In this literary essay, Dr. Ramlal Agrawal discusses Rohinton Mistry’s Such a Long Journey and its remarkable narrative technique, linguistic virtuosity, and intellectual insights.
Rohinton Mistry has been shortlisted twice for the Booker Prize. He won the Commonwealth Prize for Best Book twice, as well as other prestigious literary prizes. He made it to the Oprah Winfrey Show and the celluloid world, yet he hardly figures in literary discussions these days.
The present paper attempts to discuss his remarkable novel, Such a Long Journey, and restore him to his rightful place.
Such a Long Journey is remarkable not because of its narrative technique, nor for its linguistic virtuosity or its intellectual insights, but for its depiction of an ordinary man’s fads and foibles, his aspirations, his trials and tribulations, and his daily grind. It is remarkable for its grasp of the life of an ordinary man and how his life is impinged on by the social and political greed of his time. It is remarkable because it highlights how the common man’s life is suffused with humanity and human values, notwithstanding his various constraints.