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0648 | The Romantics | Pankaj Mishra

0648 | The Romantics | Pankaj Mishra post image

Context: Sold my photo of sheep grazing in Jordan to a friend at work while reading this.

This one was a bit tedious to be honest. Samar, a young Indian man falls in with a bunch of foreigners in Banares who are exploring the esoteric orient. They do most of the talking while he reflects on their relationships and then he gets involved in one himself.

Banares, Hinduism’s most holy city, is a typical place for Westerners to run away to in search of themselves, so it’s not without irony that Samar ends up running away from Banares and his own issues.

I found it all a bit unreal and very self-absorbed. I came away with little idea of what Mishra is trying to convey unless it’s that we can all get hung up on things in life. Not something that we really need reminding of too strongly.

There are no real conclusions or resolution. Everyone just kind of ambles on in an ethereal and ephemeral way… bit like India really. And, just like my two long stints in India, it all got a bit much in the end and I was happy to move on to something else.

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