Two movies based on the Booker award winning books: Salman Rushdie‘s Booker of the Bookers novel “Midnights Children” & Yann Martel‘s book “Life of PI” shall soon be released. There is no need to emphasize about the caliber of the books. Midnights Children is a book written by Rushdie at his creative best. It draws inspiration from his own family life. The main protagonists are born on the night when India becomes an independent nation once again notwithstanding some pieces being cut and carved into Pakistan. Both the protagonists grow up with the nation.
The story begins from the grandfather’s home in Kashmir, travels to Agra with his newly wedded wife via Amritsar where Jalianwala tragedy in which thousand innocent people are killed by the army under the orders from Brigadier-General Reginald E.H. Dyer. In Agra many developments take place and the family home becomes a hub for freedom fighters. Some marriages take place. Ultimately, one of the daughters of the doctor after marriage with a businessman moves to Bombay where they purchase a house in the now most posh locality of the city from a Britisher. Here the protagonists are born in a nursing home to two different women but are exchanged by the maid who for all of her life live under the burden of this guilt.The life of the Bombay is described so graphically that the reader feels he is living in the city himself.
The family except their father moves to Karachi Pakistan where many of their relative occupy very high status in the army. After this the protagonist joins the Army and is sent to East Pakistan, now Bangladesh where a war for independence is underway and Pakistan army is perpetrating most heinous crimes against the women and children. Then he returns with the tamasha walas to Delhi.
Whether the movies shall be able to do justice to the book, only time will tell. Many a times movies based on the cult books have miserably failed to impressed. But this time, it seems that movies shall be as successful as the books itself. Both have the renowned persons directing them. Rushdie is personally overseeing making of the movie.
Both the books revolve around Indians. Although the milieu of the Midnights Children is the Indian Subcontinent from India to Pakistan to Bangladesh and Back, the protagonist of the other book is Indian boy whom the destiny makes orphan when the ship carrying his parents, servants and whole circus animals perish in the ship crash and leaves to fend for himself on the deck of a boat with a tiger inside the boat itself. It depicts the bravery, wit and presence of mind to survive the travail and ultimately arrive himself and tiger to the soil to safety.
I for one have read the Midnights Children many times and Life of PI once and hoping that movies will be good. Here is the link to the trailer of midnights children