Friday, February 5, 2016

Milkman on a Dating App

Song of SolomonSong of Solomon by Toni Morrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A chance introduction to Milkman on a dating app is what brought me to “Song of Solomon”. Now for our regular families, a milkman is one who brings milk to them every day. For me and many like me, it is Mr. Veghese Kurien. And then one who has read this Toni Morrison novel knows Milkman as a character who is so intense and realistically portrayed that he stays with us for a long long time, longer than he was breastfed by his mother Ruth. Milkman is a character who reminds me of my own younger brother who gave a tough time to my mother to wean him. It was opposite in the case of Ruth. She wanted to keep Milkman on her milk only as long as possible and so his son got this name. But this is not only what makes Ruth a different character. There are many shades and more added by her husband and her father and her sister-in-law Pilate. I kept wondering would it be possible for a male writer to delve so deep in a female psyche and illuminate that space so bright you could spot even a needle! No doubt this is a story of strong women despite their vulnerabilities and Toni Morrison has narrated in a way that makes it forceful and delicate, personal and universal, local and global! As I turned the pages ( many times back and forth and dwelling extra time on several pages to grasp the narrative and feel the intensity of an event!), trials and tribulations of the black existence in white America kept coming to me in its brutal form. But there are moments of celebration and rejoice, hope and nostalgia, magic and adventure. After all life is like that and it depends on us how we take it, how we give it. And this is also true about dating apps, isn’t it?

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