Readers Write In #278: The Catcher in the Rye

Posted on October 4, 2020


(by Vikram MN)

The Catcher in the Rye killed me. It surely did. There are a million ways to express joy but I choose to express the way Holden does. Every day I read the book I thought of various things to write about it and various way to start the review but I did the way I wanted to at this moment. That’s how Catcher was written. Everything is momentary, everything is bloody spontaneous. There is no explanation, no description, no nothing. This is the best book I’ll ever read. I bet.

How do you feel when you read a couple of pages and get to know that someone six decades ago has written exactly like you? The joy knew no bounds. I thought I was his fucking reincarnation. That’s what I thought. Many associate my writing style to that of Chetan Bhagat. I wasn’t very proud of it but I’m here because of his Five Point Someone. He is the one who made a lousy me, read. So of course there are influences of him in my writing. But when I was said Chetan, I was never really proud even though I said thanks and all from the heart. But if someone somewhere down the line says that I write like J. D. Salinger I’ll give my life for them. I bet, I’ll. Even if they say I copy Salinger, I’ll be happy as hell.

Not only his writing style is like me. He has even used the exact words I’ve used. Remember Holden calling Sally after getting drunk like Hell. Sally asks who is with him. He replies saying that he’s all alone, “Me, Myself and I,” something like that. And guess what that was the title of my first bloody blog post. I’ve been posting stories in Bulleting Board. I like using cuss words a lot because that’s the way I talk once I entered college. I wanted to be that cool guy because I never used them before I joined college even though I knew every single one of them with the meaning. Like everyone who enters college wanting to be next hero I too did but ended up deep in dumps. Thanks to my college. Even if you ask me 50 years down the line I’d still say that my most horrible period in life was between 17 and 21. Even though I got used to all that crap by a couple of years, it still was the worst phase of life.

When you get pushed to the wall what you do? You rebel. They say youth itself rebels and all but I never did as a matter of fact because I didn’t have the guts to. But once I came out of the college what I did. I started to write. Why? To come out of depression. You see that’s my idea of rebelling. I could be a pretty phony guy you see. I don’t even know whether I’d have come this far if I had not had a horrible college life. But just because I’ve started writing and all I can’t go without cursing my college life. This is what happens when I start talking about my college. I become hyper.

I’m this time tablish guy. Ideally I should have written this review – which I wanted to be like a thesis, a big fat one – on a Friday night as soon as I finished the book but I didn’t do because I was depressed. This Holden guy spoiled my day. I know I wouldn’t be able to write whole heartedly if I had written then. On any other day I’d have let the brain do the talking but this Holden guy made my heart do the taking. The very first day I started reading this the book I could have written a bloody novel in that one night. Because seeing this ‘Catcher…’ as a book I felt as if I got a book from other planet written by me. All this Déjà vu and crap.

My friend repeatedly wanted me to read this saying he felt like it was me who has written this book. Friends stay stuff like that. They exaggerate something so much that you’ll end up hating the stuff they want you to see. I couldn’t understand why ‘David’ was hated by so many. It was a fabulous film. The very next day after watching ‘Taxi Driver’ I was raving it to my senior about it. He said, “be quiet, don’t recommend this film to anyone, they’ll kill you.” I bet they’d have. If some stuff moves you it doesn’t necessarily have to move others. But if somebody is gonna say that they didn’t like ‘Catcher…’ I’m gonna kill them. I swear I’ll.

This guy Holden cries all of a sudden. Don’t know why I started feeling sorry for him. I wanted to cry for him. It’s been a long time since I cried. It was during my 12th I used to cry every other night. Bloody pressure. I used to flunk in every subject other than English and Tamil. All these definitions, derivation and all that crap used to scare the hell out of me. If you switch on the light, bulb glows.Why the hell do you want to know why? I’d rather listen to my Tamil teacher teaching me ‘Silapathigaram’ for one hundred times.

