Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Naipaul and his ego

If there is one thing one looks for in great people it is their humility. Not in an affected way as some display, but in a way that reflects their stature, their understanding and their constant awareness in public glare of their capacity to leave the world a better place with every act, every word. It is a great responsibility to be revered as a great in one's area of specialization with rewards, awards and recognition and one must only be grateful for it all. And perhaps use their position to spread the goodness of humankind around, to lend a hand to those who have lagged behind, to speak and act progressively in a manner that befits one of such stature. If one does not do that, one loses the tag and sheen of being a great. One tends to show their feet of clay. Some can handle it, some cannot and at some point their true colours show.

What one, who has such responsibility cannot do, is demean others with unnecessary and stupid comparisons that are more in the realm of a school child. By saying that female writers do not compare to his writing Naipaul only underlined the fact that maybe the literary world has been too kind to him. There can be no comparison - certainly his writing will not and cannot be compared to the great women writers, or even any woman writer because each of us comes with our own style, our own signature that none else can replicate. So however hard Naipaul tries, he might never be able to write like a woman writer - good or mediocre - and that is something he will also have to live with. That one is so arrogant about one's skill, one's recognition, cannot blind one to this simple fact that all men and women are equal in their uniqueness. Some just show that they do not deserve even to be equal on this plane.

Anyway, I can only sympathise with the people in his life, especially the women, who perhaps must be wondering what else this writer bears in his mind. If Ia harboured any intentions of reading Naipaul, I am not too keen now.

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