by some sort of mysterious forces that arise and subsist deep within us. Some of these forces, what we inoffensively call our ill-fate or misfortune, obstinately provoke us to chase illusively unending horizons, diverting us away from the greater purpose of our life, resulting in severe distress and endless frustration.

The characters depicted in this metaphorical fable are essentially the manifestations of some of these forces that human life is ceaselessly influenced and affected by. Though these characters are absolutely fictitious and are purely born out of my mind’s eye, in repeated instances, most of them live the forces and the influences that I have witnessed in the lives of the people around me or have personally experienced in my own life. ‘Chasing Maya’ is my attempt to proffer a perspective to the soul-in-pursuit-of true happiness about transcending the influence of these misleading forces of life.

Among all the characters in the story, the protagonist, Siddhartha Kumar is closest to me. I can relate to quite a few facets of his character…. But largely, he is a representation of the contemporary middle-class urban Indian, who today, in spite of being materially successful, is unhappy, frustrated, disoriented and directionless. I strongly associate with Siddhartha’s struggle around overcoming his obstinate complexes. I am fascinated by how, he, encouraged by the series of mystical experiences along his journey of self-quest, discovers that true happiness is his sole aspiration and concludes that a life of passion is the only means to achieve it.

Another character that really intrigues me is that of Baba Menon. Interestingly, like most other characters in the story, he too is a metaphor. He symbolizes the tendencies of stupor and inactivity that can creep into the psyche of any average human being. Nevertheless, he is a wise man, who, along with his eccentric wisdom, prefers to live in a world of his own. Baba Menon’s character has been conceived to reflect the intense inertness that the protagonist often experiences due to an apparent lack of a drive or a purpose in life.

Dr. Sapatnekar, on the other hand, happens to be my most adored character…. He reminds me of all those, who, since my very young days, have stood by me and guided my way. Dr. Sapatnekar’s character is an archetypical resonance of the protagonist’s inherent capacity to lead a life of genuine passion and true happiness based on his very own sense of direction, purpose and drive….

The characters of Maya, Dolly and Sukhon are inspired by my very own interpretation of various incidents of divergence and dilemma intermittently confronted by my friends from both the sexes. Together, the three women represent the multi-faceted anima of the protagonist. While Maya is the personification of the alluring mirage within him that he chases in sheer imprudence, Sukhon and Dolly stand before him as bold question-marks compelling him to seek undeviating solutions to the unresolved conflicts between his soul and his actions.

The simplest and the most truthful character in the entire story is that of Aparoopa. She lives the promise of a life of unadulterated love and true happiness… I genuinely feel some sort of an innocent pride when at the end of the book she subtly emerges as the source of a serene completeness to the protagonist.


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