VS Naipaul didn’t hate India
buy canada goose jacket The biggest obstacle to writing anything meaningful about VS Naipaul, who died over the weekend, is that there is nothing left to cheap Canada Goose say that has not already appeared in Patrick French masterly biography. buy canada goose jacket
canada goose clearance I was no great friend of Naipaul and was never overly impressed with the fiction. (Yes, I know he won the Nobel Prize for Literature; so this may say more about me than it does about Naipaul work.) And some of the early non fiction, especially the stuff relating to India, Canada Goose Coats On Sale left me annoyed. canada goose clearance
canada goose deals The young Naipaul called India An Area of Darkness (the title of the book that made his reputation) and in middle age he decided we were merely A Wounded Civilisation (a second book, much praised by the British press but treated with loathing in India). Many of canada goose uk outlet his observations canada goose black friday sale were undoubtedly valid even if they sounded unkind. But I never quite lost the sense that these were books written Canada Goose Parka by a man with a grudge; somebody who had an axe to canada goose store grind. Many years later when I read one of his essays about an early trip to India, I thought he canada goose was almost comically misguided. canada goose deals
Canada Goose Jackets In the essay, Naipaul writes canada goose coats about meeting an old friend from Trinidad in Delhi. The two men talk about how much is wrong with India. Then, they discuss Canada Goose Jackets how far ahead of India their own Trinidad is. Canada Goose Jackets
I have nothing against Trinidad but I doubt if any sensible person believes that it has been far ahead of India at any time in the last Canada Goose Online several decades.
Things did not begin to fall into place till I finally met Naipaul.
He had come to Calcutta canada goose uk black friday to research the book that would become A Million Mutinies Now and somebody had given him my number. He would get bored in Calcutta, he was told, so here were the numbers of some people he could talk to and meet up with in the evenings. My name and number were on the list.
canada goose black friday sale There uk canada goose outlet were no mobile phones in that era. So Naipaul called my office and left a message. When I saw buy canada goose jacket it, I was a little taken aback. What was Naipaul doing in Calcutta? Why was he calling me? canada goose black friday sale
Canada Goose online I called the hotel, the Oberoi Grand, where he was staying and asked to be connected to his room. The operator went off the line for a couple of minutes before returning and saying you sir phone rang and rang till a voice finally answered. canada goose factory sale kitchen, can I help you? there had been some mistake. So I called the hotel again. After several tries they finally located Naipaul who was writing quietly in his room. (He wrote every single day, he later told me.) Canada Goose online
Canada Goose Parka He was pleased to hear from me but said he was fed up of the hotel. I promised to take him out for lunch the next day. Would he like to try a Chinese canada goose outlet http://www.canadagoosecanadaoutlet.com restaurant that had just opened? There was a silence on the line. Canada Goose Parka
he finally said. canada goose clearance else? we agreed on a non Chinese venue and noting his irritation I called the General Manager of the Oberoi Grand. Did he realise that VS Naipaul was staying with him and that nobody could get through to his room?
The General Manager said he would check and call me back.
When he did, he was apologetic. They had a pastry chef called Nagpal, he said. So naturally all calls for any name that sounded like Nagpal were being directed to the kitchen.
Canada Goose Outlet This was not a terribly satisfactory explanation and I said so. I told him that I had spoken to the General Manager. His mood brightened, we had a good meal and he apologised for turning down my offer of a Chinese meal. dirty, he said. know Shanghai used to be the dirtiest city in the world. canada goose coats on sale thought that this generalisation was a little strange (and inaccurate and probably racist) but we agreed to meet again, a few days later. Canada Goose Outlet
canada goose coats When we did, Naipaul was annoyed about The Oberoi again know, some fool, who said he was the General Manager, came to see me to apologise, he said. canada goose coats
canada goose store And this was a bad thing? canada goose store
canada goose He buy canada goose jacket cheap disturbed me. I was writing and he made me sign copies of my books okay, I said to myself, this is one complicated man. canada goose
canadian goose jacket I kept canadian goose jacket that in mind as we met several times again including a memorable dinner at my home where Naipaul drank Canada Goose online too much and let his hair down. canadian goose jacket
buy canada goose jacket cheap It turned out that he had strong views on nearly everything. He hated Salman Rushdie, joked about the Satanic Verses fatwa ( extreme form of literary criticism and said he was delighted that Rushdie now had to seek the help of a woman he had called Mrs. Torture. (Margaret Thatcher.) buy canada goose jacket cheap
canada goose clearance sale He did not like black people. He did not even like the term he said. Much better to call them which, to be fair, was not always regarded as an offensive term in the late 1980s. And on and on he went. canada goose clearance sale
All of it made me uncomfortable and though we kept in touch intermittently for a few years, we never became friends. There were, however, the odd meetings where he would Canada Goose sale talk about his life in a surprisingly frank fashion.
Canada Goose sale He liked India, he said. He thought I was lucky to live here. I reminded him of An Area of Darkness and A Wounded Civilisation. He responded that a) India had changed since he wrote those books and b) he had never felt he belonged here till recently when India had up. canada goose uk shop where did he belong? His native Trinidad? Canada Goose sale
cheap Canada Goose absolutely not, he answered vehemently. could never live there. was followed by a cheap canada goose uk diatribe about Trinidad black population. So much for canada goose clearance sale Trinidad being far ahead of India cheap Canada Goose.