DOWNLOAD Tales from Firozsha Baag AUTHOR Rohinton Mistry


Tales from Firozsha BaagProbably the saddest of them all Condolence Visit about the strength of the marriage wovs and dealing with the loss of the loved one about annoying neighbors who refuse to keep away and about the strength to live on illustrated by a traditional marriage pugree an intricate type of head covering for the man Every flat of Firozsha Baag has its history its secret its pain Sometimes sharing is important to ease the burden other times memories are too precious to be scattered away and will be selfishly guarded from intruders Daulat shut the door and withdrew into her flat Into the silence of the flat Where moments of life past and forgotten moments lost misplaced hidden away were all waiting to be remembered A recurring theme is the passing of tradition from one Generation To The Next In The Collector to the next In The Collector Mody despairs of his own son getting interested in his passions and teaches a young boy from the court about stamp collecting Jehangir watched and listened to the euphonious voice hinting at wondrous things and promises of dreams In Suatter Nariman the storyteller enchants his young audience of wild boys with tall tales of cricket and hunting slipping in one about an immigrant boy who returns home after a failed attempt to live in Canada with yet another vivacious example of toilet humour In Exercises parents impose a curfew on Jehangir falling for the first time in love and try to convince him the girl is not suitable by taking him to a guru outside of town With all the subtlety of a sixteenth century morality play a crowd clawed its way into a local train All the players were there Fate and Reality and the latter s offspring the New Reality and also Poverty and Hunger Virtue and Vice Apathy and Corruption The reader might be tempted to be discouraged by these failed attempts to preserve the past in a fast changing reality but as the children grow p some wisdom and respect for their elders and their values find their ways into their hearts i think this is illustrated by the wonderful think this is illustrated by the wonderful selected by the author for one of the later stories It s about children immigrating away from Firozsha Baag about three young men one who tries to live in both worlds one who despises his origins and criticizes everything about his home and one who remains and fights poverty and corruption your lights are all lit then where do you go with your lamp My house is all dark and lonesome lend me your light from GitanjaliThe Parsi need their sons and daughters to remember where they come from and to keep the flames burning bright for future generations The closing episode is the logical conclusion and probably the most autobiographic in the book Swimming Lessons describes a Canadian tenement who gives shelter to old men abandoned by their children to elderly spinsters on the prowl to new immigrants from the Balkans and to a homesick Parsi boy Firozsha Baag may have a dwindling population but Jehangir is carrying its essence with him as he learns to live in his new country reading the letters from home and observing his new neighbors The tale continues in a new disguise The art of swimming has been trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea The devil was the money always scarce and kept the private swimming clubs out of reach the deep blue sea of Chaupatty beach was grey and murky with garbage too filthy to swim in As a metaphor for India and the social impediments of living there the image works its purpose in explaining the exile The rest of the story explains though that India is also the place Jehangir draws his strength fromI will definitely be interested to read from Rohinton Mistry 4Read these 11 stories over a couple of weeks and it was a blissful experienceA great collection of short stories because1 They are not very short 30 40 pages each2 Characters criss cross in each others storiesSo in effect felt this was a good novel impersonating as short stories Mistry s story telling techniues are at an altogether different levelThis one focuses human emotions and observations from middle class Parsi families living in a building called Firozsha BaagThis was my second book was AFB and I ve become a fan of the authorHighly recommended World can be a bewildering placeand dreams and ambitions are often paths to the most pernicious of trapsIn the early decades of the post independent India Mistry here tells From Mistress to Wifey us about the lives and idiosyncrasies of certain residents in an apartment complex in Bombay But before I say any further let me bore you with something I have to sayMy childhood was spent and cherished in a mohallacolony not an apartment complex in a small city There was no Parsi family in our neighborhood The time was three or four decades after of what this book pertains to YET while reading these tales I was filled with a bittersweet air of nostalgia The smel. S are far from desperate though sometimes contentious andnforgiving In these witty poignant stories Mistry charts the intersecting li. It is