Amitava Kumar on his beloved form of the modern love-story

Amitava Kumar in Daily O:

Amitava_the-lovers_a_080717064151Let’s talk about favourite lines. That is, let’s talk about what one loves.

Here is a favourite line of mine from a short-story by Junot Diaz: “The half-life of love is forever.”

It tells me that nothing dies. Or that it lasts forever even after it is lost to time. (Gulzar’s song from IjazzatMera kuchh samaan” is a paean to that idea. Here is a bad translation: “My few things are still with you / Those wet monsoon days / That single night wrapped in my letter / Erase that night / Please return some of my things…”)

The line of Diaz’s that I have quoted above occurs at the end of the last story in his collection This Is How You Lose Her.

My second favourite line comes early in the book. Actually, it is the first line of the collection’s first story: “I’m not a bad guy.”

I like that line so much because it tells me that modern love stories, at least those told by men, are seeded in guilt. We live in an unequal society — how could it be otherwise?

More here.

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