By Ashis Nandy
Divided into 4 sections, this ebook tells the tale of India's ambivalent affair with the trendy urban during the delusion of the adventure among the village and the town, and the alterations that delusion has passed through. It loks on the vicissitudes of the metaphor of trip; profiles a number of heroes as they negotiate the transitions from the village to town and again to the village; and specializes in the psychopathological trip from a poisoned village right into a self-annihilating urban.
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Extra info for An Ambiguous Journey to the City: The Village and Other Odd Ruins of the Self in the Indian Imagination
That world constituted the mythic underground of middle-class consciousness not merely in Bengal but, at least in the inter-war years, the whole of undivided India. Even this story, ostensibly written as a biographical note on Barua, can be read as a counter-factual, psychogeographical obituary on, or an enquiry into, the real-life fate of a hero of Saratchandra. Barua's strengths and limitations were largely those of the novelist; so were the contours ofhis moral universe. Ray, on the other hand, was a direct product of the world of Rabindranath Tagore.
It was '' For a charming exploration, in cinema, of the creation of the new profession, see Shyam Benegal, Bhumika (Bombay: Lalit M. Bijlani, 1977). An Ambiguous journey to the City The City as the Invitation to an Antique Death also a studio that 'adopted' Saratchandra Chattopadhyay as its principal literary inspiration and patron saint. Certainly, no other studio was to get so closely identified with movies that were, even when not based o n Saratchandra's works, so obviously coloured by his worldview.
In the 1950s, as an independent, famous producer at India's new film capital, Bombay, Roy wanted to make full use of that awareness. In its third incarnation, too, Devdas was a huge success. People who had seen all three versions of Devdas knew that Roy's version was cinematically more polished than the two earlier ones made by Barua. Dilip Kumar, who had for years specialized in tragedies, put in an excellent performance as Devdas. PostIndependence f i l n ~ ~ o emay r s have sworn that 'Dilip was born to play ~ e v d a s ' ; I *almost no one from the older generation thought so.