My favorite painting is a fresco by Rennaissance artist Raphael called “the
The painting depicts the oral tradition of the Grecian philosophers who taught the privileged of
The final point to remember is that of the philosophers depicted in the painting, not one of them completely shared the other’s opinions. Each one had their own way of thinking and of viewing the world, begging the question: living in the same city, how does one man think so radically different from another? But this shows us that a homeland is the same: one person sees his homeland through one lens, while another may view the same place with a very different light.
Chandra’s Love and Longing in Bombay can be compared quite favorably to Raphael’s “The School of Athens.” Both of the elements of homeland that Raphael depicted with brush, paint, and plaster were captured just as surely by Chandra’s ink on paper. His beginning with the oral retelling of a ghost story concerning a famous general Jago Antia sets the stage for the rest of the novel, each aspect of the plot supposedly being a story told by Subramaniam; thus, for the large part, the novel’s narrator is this Subramaniam though the “listener” and initial storyteller is another man depicted in the first person. The entire novel is as an oral tradition dictated to paper much like the ancient Grecian philosophies, a tribute to the narratives of
And yet, though the three stories of the first half of the novel each take place in