Salman Rushdie's Shalimar The Clown: Tragic Tale of a Smashed World

Saurabh Singh
2012 Lapis Lazuli-An International Literary Journal   unpublished
______________________________________________________________________________ Salman Rushdie is, perhaps, the most controversial and political novelist of our troubled times. The world of his fictions and non-fictions accurately portrays the complex and confusing state of postcolonial world. Almost all of his major writings bear the testimony of his understanding and interpretation of history and the world, and their lasting influence on the life of common humanity. Shalimar The Clown (2005)
more » ... his most engaging book since Midnight's Children(1981). For so long a devout celebrant of postcolonial hybridity and diversity, of cultural fusion and merging, Rushdie is here grappling imaginatively with the shock of 11 September 2001 and the wars that have followed. He renders this very complex phenomenon in the following words: Everywhere was now a part of everywhere else. Russia, America, London, Kashmir. Our lives, our stories, flowed into one another's, were no longer our own, individual, discrete. This unsettled people. There were collisions and explosions. The world was no longer calm. (Rushdie 2005:37) This fine novel reminds us that, unfortunately, we forget this at our peril. In this novel Rushdie has brilliantly portrayed the recent tragic history of Kashmir, the homeland of Rushdie's maternal grandfather and one-time favourite location for Rushdie family holidays, had appeared only as a shadowy original for the Valley of K in the children's fantasy Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990), and as the point of departure for Aadam Aziz, cast out of paradise after losing his faith in Midnight's Children. It has been done with great poignancy and sensitivity throughout the novel. While depicting the story of his characters, he also weaves the