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A man waits for his love to return to him for 50 years. Now a friend X read this story when he was probably 21 years old in an engineering college which like many other engineering colleges of our country are ‘No country for young men.’ Lacking any source of advice because others were like him, X took the novel as his love bible and decided to wait for his Fermina Daza to turn up into his life. The utterly romantic idea of waiting for one’s love thrilled him to no extent. In between came a few opportunities but he kept waiting for that moment. The German economist Frederick List who gave the infant industry argument, an offshoot of which is the ‘learning by doing process’ would have been very unhappy with him in heaven. X was not learning because he was not doing anything on the romantic front. X was also a wannabe writer and while writing on his life experiences he realised that written pieces and the realities of life if not distanced enough could weave into each other to form a web and consequently a mess such that the writer either turns an irritant mediocre or a sulking madman. Hence he dropped the idea of imitating a literary occurrence into a real life experience at the age of 27. Not that he has done wonders after that but such was the power of the novel.
When I read his other novel ‘Hundred Years of Solitude’ in college I somehow could connect it to the tales we used to hear in our village. Strange things we would laugh upon then, calling them superstitions. To me it seemed that a common feather had touched the tales of Macondo inspired from his childhood in the Columbian town of Aracataca and a remote village of Bihar. What is now called magical realism. Marquez, they say made the ordinary and real, previously considered mundane look entertaining. He showed his readers that things happening around us may not be as boring as they seem to be. With a little bit of imagination and magic poured in, they could sustain us for a whole lifetime.
I had thought of keeping the tile as ‘The Autumn of Memories and Chronicles of hundred years of love.’ But then let it be simple.