You know what’s the best thing about language, you don’t need to concentrate. I live in two worlds if you don’t know. One where you actually see me and one in a Shinigami world where I’m the king and all. Everything moves according to me. If I don’t like someone, I could kill immediately, if I want a girl, I could give her the time. I could do everything I want. You know, the world at your disposal, kind of stuff. So that’s what I keep on thinking when they teach me. When they teach me ‘Silapathigaram’, I get to become the king and I see the world from his point. When the next character comes I could be the same. If the story happens in Mars I’ll be there too. Who the hell cares about oxygen in dreams? I couldn’t do the same thing when they teach me physics. When they teach me Bohr’s Atomic model and ask me to imagine all these neutrons and electrons, all I could think of is planets. With sun sucking all the planets in. I couldn’t see that stuff like Bohr does. You get what I mean? Similarly C V Raman. Who cares why the color of water is blue. They taught me water is colorless in my first standard. What if it’s blue, there is some blue paper beneath it that’s it. Who cares about the particles splitting, the bloody VIBGYOR and all that stuff? But I don’t know how so many guys are imaginative and all. I couldn’t imagine at all in that front. And they call me dreamer for writing. But things like this I couldn’t make all those phony guys out there to understand. That’s why I like writing. I don’t give a damn what others think. I’m not a misanthrope but. Just because I go treks they think I’m a misanthrope. And one who is really interested should be a misanthrope is what they think. I don’t like going and talking to strangers. Only pretty girls excite me. But I always want people around me. I feel so lonely when I’m left alone. I bloody do. But when I’m at home all the time I need my privacy. I need my separate room and all with the back of computer facing the door and all so that my dad doesn’t come deep inside, dig his head and ask me something stupid.

Not only did this guy made me cry. This guy made me laugh a hell lot to. Yeah how couldn’t you when he pretends to have a bullet in his stomach, tells that his dad wont wake up even if he puts a bloody basket in his head, hits the behind of Old phoebe when its up in the air and best of the lot when he says he’d volunteer to be on top of a fucking atomic bomb. I laughed like hell. When I read and I laugh I remain conscious so that no one would see it. I don’t do it when I watch something but books I’m conscious but this guy he made me laugh like hell. Like a madman and all.

Every time some characters come up, there was nothing preposterous. I could exactly identify them like Holden does. I forget this name Holden every now and then. Have to refer to Wikipedia every now and then. This spoils my flow. Damn it! Ya, so when the characters comes up he doesn’t say that this guy is a tall guy, with 3.5 cm moustache. Who cares about how he looks. You read books so that your imagination could go wild so when he says he meets someone imagine in whichever way you want. Even with a trunk, antenna and all. Who the hell cares? But I could see them how Holden saw. I bet I did. Maybe I’m a disturbed child, like he is. May be he’s not disturbed at all and everyone around him are hoodlums. Why worry? At least there is one guy in this world living his life without caring of anything.

You want me to call this book a spiritual experience, I bet I’d call it so. Why should a book which is so tough to read with all broken up fonts, character is dire straits have to be an artistic one. Can’t this Holden guy be artistic with all his happiness, depression and all? He can be. I say he can be. I say that because I never really intended to write all these things in first place but I did. I knew I’d be writing a bloody composition on this book but I didn’t know what it’d contain but I did. This guy made me do it. I can’t remember my fingers moving this fast for writing, syncing perfectly with my heart. There is no middleman, the catalyst, that idiotic brain to stop the flow you see, after processing and all. It’s a dust tea with lot of dust but it surely tastes well. What’s the point in refining when you are not going to enjoy it? Prepare it for fucking 40 minutes and drink it in 40 seconds. What’s the point?

See… I never know how to conclude and what to conclude and all but I’ll say I’ll die a happy man now that I’ve read ‘Catcher…’. I’ll go to heaven and all if there is one and fight all the Shinigami’s around. I’ll be a king there finally with the whole world at my disposal. I bet I’ll.