Friday, 27 May 2016

Dreams, Stories and Mr. Murakami

Have you experienced something that you cant explain?

I have been able to successfully explain everything that I am feeling, everything that I want to say. I can put my thoughts to paper and convey the intent, may be not very eloquently, but pretty much. We all know that one person who very passionately explains something for a long time but then you have no idea what he/she is talking. You just don't get it. They ask "You know what I mean" and you nod, just not to be rude.

But I have something that I am not able to explain. This book - Blind willow sleepling woman by Haruki Murakmi. I cant explain this.
When I read a book I must be able to answer few simple questions.
"Is the book good?"
"Would you recommend it to someone else?".
I cant explain this. The answer should be simple - yes or no. Sometimes a "may be" followed by reasoning.
But Mr. Murakami? I don't know. I don't know.

I was drinking coffee at office with a friend and she could tell I was preoccupied.
I tried to explain this to her "I am reading a book, its a collection of short stories. You know its so frustrating to read". She stated simply, "Do you have to finish all the books that you start? Why dont you stop reading it?". I couldn't.

I went on to explain.

Very roughly speaking, a short story has a beginning, story buildup and an ending.
This book collection have stories that are like this. Follow me for a while please.
1) Just the beginning: The "story" goes on randomly for several pages but just 6 lines about the title itself, the story begins and that is it!! THATS IT.

2) beginning and build up, but no ending: They abruptly end without any closure. And then you are frustrated because you did not get your closure. And you read more, hoping that some other story has answers and you end up getting even more frustrated.

3) what's-the-point stories:
There are some stories that were so painful to read and I was wondering what was the point of writing it. Mr. Murakami is a critically acclaimed author. So there has to be something, right?

Story: A Perfect Day for Kangaroos
The whole "story" is about a couple who goes to the zoo to see a baby kangaroo in its mom's belly pouch. They buy some food and then they see the baby and mother kangaroo.

Story: A year of spaghetti.
A lonely man eats spaghetti every day of the year alone. 

OK .. 

Mr. Murakami seemed to be smiling through the pages and saying "There, you have a beginning, build-up and ending. Why are you complaining?" 

Are we being mocked?
This was crazy, I thought. Offcourse there has to be something, some more meaning to the story. Something intelligent that I just dont understand.

My friend looked at me like I was going crazy over a book. 
She didn't get it.

Are you one of those that remembers your dreams?


You know those dreams that start safe, warm and slow; with people you know and then branches out, literally. 
To a place you have never been, to a situation that you are absolutely sure is dream like. 
You see people you have never met, places you have never been to, creatures you have not imagined.
You fight a poisonous multi limbed monster; you fear an ant.
You brave a huge wave in the sea; you drown in a pool.

Dream that makes you think that surely cant be happening, you are just in someone else's dream.

But you are in the dream, you are orchestrating it. You understand it. 
It all makes sense. But not after you wake up.

Dreams. They are not connected, they do not have a structure, they do not have a story. They are just random frames pieced together.
Or is it not? Is there a meaning?

Do you understand what I am saying?