Zindagi ki Talkhiyaan (The Bitter Life)

Almost two decades ago, my father gifted me, ‘The God of Small Things’ written by Arundhati Roy. The book was immensely popular, a copy was peeping out of every prominent window of the bookstores or was happily waving at you from every roadside vendor’s table in the lanes of busy Connaught Place.

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I remember reading it on my bus ride to college. And my first impression was this that the book was sad, intense, and bleak. There was too much grieving, sadness, and multiple tragedies. I couldn’t fully understand the significance of love, memories, and unlived childhood. I could not relate to the ‘mistakes’ people commit to get a defeated life.

The whole story was too much to comprehend for my young and ebullient mind. To me, life can never fail us. We are born to win, to be happy and to fulfill our dreams. At the stage of life, where I was standing, there was my whole life to look forward to. I was knocking at the door, I believed would lead me to a life which was full of possibilities, happiness, and sunshine.

The book went to some dusty corner of the storage shelf.

But then the times change, circumstances of life change and our preferences change.

And then we change, in spite of all our refusal.

I couldn’t resist myself from watching ‘Talkhiyaan,’ (meaning bitterness) a Pakistani drama, which is an adaptation of the same novel. I could relate to every layer the author had woven. The rigidities and complexities created a nuanced, intense, uncalm but also a catastrophic account. I couldn’t sleep the night I finished watching it.

The questions, dreams and faded memories clouded my night sky.

While the life full of discontentment and bitterness withers away in front of my eyes, I am still pondering over whether at the end, do we fail life or life fails us?

Image 1: Still from Pakistani drama, Talkhiyaan

14 thoughts on “Zindagi ki Talkhiyaan (The Bitter Life)

  1. All the questions, are answered, but it is we, who were unable to find them. Dreams should have turned in reality Life didn’t fail us. We just failed ourselves.

  2. You don’t have to convince yourself. There’s still time. What you seek, is seeking you, beautiful. Work towards it. Hustle like you never have, and all that’s lost, will be found. And all that’s a dream, will turn into a reality.

  3. We do not find books. Books (or TV series here) find us, at right time 🙂

    Let us say life failed us or we failed life. So what? We will still live as long as we will have to. And also, we will always try to be happy and keep rectifying our mistakes to be happy, no matter the situations we face. In giving us such opportunities and zeal to improve, till the end, even though we apparently failed momentarily, we actually will succeed in living the life.

  4. I am not a big fan of Arundhati Roy nor have I read any of her art work but through what you have written here, I can guess that it must be a good book. I am a big fan of Pakistani dramas and you have motivated me enough to watch this one.

  5. Even I don’t have a great opinion about her writing but the drama is really good. Little dark and depressing but there is no life without darkness. Isn’t it?

  6. I like emotional pieces, howsoever dark, depressing, boring it be. Feminism is a very interesting topic and I have my own take on it having seen my mother coming from a rural background, her life has made me learn so much about it. My take surely confronts with the society which is always judgemetal abour women but at tge same time it conflics with feminist activism as well which I feel at times go over board.

    I feel honesty and compassion is the answer for everything.

  7. I agree. We live in a world which is constantly being hijacked by the voice and opinion of the strongest and powerful. Whoever can shout louder gets his/her way. Same thing happened to feminism. The ones who could articulate first took it in an another direction. But that’s life and its harsh reality.

  8. I think its both sometimes. Life fails us and we fail life! Talkhiyan is such an interesting word. To me it means being upset at life and people and having a form of anger. I’ve never watched the drama but I’ll look into it!

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