Ernest Heminway’s A Moveable Feast (the copy I purchased at Shakespeare & Company in Paris) greeted me from the night stand as I rolled out of bed this morning. I read it for about an hour, then picked up Yasmin Khan’s The Great Partition, my primary research text for my novel, Finding Ohm.
I sometimes wonder whether I have any business writing a book that is partially about The Partition, when there are so many wonderful masterpieces (both prose and poetry) about it. Surely, I can’t offer a different, equally compelling point of view.
But I suppose, though roughly half of my novel takes place in Dehli in 1947, it’s not really about The Partition. It’s about how a fractured identity hampers one’s ability to lead a full, peaceful, joyous life. How understanding the stories of one’s ancestors, help a person to cope with present day dilemmas, and resolve them in a healthier, happier way.
What can a person learn about her family’s past, to help her strive for a better future? This is what I really want to convey in Finding Ohm. This is what I’ve been spending most of my time so far at Hambidge, considering.