Between the World and Them

Kannada writing and the global

31 January 2022
GIOVANNI MEREGHETTI/UCG/UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP/GETTY IMAGES
GIOVANNI MEREGHETTI/UCG/UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP/GETTY IMAGES

“I’M married to this city. Where’s the space for another relationship?” So opines Satyajit, one of the characters of Jayanth Kaikini’s story collection, No Presents Please, who finds himself at home in Mumbai. Unlike Kaikini, Satyajit is not a foreigner to the city. He has shifted to different suburbs and locales in the city over the course of twenty years due to different job placements. At the same time, there is too much heart in the sentence for this thought to belong only to Satyajit. One cannot help but think of Kaikini himself, who transported himself from the Konkan Coast to live and work in Mumbai. It is the sort of thing that someone who found love in a city that they discovered later in life would say.

Consider a piece of writing about a different city:

The State of Minnesota is well-known as the ‘Land of Ten Thousand Lakes’… Those who visit the state in the months of July or August are so enthralled by its tall maple trees, the fawns that stray onto the backyards, the clear blue sky and the lakes and streams along its many walking trails, that they easily forget the ‘10 below’ temperature and piles of snow in the winter that follows. We too were enticed…

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    Kiran Bhat is an Indian-American writer. He currently lives in Mumbai.

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