Advertisement
Sunday, Nov 28, 2021
Outlook.com
Review

Mirage 2005

In the heart of darkness, Deb finds a new set of horsemen for the apocalypse: dereliction, amnesia, corruption and apathy.

Mirage 2005
Mirage 2005
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The only possible protagonist for a novel set in a region where the past has no meaning is a man for whom the future holds no promise. Amrit, the narrator of Surface, is a journalist who has passed beyond discontentment to indifference. A stray "foreign contact" offers him a faint glimpse of redemption, if he can write "a portrait of the mystery and sorrow of India". It’s an improvement on the first assignment he was offered, the story of shit in Calcutta: "a wonderful reduction of the city I lived in to one choice epithet". Now, more nobly, Amrit has to uncover the truth behind the photograph of a woman identified as a porn actress and paraded by an insurgent group in Imphal as a warning against immorality.

His journey is briefly interrupted by the tale, preserved in an old journal, of the suicide of Jim, a British soldier who saw action in Burma. Jim doesn’t survive his discovery of the great secret of empire, how it’s "wonderfu-lly arranged, all straight lines and precise rules and stiff spines, and how that all becomes a big lie when you move to the edge of the empire and run loose in the jungle with guns and knives". It’s the only truth Amrit will surface with, as he moves through a world of betrayals and lies: "(The) region had been forgotten by the world, and in the absence of connections with what lay beyond, an entire society was trying to recreate itself from selected memories and incomplete knowledge."

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Ordinary People And Their Tales Of Incredible Courage

Ordinary People And Their Tales Of Incredible Courage

In ordinary people live extraordinary tales of courage that speak truth to power

Uttar Pradesh: One Week On, Mystery Shrouds Death Of 3 Dalit Girls

Uttar Pradesh: One Week On, Mystery Shrouds Death Of 3 Dalit Girls

The post-mortem report said that the three girls died 'when they got crushed after coming in front of a train that was passing through'.

ISL: ATK Mohun Bagan Hammer East Bengal 3-0 In Kolkata Derby

ISL: ATK Mohun Bagan Hammer East Bengal 3-0 In Kolkata Derby

Three first-half goals proved more than enough for ATK Mohun Bagan to beat East Bengal in the first Kolkata derby of ISL 2021-22.

‘Clock Can Be Reversed In J&K After Farm Laws Repeal’

‘Clock Can Be Reversed In J&K After Farm Laws Repeal’

Former Chief Minister and Member Parliament Dr Farooq Abdullah:'The restoration of early statehood and Article 370 is the only way forward. Otherwise, Kashmiris will continue to bleed and there will be hardly any progress in this part of the world'.

Advertisement