Marquez is gone - like many other good fellows - it brings many fond memories back - you wake up with a cup of coffee, open Facebook one gloomy English morning - and find it turned into a surreal graveyard - no gongs - some clamor in the distance - everyone standing in the queue dressed in black, paying homage to the master - white flowers scattered all over the blue and now somewhat black a Facebook wall.
Back in good old days back in a high school in Calcutta we had an english teacher whom we kids used to look up to as someone you wanted to be like - he said once you pick an author and you read the author - you read therefore how he went through the walk of life - in my young mind that left a deep impression -
Question was whom to read, who is it that you truly want to know ? When famous Mathematician Littlewood’s quote came for your rescue ‘I listen only to Bach, Beethoven or Mozart. Life is too short to waste on other composers.’
Then was the search for which one to start reading - ‘one hundred years of solitude’ was the obvious pick - so was ‘no one writes to the colonel’ and everything that followed - but for those who truly would want to know the artist beyond the art, I have found ‘fragrance of guava’ - his intimate interview with Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza as candid as it can ever get - first time I met this book was in 1997 calcutta book fair, INR 464 was too steep a price in good old days - I therefore had to wait three more years with bated breath to put my hands on a copy - I sincerely suggest you try one.
Marquez was good to get to know - his walk of life - his growing years in his grandparent’s house the influences thereof that stayed in his mind - the witches - the far off land - his struggle as a poet - finding he’s no good in that - his waking up to first line of ‘Metamorphosis’ - ‘As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin’ - as a wake up call - one could write poetry in prose ! - his cigars - giving all up - his choosing autumn of the patriarch as closest to his heart - because ‘one hundred years of solitude’ was only about renunciation of love, whereas autumn of the patriarch was about renunciation of power - a much more difficult subject to write home about - all blend and melt into one single whole.
it was good knowing you signor Marquez a life worth ‘living to tell the tale’.