CONTESTED SPACES IN PRAJWAL PARAJULY’S LAND WHERE I FLEE

Priyanka Kakoti
Assistant Professor, Department of English, Goalpara College, Goalpara, Assam, India
                                               
Abstract
Prajwal Parajuly’s novel Land Where I Flee which for the major part is set in Gangtok does touch upon the movement for Gorkhaland, but at another level it more poignantly explores the jostling for space by individuals in a most postmodern world. It is not just one space which would satisfy the individuals but it is an attempt to make a mark in multiple spaces which not only overlap but also contradict each other. Chitralekha Nepunay’s 84th birthday celebration (known as Chaurasi) is the pivotal event for which her grandchildren who have moved to different parts of the world gather under the same roof. Initially, the thought of grand children from different parts of the world to commemorate their grandmother’s 84th birthday brings to mind images of reunion and nostalgia for the members of the family. One would think of it as an event to recollect and relive memories. But things are different in the Neupaney household. Other than the broader purpose of the Chaurasi, the reunion has different significance for different individuals in the novel. The research article would make an attempt to study these aspects in the novel in the light of various theories of space.

Key words: North-East, space, third space, Prajwal Parajuly, Postcolonial

Introduction

The word space has multiple dimensions. Henri Lefevre in his work The Production of Space mentions that multitude spaces which consists of the geographical, economic, demographic, socio- logical, ecological, political, commercial, national, continental, global, not to mention nature (space), the space of energy flows and so on are either piled on each other or are contained within each other (Lefevre, 1991). Space thus is understood in both abstract and concrete terms. Not many years back, the word space evoked the idea of an empty area. It was in the 1980s that the study of space gained much importance and we have critics coming up with different theories of space. The concept of space is not a new one but it has a history of its own. In the middle ages there was a hierarchic ensemble of places- the holy places, the profane ones, protected places, exposed places, urban places and rural places. Besides these there are oppositions that we still regard as givens- between private space and public space, between family space and social space, between cultural space and useful space and so on and so forth. 

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