JD Salinger is no more.
If I ever make a shortlist of books that moved me, his book ‘Catcher in the Rye’ would figure right up there. Read it long ago though, and I haven’t thought about him or his book for a long time. And then suddenly today, the news of his demise… And I came to know that after the success of his book, he chose to remain a recluse… He delved into eastern philosophies, got initiated into Kriya Yoga etc… He left that and moved onto other spiritual and alternate medicine systems…
He was 91 when he died.
Salinger, his book, his life and his demise, made me remember GV Desani, another writer whose name would figure in that shortlist of mine. Even higher. He wrote a brilliant book ‘All about H Hatterr’ and then chose to step away from public gaze and writing. But his stepping away was a positive move – a move towards something else. He spent much time in India seeking the Light…. He spent fourteen years, or so, in deep spiritual pursuits – including, for some three months, meditating 22 hours a day… He came back from his search, and went on to teach Oriental Philosophy in America.
His Hatterr book was an all time great piece of writing. And I read that too a long time ago…
And then one morning in the year 2000, I was surprised to see his name in the obituary list in the newspaper in Chennai (In the Hindu newspaper, if my memory is right). Rather like reading about JD Salinger today.
Desani too died at the age of 91.
Two great writers.