Salman Rushdie is a contemporary novelist known for his controversial work: Satanic verses which have been banned in many countries. He uses the novelist technique of magic realism. Haroun and the sea of stories is burlesque comedy and it is also a satirical allegory about Indian middle class and its corrupt political set up.
The main characters in the Novel are Rashid and his son Haroun. Rashid is humorously known as the Sha of Blah. He is a story-teller and he is hired by politicians to tell stories for their election campaign. The city to which they belong is called dull city. Smoke stack industries have made the city polluted. Sha of Blah has been invited by a political party to campaign for their rally. Sha of Blah to his surprise finds out that he has lost the ability of speech and is not able to cook up stories anymore. Adding further to his woes, he finds out that his wife has eloped with Mr. Chattergy, their neighbor. Sha of Blah goes to a valley known as valley K. In reality valley K refers to Kashmir and it is India’s troubled spot. The Muslims of Kashmir want to secede to Pakistan. Sha of Blah and his son Haroun stay in houseboat in the dull lake of valley K.
Haroun and the Sea of Stories show poignantly the struggles of the Indian politics. It a vitriolic criticism of Indian politics. Politicians appear to citizens only during the time of elections top beg for votes. Then they vanish forever. It is light-hearted comedy. Salman Rushdie’s psychological analysis of the characters is mesmerizing. The novel uses the elements of fairy stories like the Sha of Blah telling a sea of stories. Sha of Blah and his son Haroun live in Sad City called Alifbay.I don’t quite understand why Rushdie makes India pathetic and wretched. Rushdie writes the novel as disenchanted colonialist. There is no literary essence of the sublime. The novel does not deserve to be called as a great work of art. The novel has no philosophical content. The novel degrades Indian middle class life. The sea of stories has no plot. Salman Rushdie is a master of escapism. The magic realism inherent in the novel is scarcely believable. The Sha of Blah can be compared to Don Quixote. Why does Rushdie portray a bleak picture of India? Rushdie has got a colonial mindset. The novel cannot be merited as an extraordinary work of out. There is no essence of a story in the novel. Rushdie degrades the Indian middle class.
Source by Bose Anand