better to live in want among your FAMILY AND YOUR FRIENDS WHO LOVE YOU AND CARE And Your Friends Who Love You And Care You your friends who love you and care for you to be Disney Infinity: Character Encyclopedia unhappy surrounded my vacuum cleaners and dish washers and big shiny motor cars Poverty and the lack of of opportunity sends the narrator to a distant promised land Canada but his heart remains with his Parsi family and their colourful neighbors living in a rundown Mumbai tenement named Firozsa Baag Despite being episodic in presentation and jumping from one point of view to another there is a consistency and a continuity to the collection that makes me treat it as a whole and complete novel instead of a casual selection of short stories And despite the strong ethnic flavour and local colour I found aniversal truth in the dignity the humour the Dance With The Devil uiet endurance the dreams and the personal dramas of the tenement inhabitants that are not so different from those of the people I grewp with on my own street For the evident love of the author towards his people and his home for the joy of life even in the most trying circumstances for the joy of life even in the most trying circumstances ability to laugh at one s misfortune and still look with hope towards the future I would place this debut book by Rohinton Mistry on the same high esteem shelf I hold for the stories of Tortilla Flat or Cannery Row by Steinbeck for the slums of London as described by Dickens or for the exuberant images of Fellini in Amarcord or I Vitelloni for Kurosawa s poetic rendering of a Tokyo slum in Do Des Ka Den Big names here but I have no hesitation in adding Mistry to the list He has a fine eye for detail a wicked sense of humour an elegant turn of phrase and what I believe an npretentious and honest approach to the subject I feel he speaks from experience that he describes actual people he grew p with and not some imaginary characters engaged in fictional plots Of course every good writer tweaks and embelishes the truth to make it presentable to the larger public but I repeat myself I feel like I have known these Firozsa Baag people all my life in one disguise or another Nothing is certain in life Only births marriage and death The Parsi community puts great emphasis on preserving their traditional way of life resisting the lure of a global culture that effaces identity and tries to turn s into zombie like consummers of mass produced food politics music or movies even of dreams of owning products Many of the episodes in the book look at the transition between the rigid older generation and the kids preparing to escape into the larger world The Parsis are not exactly destitute they belong to the middle class and from what I ve read they have the highest rate of literacy in all India They define themselves in terms of Zoroastrian religion than their Persian ethnic origins And their population is dwindling due to low birth rates and sustained immigration From this perspective it can be said of Rohinton Mistry that he attempts to preserve his ancestral identity and reaffirm his beliefs before the whole Parsi culture is absorbed into the larger melting pot of a global niformity The journey was well worth it for me adding new layers of information about this group of people after first meeting them in the works of John Irving A Son of the Circus or Salman Rushdie Midnight Children Remind him he is a Zoroastrian manashni gavashni kunashni better write the translation also good thoughts good words good deeds All very fine in theory but in practice the people of Firozsha Baag do sometimes err in the practice of their religious tenets often with hilarious results The tone is set in the first episode as we get to meet Rustomji the Curmudgeon preparing for a feast day only to be brought p short by dripping toilet tanks or tomatoes splashing on his impeccably white shirt Later we learn about a Goan lady seeing ghosts about the difficulties of evicting paying tenants from a sublet room and about the greatest cricket player from India Most of the humour is earthy and toilet oriented something I have also noticed with Rushdie but the major tonality of the book is sombre and melancholic People grow old children leave never to return changes are often for the worst good jobs are hard to find and death is always waiting for its cue in the wings to snatch a loved one away I wanted to cry for the way I have treated Viraf and for his sick father with the long cold needle in his arm and his rasping breath for Mamaji and her tired darkened eyes spinning thread for our kustis and for Mummy growing old in the dingy kitchen smelling of kerosene where the Primus roared and her dreams were extinguished I wanted to weep for myself for not being able to hug Daddy when I wanted to and for not ever saying thank you for cricket in the morning and pigeons and bycicles and dreams and for all the white hairs that I was powerless to stop My favorite episode is. Firozsha Baag is an apartment building in Bombay Its ceilings need plastering and some of the toilets leak appallingly but its resident. .


