By Amit Chaudhuri
Afternoon Raag bargains with the reviews and impressions of a tender Indian pupil of English Literature on the college of Oxford. Chaudhuri recreates the frame of mind of a tender guy coming to phrases with loneliness, nostalgia and alienation. A raag is a section of classical Indian track which performs round a suite of particular periods to create a specific temper. right here the temper recreated is one in every of being adrift in a distinct state of affairs, having fun with a really targeted part of existence among youth and grownup lifestyles, dedicated to ephemeral, but major relationships and aesthetic objectives.
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Translated from the japanese via KA Yoshida and David Mitchell
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Additional resources for Afternoon Raag
After the beautifully restored opulence of Prague, the squalor of Kyiv’s inner city is a shock. There are shiny-suited Russian Maﬁoso everywhere—walking clichés wielding cell phones, big-haired Russian women on their arms. My thoughts take a paranoid turn. Does my cousin Roxolana, who is hosting me so generously, really like me, or does she just see me as a brutish westerner, stealing the soul of her country with my video camera? I don’t yet know that Roxolana normally stays up half the night and rarely breakfasts before noon.
She had with her a brown paper bag full of knobby, pockmarked tomatoes, purchased in town, which she intended to share equally with our entire brigade. The ﬁve of us stood there, tired and dusty from a day in the ﬁelds, each allowed one democratic bite out of a single, fresh tomato. I remember how quiet and how reverent we were. Few things I’ve eaten since have had such impact on my tastebuds, something indescribably sweet and tender unfolding there. Once, my Parisian friend Claire showed up unexpectedly at my door.
It made them sick. It tasted funny: not how they remembered. Sometimes when I am lying in bed, reaching unsuccessfully for sleep, I think about food. I create a theme, like potatoes. In my head, I conjure up the different potato dishes my mother cooked when I was a child, and they ﬂy magically across my mind’s eye like a scene from Bewitched. New potatoes in cream and dill; potato pancakes; pork chops with scalloped potatoes. The backdrop for these reveries is always summer: there is a yellow and red swing set that clangs to a stop as Mama calls our names for dinner, and screen doors that slam open and shut all along the lane, thwack, thwack, thwack.