Manu Joseph

De Indiase schrijver en journalsit Manu Joseph werd geboren op 22 juli 1974 geboren in Kottayam en groeide op in Chennai. Hij is afgestudeerd aan Loyola College, Chennai, en verliet het Madras Christian College om vaste schrijver te worden bij Society magazine. Hij is redacteur geweest van The Times van India en heeft ook geschreven voor The Independent en voor Wired. Hij is de huidige redacteur van OPEN magazine. Zijn debuutroman “Serious Men” werd genomineerd voor de Man Asian Literary Prize en won de 2010 The Hindu Literary Prize. Het werd opgenomen in Huffington Post ’s 10 beste boeken van 2010. In 2011 werd het genomineerd voor de Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. Hij ontving ook de PEN Open Book Award voor de roman in 2011.

Uit: Serious Men

“Ayyan Mani’s thick black hair was combed sideways and parted by a careless broken line, like the borders the British used to draw between two hostile neighbours. His eyes were keen and knowing. A healthy moustache sheltered a perpetual smile. A dark tidy man, but somehow inexpensive.

He surveyed the twilight walkers. There were hundreds on the long concrete stretch by the Arabian Sea. Solitary young women in good shoes walked hastily, as if they were fleeing from the fate of looking like their mothers. Their proud breasts bounced, soft thighs shuddered at every step. Their tired high-caste faces, so fair and glistening with sweat, bore the grimace of exercise. He imagined they were all in the ecstasy of being seduced by him. Among them, he could tell, there were girls who had never exercised before.

They had arrived after a sudden engagement to a suitable boy, and they walked with very long strides as though they were measuring the coastline. They had to shed fat quickly before the bridal night when they might yield on the pollen of a floral bed to a stranger. Calm unseeing old men walked with other old men, discussing the state of the nation. They had all the solutions. A reason why their wives walked half a mile away, in their own groups, talking about arthritis or about other women who were not present. Furtive lovers were beginning to arrive. They sat on the parapet and faced the sea, their hands straying or eyes filling depending on what stage the relationship was in. And their new jeans were so low that their meagre Indian buttocks peeped out as commas.

Ayyan looked with eyes that did not know how to show a cultured indifference. He often told Oja, ‘If you stare long enough at serious people they will begin to appear comical.’

So he looked. “

Manu Joseph (Kottayam 22 juli 1974)