L of the
School S Lunch Area The 
s lunch area the of a curmudgeon neighbor the omnipresence of a meddling aunty the gang of children and a pariah child all seemed to be lived inHaving read A Fine Balance I was prepared to cherish the excellent narration of the genius that Mistry is But I was again awestruck by this little gem because even the wonted lives of these residents penetrated and penetrated deep There is a subtle sarcasm and a profound ponderance on some of the biggest social and cultural issues of all time cultural and religious superstitions caste and race bigotry covetous western influences and corruptionThe luster of this book is that all the 11 stories are interweaved into one piece of cloth the characters in the previous chapters are not forgotten or misplaced The last chapter especially is a gem wherein Mistry or less concludes all the stories and gives the reader an autobiographical essence Rohinton Mistry you are a gem Old bai took English words and made them Parsi words Easy chair was igeechur French beans was ferach beech and Jacueline became Jakaylee Later I found out that all old Parsis did this it was like they made their own private languageI ll follow this language any day In these stories Firozsha Baag s language is pronounced in sharp italicized abbreviated tunes of the kind of laughter and pain that follows everyday life of the fabric of life within a community of the nuances of a people and culture of those moments that may seem simple and yet they deeply and meaningfully define a way of living Of White Hairs and Crickets one of my favorite stories in this book As a young boy tweezes the grays out of his father s head daily he thinks this is a meaningless and cruel task ntil he is introduced to his friend s dying father and he realizes that if this is how he keeps his father younger and healthier looking he ll never aband It is said that when the British left India they gifted their mannerism to the Parsis I do not know the authenticity of such whimsical statements although I have never seen any community with such great degree of clear cut decorum Parsi is a Persian Zoroastrian ethnic community a minority in the Indian sub continent In a religion conscious environment Parsis are the most mild mannered and according to my adolescent psyche aromatic individuals As a child my pleasant memories of experiencing Parsi culture were those pleasant Sundays spent with an elderly neighbor Dhun Aunty as we would address her would serve our hungry mouths with the most delectable savory dishes of meat and eggs The spicy curries and rice with caramelized onions were devoured amid the lingering aroma of sandalwood and eau de cologne Bowls of warm bread pudding with afternoon tea while laughing your guts outs to the antics of Laurel and Hardy would see an end to a wonderful soiree It is where I learned to differentiate between Mozart s Symphony 40 and The Blue Danube although I m still a novice to C major or G Minor identification and browsed Wren m still a novice to C major or G Minor identification and browsed Wren before it became mandatory in school Things have drastically changed now with increase in western Night of the Werewolf (Choose Your Own Nightmare, urbanization and vast immigration to foreign lands yet the authenticity of the culture can be experienced in certain residential colonies strictly built for the respected communityFiroza Baag is one such residential colony adorned by a three apartment buildings and filled with theirkiest and amusing occupants one can come across The 11 short stories brim with incidents that flatter the humdrum lives of its occupants or events taking place at a lazy hour that either might be life changing or may just fade away into a speck of wistfulness The stories trickle from hilarity to seriousness of bigotry and communalism that become a major part of a sub culture Subtle racism cultural labeling and the insecurities prevailing over other influential communities can be seen throughout the book This is Lay My Burden Down uite a norm here in India where preference for fair skin tones andnderstated prejudices seep into daily life The multifarious patterns of Bombay and its people through the lives of one community are comparable to listening to Moonlight Sonata at a crowded train station The concluding story Swimming Lessons sums p the entirety of this book as it juxtaposes facts and fictions and illuminates the brilliance of a writer called Rohinton Mistry Words fail me when it comes to Mistry s scintillating mosaic of inconseuential lives that seem to get lost in the crowd He captures the nitty gritty of one of the strictest religious community in Bombay through an array of lucid emotions and gentle compassion Through his books I breathe the sweet air of my nostalgia and observe the frowning faces of strangers wondering the tale behind the wrinkle of their middling life Rohinton Mistry which is why I love your words so very much. Ves of Firozsha Baag yielding a delightful collective portrait of a middle class Indian community poised between the old ways and the

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