song of kali / lord of the flies


' "He died right there," said Krishna."
We all stopped and followed Krishna's pointing finger. The corner was empty except for small balls of dust. "It was 1941," Krishna said. "The old man was dying, running down like an unwound clock. A few of his disciples gathered here. Then more. And more. Soon all of these rooms were filled with people. Some had never met the poet. Days passed. The old man lingered. Finally a party began. Someone went to the American military headquarters . . . there were already soldiers in the city . . . and returned with a projector and reels of film. They watched Laurel and Hardy, and Mickey Mouse cartoons. The old man lay in his coma, all but forgotten in the corner. From time to time he would swim up out of his death sleep like a fish to the surface. Imagine his confusion! He stared past the backs of his friends and the heads of strangers to see the flickering images on the wall."
"Over here is the pen that Tagore used to write his famous plays." Chatterjee said loudly, trying to draw us away from Krishna.
"He wrote a poem about it," continued Krishna. "About dying during Laurel and Hardy. In those last days he dated his poems, knowing that each one could be his last. Then, in the brief periods between coma, he wrote down the hour as well. Gone was the gentle bonhomie that marked so much of his popular work. For you see, between poems, he now was facing the dark face of Death. He was a frightened old man. But the poems . . . ahh, Mr Luczak . . . those final poems are beautiful. And painful. Like his dying . Tagore looked at the cinema images on the wall and wondered― 'Are we all illusions? Brief shadows thrown on a white wall for the shallow amusement of bored gods? Is this all.' And then he died. Right there. In the corner." '


Song of Kali
(Pages 138-139) 



'The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.'


Lord of the Flies
(Pages 224-225)




My brain's still mush.
Reviews are out of the question.
Unless you enjoy the incomprehensible ramblings of an intellectually stunted hermit.
Maybe you do.
But.
No.

So...


Song of Kali . . . i'm dead inside. The horror genre has yet to instil any fear in me.
Someone, for the love of my sanity, suggest a book that might genuinely scare me.
I beg of you.

Lord of the Flies . . . what can i really say that hasn't been said before and far more eloquently?
It's beautiful.
Harrowing.
Startling.
Freeing.
But ultimately heartbreaking.

Even now, just rereading the last paragraph, that age old fluttering is back in my chest and if i allow it, will result in Alice-sized pools of tears.
Normally i wouldn't even quote from the end of a book for fear of spoiling someone like myself who has reached their late 20s and have failed to read Golding's classic coming-of-age story.
But nothing else compares with those last lines.
They're devastating.
And unforgettable.
...
Goddamn my sister for making me read this.

It's official.
The Book Challenge* is complete.
But far from over i suspect.




*Book 1, 2