Silence and discretion veil the hurt slow the body searches, soothe the sting of loss. This ever-pervasive tension between the two themes has been deliciously relished by the readers down the ages. This theme of identity crisis recurs more frequently in the post-colonial writings and Amitav Ghosh, being one of the most distinctive and influential writer after Rushdie, in his oeuvre challenges the notion of identity and the boundaries.
Sreejata Paul Sreejata Paul M. He also discovers that Ben Yiju was married to a manumitted slave named Ashu. However, Ghosh does not talk about Ashu at any considerable length in his book. In this paper, I argue that a number of interesting questions could be asked about Ashu, in the same manner as Ghosh had asked about Bomma.
Amitav Ghosh, subaltern, slavery, Jewish trader, inter-racial marriage, medieval India. In DecemberI visited Goa for the first time. As with anyone who goes there for the first time, I was taken to all the famous tourist spots on a conducted tour.
One of these tourist spots was Dona Paula, once a small village and now a beachfront with a long walkway off which you can see locals fishing, and tourists indulging in various water sports such as paragliding and speed-boating.
There are many stories about how Dona Paula got its name, and I was treated to the two most well-known ones. The first story says that the statue is of a Konkani girl named Dona, and her Portuguese lover Paulo, whose relationship was not accepted by their families, because of which they had jumped off the cliff together and committed suicide.
It is easy to see why this story should be the one doing the rounds in a place like Goa that depends on the tourism industry for most of its revenue.
However, the second story about how Dona Paula got its name is the one that captured my attention, and it is by far the more interesting one.
This second story is interesting for many reasons. Amitav ghoshs in an antique land essay reason is that it is evidence of inter-racial marriages in medieval India.
The Portuguese arrived in India in However, it is easy to imagine that inter-racial marriages were also prevalent a century before then.
Mangalore was a port-town, and many of its inhabitants were traders. Even a superficial glance at the history of the trade between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, along the Silk Route, would show that many of these merchants were very rich. While inter-racial marriages may have been disapproved of for ethical reasons by the elders in an orthodox Nair family such as the one to which Ghosh says Ashu belongedeconomic concerns certainly take the upper hand over ethics in such matters.
The Portuguese insisted on a system of military dominance over the sea trade off the Indian coast right from the beginning of their reign, and this kind of masculinist ethos was respected by coastal peoples of India.
The unarmed nature of the trade that had till then been going on prosperously was thus perceived to be a lack — a lack that the Portuguese had been able to remedy. However, before their arrival, in the kind of antique land that Ghosh writes about, the Indian Ocean trade was cosmopolitan because great care was taken so that the militaristic nature of land-battles never spilled on to the sea.
It is because of such carefully-kept cordial relations that Ben Yiju could get out of his native Tunisia, and finally settle in Mangalore, and hire the Tulu slave Bomma in his employ. Ghosh laments for such a lost world of accommodation and compromise, and cosmopolitan travel.
In a sense then, In an Antique Land talks about the precolonial phase, as well as the postcolonial one, leaving its crucial middle phase out. A Counter-Narrative of Coloniality. One of these things is the birth of nations, and the setting up of borders, as Benedict Anderson talks about in his book Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism.
Because such borders had not been there before, the imaginative distance between places was not as large as it is now. Ghosh, because of his status as a scholar, is able travel across the borders that have now been imposed.
However, those not as fortunate as him are bound by these borders. Mohsin, the driver of the car that takes Ghosh to Cairo from Lataifa the village where Ghosh had lived in during the course of his field work while pursuing his Ph.
Nabeel, who had gone to Iraq to work and make enough money for his mud-walled house to be transformed into a modern concrete building, cannot return to Egypt after the Gulf War has broken out because of such restrictions on travel, and his house is left in a half-built state.
Zaghloul the weaver cannot even imagine why it would be impossible to travel to India in the course of a single day on the back of his mule.
This is what borders have done — moved people further apart from each other, despite the advanced technology of highly-developed systems of communication, than they had been in the medieval age when travel could only be undertaken on ships.
However, in making these observations, Ghosh is talking only about a world of men. What about women in the medieval world? Ashu is not known to have travelled out of Mangalore with her husband on even a single instance. It is easy to be taken in by the magic and the wonder of the antique land that Ghosh creates because he highlights only its positive side.
However, it had a negative side as well. Women were certainly not privileged enough to take part in the cosmopolitan travel that Ghosh talks about. That is also why Ashu could not accompany him back on his final journey to Egypt.Sreejata Paul M.
Phil. in English Christ University The Two Slaves in Amitav Ghosh’s In an Antique Land Abstract Amitav Ghosh’s In an Antique Land is a text that is best known for giving a home, a personality, and a profession to a pure subaltern presence – Bomma, the Indian slave of a Jewish.
The Indian Ocean in Amitav Ghosh’s Fiction Claire Chambers Leeds Metropolitan University, UK Claire Chambers is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Leeds Metropolitan University, where she specialises in South Asian literature written in English and in Claire Chambers Leeds Metropolitan University, UK Claire Chambers is a .
Amitav Ghosh's In an Antique Land Words | 5 Pages Book Review: Amitav Ghosh In an Antique Land “The only people for whom we can even begin to imagine properly human, individual, existences are the literate and the consequential, the wazirs and the sultans, the chroniclers, and the priests—the people who had the power to inscribe.
A Antropofagia Indiana na Obra de Amitav Ghosh/The Indian “Anthropophagy” in the Amitav Ghosh’s Works In an Antique Land and Calcutta Chromosome. Numen 14 (2): Leverton, T. (). Sreejata Paul M. Phil. in English Christ University The Two Slaves in Amitav Ghosh’s In an Antique Land Abstract Amitav Ghosh’s In an Antique Land is a text that is best known for giving a home, a personality, and a profession to a pure subaltern presence – Bomma, the Indian slave of a Jewish.
Postcolonial Text, Vol 2, No 3 () Anthropology as Cultural Translation: Amitav Ghosh’s In an Antique Land Claire Chambers Leeds Metropolitan University Amitav Ghosh is one of the most distinctive and influential writers to come out of India since Rushdie.