Indira Ganesan, The Curtain, 2017
There is already an oxymoron in the title, for how can one get a cold in India? Yet, here I am, sniffling, sore throated, and tired. Luckily I am at my aunt and uncle’s, where I recover in an airy room, with a thick volume of Hercule Poirot stories nearby. There should be something romantic about this recovery, but for the physical discomfort. Outside, a crow caws, a dog barks, and the rumble of traffic is punctuated by the noise of motorcycles. A vendor calls out his wares.
Reading about Poirot, a Belgian in England, and a war refugee, a dandy who is poked fun at as he meticulously cleans his suits, as he gets the better of English policemen as well as criminals is an Indian pleasure. That is to say, Hercule may as well be Indian. I know these stories, but read again for the comfort. I read The Guardian to keep up with the current cruelties occuring in our world, the vile responses espousing hatred and ignorance from the elected officials. Christie herself expressed prejudice and racial stereotype in her work, but somehow I do not think the Belgian detective could. Somehow, I can see him throwing contemporary newspapers down in disgust, with deep distaste for what we have become. Mon Dieu, Hastings, I hear him say, what animals we are.