The song opens with big loud aggressive guitars (kind of early Soundgarden), but the vocals, which are screamed, are brighter that their other song, providing a nice contrast. But the thing that made me like this song more than “YouTube” is the fast bright guitar bridge, in which the guitars ring out in contrast to the heavy opening chords–it gives the song a lot of dynamics.
There’s a guitar solo, which surprised me for some reason, but it breaks up the song and reintroduces some of the earlier riffs. It’s a good heavy song.
[READ: June 18, 2013] “Brotherly Love”
Lahiri has the last and longest story in this New Yorker issue that’s chock full of stories. This one is some fifteen pages and is part of a novel.
I was gripped instantly by the story. But I am glad that it is part of a novel as I feel there were parts of the beginning that seemed extraneous without more story to follow. Or should I say, if it was just a short story, it could have been shorter. The story is about two brothers, Subhash and Udayan. Subhash is older by fifteen months but Udayan is the far more daring one. Subhash is cautious and does everything his parents say, while Udayan flouts the rules at every opportunity.
The first transgression we see is when they climb the wall into the country club, where locals are pretty much excluded. They were told they could get golf balls, so they hopped the fence and took what they could. They also marveled at the manicured lawns and the beauty around them. They returned regularly until they were caught–but luckily for them they were not turned in.
Despite their differences, they were quite similar looking and were often mistaken for each other. The were the same size and, because of the convenience of having two kids there at the same time, they started school in the same grade. Although they went to different colleges, they starts and ended every day in the same room. They were very good in science and Udayan even wired up a doorbell to their house (and asked for a shortwave radio for his birthday). They spent much of their time searching for foreign stations.
In 1867 they heard about a place called Naxalbari, a village in Darjeeling. The villagers there had always lived under a feudal system, but suddenly they rebelled a militant way. And it made news. As the rebellion spread, police began patrolling around the country, imposing curfews and looking for unrest. The boys talked about what was happening with Subhash wondering if the rebellion was worth it and Udayan being more than certain that it was. Their father was a government employee and could never take sides with the rebels, which Subhash understood but which Udayan resented. And soon Udayan began joining the protestors in their home town–painting slogans and attending protests (under the radar of course).
After college, Subhash decided to go abroad, to the United States, but Udayan wouldn’t think of it–he was more invested than ever in the future of his country. Amazingly all of that takes place in part 1 of the chapter.
Subhash heads off to Rhode Island to study oceanography. He learned a lot and broadened his horizons. Especially when he saw his roommates protesting the Vietnam war. It reminded him of his brother, and while he disagreed with the war, he knew he couldn’t dare protest in the U.S. for fear of deportation.
Soon after he received a letter from his brother. It was largely coded, explaining his involvement in activities at home. He received more letters and he destroyed them all. Until he received the one that included a picture of a young girl, Gauri–a girl whom Udayan married (despite his parents objections, because of course their marriages were to be arranged).
Then he received a telegram that his brother had been killed.
Part Three sees Subhash returning home. Things are stilted and awkward, especially since his parents do not like their daughter in law (or the fact that she is pregnant) and they treat her very badly (as is custom). His parents also didn’t ask anything about America. They seemed in shock. And they refused to say anything about how Udayan was killed.
Finally, he gets some time with Gauri, to give her gifts (books for her studies), to offer her some solace for the way she is treated and to find out how Udayan was killed. She is willing to tell him the story. Which is quite harrowing and takes up much of section four.
Subhash wonders what will happen to her and to his niece in that household. And he wonders if he should simply take her back to America. The end of the excerpt is bittersweet and lends very well to wanting to read the rest of the story.