Literature Meme, Midnight’s Children

I discovered Midnight’s Children in a bookstore in Mumbai eight and a half years ago and was more than pleasantly surprised as soon as I began reading it on the train from Agra to Delhi. Back then, my knowledge of Rushdie was limited to the controversy after the fatwa and I must say I am quite angry with the whole cacophony that has shrouded the beauty of his writing.

For you ignorant readers out there, a meme is defined by Wikipedia as “cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another”. According to Richard Dawkins, who can take the credit as the person who coined the term, a meme is a replicator. I think I like this succinct description better.

In this case (practically speaking) a meme is an incentive to get bloggers to write. And as you can see (in this case) it works.

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(auto)biography

Studying architecture during the summer of ’92 made him an engineer. His dislike for the Introduction to Operations Research course, his indifference for car engines, and his thoughts about the unsightliness of the Civil Engineering building made him a Materials Scientist.

Sarapci
Born in the south (74) as the first son of a second son.  He attended primary school in there where he learned how to play soccer and doodle in class. He went to Tarsus American College for four years. As a member of the historically significant final boarding class of the school, he survived the tough boarding life of Tarsus where underclassmen are not supposed to take showers during the week and sleep on the top floor of famous Stickler Hall where broken windows are never replaced (and it can be pretty cold in Tarsus).

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Aparna Weds Pratap

They wore red uniforms with flat hats, and around them were a couple of guys carrying huge lanterns. When everyone was ready, we started the march to the wedding area. We probably took 45 minutes for a distance of 2 kilometers because we stopped every few minutes and danced to the tunes of the band. We were joined by local kids on the way who pointed at me, an obvious foreigner in indian clothing, gaped and giggled.

Indian weddings are the closest that I have seen to the 40 days and 40 nights weddings of fairy tales. In Pratap’s case, the various functions took 3 days and 3 nights plus a reception at the his hometown Delhi. Everything except the reception was organized by Aparna’s family. The functions described below were all in Mumbai (aka Bombay), and were on December 12th, 13th, and 14thof the year 1999. Traditionally, the night of dances (Sangeet) and the day of henna (Mehendi) were only attended by women, but this is no more. History is repeated once again in India, men have invaded.

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