Oct 08: Story of ‘Animal’s People’ a beautiful literary piece by Indra Sinha could have been a story with nightmares after reading which one would not have been able to sleep for nights taking its grim and horrible subject based on real life tragedy of people of Bhopal thanks to the humour of the leading character, Animal also the narrator of the story.
Title, very simple yet completely suggesting the theme of the book which is the story of the people of Bhopal named ‘Khaufpur’ in the novel and that too through the eyes of its main character Animal.
The name of the main character has been chosen with utmost care which awakes a curiosity among the readers and a queer reaction why the lead character has been named ‘animal’. But as the story unfolds writer has justified the logic behind the name of the main character and the title.
‘Animal’s People’ is about the people who became victim of the interests of the rich and powerful and suffered for no faults of their own. It is a portrayal of their inhuman life equivalent to animals they are leading after Bhopal gas tragedy took place and the negligence of the damages done by ‘Amrikan Kampany’ to Animal’s people.
Novel is a first person narrative. Animal narrates the story. He has been given this particular name because he is destined to crawl on his fours due to the bending of his spine thanks to the chemical catastrophe which took place at the time of his birth. The gas leak not only swallowed his parents but turned his life from human to animal. He says in the very opening of the novel, “I used to be human once”. Animal, a victim of the tragedy also has become a kind of celebrity of the town being approached by the journalists for their stories and pictures.
His life has been full of pain without parents and physically helpless.
There are other interesting characters, French nun Ma Franci, American doctor Elli, political activist Zafar and Nisha, the lady animal likes, journalist on the website, Indira Sinha.
A positive note runs parallel the string of pain and suffering in the life of people as they have learned to survive on their own with no redressal of the damages by the Kampany. They have fallen into the state of deterioration. Sinha has beautifully portrayed a journey of life of animal through which the aspirations, expectations, fears and superstitions of the people have been portrayed. There is growing hatred among the people for the things foreign.
The writer has used a rich language. There are subtle shades of meaning. The use of such words as Amrika, kampany, jarnaliss, filmwallas, photographass gives language a true Indian colour. By the first person narrative the writer has been successful in giving Indian accents to the language. Language is simple in form and its rudimentary grammar and vocabulary is very much suitable to the distressed character which peeps into the fragmented life of people.
The main character symbolizes the whole condition prevailing there following the gas leak. He is not human but an animal in spite of being born as a human. Language has been able to communicate well their frustrations, meaninglessness in life, lack of faith in everything, their suspicious nature, a consequence of the tragedy.
Beautiful use of speech sounds has been made by the writer owing to the fact that story is in the form of oral-telling.
The novel presents a different perspective on the event which is different from those of journalists, political activists who are insistent on portrayal of their wretchedness. Novel is the voice of the suffering people who are trying to learn to survive on their own despite all the frustrations but no chance of forgetting the tragedy.
sanjaybansalOctober 15, 2007 at 12:00 AM
LakshanaGOctober 11, 2007 at 12:00 AM
KRISHNAMURTHYNAGARAJAOctober 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM