TILTING TOWARDS THE PAST: THE DILEMMA OF SINDI OBEROI IN ARUN JOSHI’S ‘THE FOREIGNER’

Dr.Madhu Jindal

Associate Professor

ept. of English, M.P. College for Women, Mandi Dabwali-151001, Haryana, India.

Abstract

This study intends to focus on  the tilting of Arun Joshi’s protagonists towards the past and his trying to explain the existential problems in the context of the Indian tradition of detachment and Karamyoga. Sindi Oberoi in The Foreigner, Billy Biswas in The Strange Case of Billy Biswas or Som Bhaskar in The Last Labyrinth, face an existentialist dilemma. According to R. S. Pathak, “Joshi’s novels read like the spiritual odyssey of the twentieth century man who has lost his spiritual moorings” (109). His fiction reinforces an increasing awareness of man’s rootlessness and the consequent feelings of anxiety and alienation that afflict him. A close look at his fiction, however, brings multidimensional perspectives of his characters who, on the surface level, remain entangled in the cobweb of being and meaning of life but seek in India’s Hindu past and sensibility answers to these afflicting questions. In addition, they find answers to their unflinching queries in  the teachings of Buddha that have been an integral part of Indian ethos. While going back to Indian culture, his characters become aware of their historical past and its advantages and find peace and meaning only after embracing it. This study aims at identifying the inner sources of Sindi’s life which sustain him in his worst crises and how he leans against his past, the sensibility of being an Indian which delivers him from the curses of modern living.

Keywords:  Arun Joshi, Foreigner, Sindi, Gita, Indian sensibility, past

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