Chaos theory, human conundrum
By Anil R Nair | ENS | Published: 05th February 2013 07:42 AM |
Never seek to tell thy love
Love that never told can be…
These lines of William Blake sums up Chaos Theory, a novel by playwright Anubhav Pal. The novel is a kind of confession over a woman one was always close to and yet closed to. Is there any similarity between abstract theories of modern physics and intricate human relationships?
Chaos Theory, as loosely defined in particle physics, talks of two particles that circle around each other but never connect.
The novel tells about the ‘’great love affair’’ between Mukesh and Sunita. They were together at the most important moments of life; their love was platonic.
The idea of perfect love lies in the fleeting, the shadowy and the absent. Like in Tagore’s poems where lovers meet in smoky silhouettes within dark halls for minutes and the memories of those times haunt them like unfinished ghosts with better thing to do, here the protagonist believes that life should be whatever made one comfortable amid complex relationships.
The book begins with the pivotal moments of Mukesh’s love that makes him nervous and happy.
Sunita and Mukesh are friends. While he is cynical, cocky and well-read, she’s clever, curious and amused by him. The story sets in the backdrop 1960’s Delhi University at a time when fashionable movies play at the art deco cinemas, Nehruvian poshness is stylish and the Beatles are the rage.
They meet over a quotation game involving William Shakespeare and whisky. Both realise there is something special here.
They have burning questions about literary, philosophical, existential and romantic. Mukesh believes the answers for all these lie in an endless conversation with her.
Yes there begins the holy love. Later, Sunita moves to the US for a PhD and he follows her.
Next 40 years is a journey to carry on the conversation; across continents, campuses, marriages and life.
Decades pass away, they grow old, but the touching moment comes after the death of Mukesh.
“Every thing that grows holds in perfection but a little moment?” a quote from Sonnet 15 of Shakespeare’s play that brought them together unravel the depth of the unrequited love.
The book is told from both Mukesh’s and Sunita’s point of view. It also gives a peep into the life of Indian students in America.
The protagonist’s insight into the world of literature brings the elements of play to the story and it is beautifully interwoven with the narration which is fast and conversational.
The plot is straightforward but Pal cleverly veers away from describing the importance of other characters. Anubhav Pal, a stand-up comic and columnist for various national and international publications, has authoured novels 1 888 Dial India and The President is Coming.
He is screenwriter of The President is Coming and Lions of Punjab and his plays have been staged in the country and across the world.