#GetLit: Arundhati Roy & Artwork by Political Prisoners

I published my book review for Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness earlier this week and if you haven’t checked it out, head on over here. It’s one of those books that you fully appreciate days after reading it, with the big picture getting clearer as days go by. It is a love letter too, an ode to hijras, mothers, freedom fighters, to Kashmir. The world will thank you for reading Roy’s newest book, so you best get on it.

I have been working on it for roughly 10 years. That was when I started putting down things which are in this book right now.

An Interview with Arundhati Roy (The Slate Book Review)

She knows everything from the frighteningly euphemistic military terminology of the region (informers are “cats” and so on) to the natural landscape of “herons, cormorants, plovers, lapwings,” and the “walnut groves, the saffron fields, the apple, almond and cherry orchards.” She looks into homes, into bomb sites, into graveyards, into torture centers, into the “glassy, inscrutable” lakes. And she reveals for us the shattered psychology of Kashmiris who have been fighting the Indian Army and also occasionally collaborating with it.

Arundhati Roy’s Return to the Form That Made Her Famous (NYT Book Review)

* * *

Much of what Roy wrote in the book about the Kashmiris’ struggle for independence and self-determination reminded me of the lumad people. The lumad are the indigenous communities in the southern part of the Philippines, which has been under martial law for about two months now.

If you’re in the Bay Area next week or know of friends in the area, join me at the opening of an exhibit of artwork by Filipino political prisoners to raise funds for victims of martial law in the country.

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The woman in the flyer above is none other than lumad leader, the fierce Bai Bibiyaon Bigkayan Likay. For more on women lumad leaders, check out this post I wrote about them.

* * * 

When the external world is teeming with bullsh*t and horrendous stuff (read: MAGAnomics, Trumpism), I usually find solace by going within.

This week marked the return of one of Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s 21-day meditation experience, and I’ve been all over it. The theme for the next 21 days is Desire & Destiny and after only a week of doing it I’m noticing the way I respond to things, and how I’m more receptive to the world around me.

Today’s mantra was Om Bhavam Namah (I am absolute existence. I am a field of all positbility) — it’s not too late to sign up!

* * * 

And since we’re talking about internal worlds, here’s one from the archives: The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer.

I think that everything important in my life has not come through my mind, but through my spirit or my being or my heart. Everything I trust, whether it’s the people I love or the values I cherish or the places that have moved me, have come at some much deeper level than the mind. And I sometimes think the mind makes lots of complications over what is a much more beautiful and transparent encounter with the world.

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3 thoughts on “#GetLit: Arundhati Roy & Artwork by Political Prisoners

  1. psychemenace says:

    I read Arundhati Roy’s The God of small things. It was suggested to me by a friend. It’s one of those novels that you’ll never forget; the ones that stay with you and is going to be a part of you until the end of time.

    Her writing has that effect. You learn a lot of things through her characters too. Even though it’s somehow a little bit disorienting sometimes, her style, but you’re right, in the end it will come into place. And when it does, you get swept off of your feet. You think, so this is what it means to be a good writer; so this is what it means to read a masterpiece. That’s what I felt when I read her novel!

    I didn’t know I would be reduced to tears truth be told. She writes about love so beautifully. Sorry this turned into a semi-rant. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pia Cortez says:

      You wrote exactly how I felt about The God of Small Things — truly memorable! Roy has that uncanny flow, her writing almost reads like breathing air don’t you think? And yes to what you said about what it means to be a good writer… there are so many lessons of style and tone and voice in this new one. It’s like magical realism meets historical fiction meets romance and everything in between. Thank you so much for stopping by and semi-rants or not, you are always welcome here 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • psychemenace says:

        No problem! I like reading your stuff ever since I discovered it here in wordpress. XD

        If by”breathing air” you mean you can actually smell everything she’s writing, I agree. If it’s not can you please enlighten me? 😀

        I’m very excited to read her new work! Thank you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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