Reading journals-On Characters


Asking questions, keeping files, making reading journals make the reading process more rich.

Let us look at some characters-brought to life by the director David Lean.


This summer we went into dissection of some characters. In this video, sitting in Naturalization zone, Hershey, near our house in Mississauga, we looked at the character Ronny Heaslop

In- A Passage to India- Ronny Heaslop-the City Magistrate-son of Mrs.Moore from her first marriage,  tries to fit-in. He is a parody of a colonial administrator, whose views are not his own, but cliches he picks up from his seniors.

We examine different facets of humanity, using literature as a framework to shape discussions.

The story brings out the prejudices of both sides of the racial-colonial divide, and characters like Dr.Aziz show many inconsistencies- at times becoming angry at Mr.Fielding-the College Principal and within a few minutes asking him to accompany him to the victory celebrations.

sahil papa discussion 2017 aziz fielding

Dr Aziz and Fielding-A Passage to India, based on EM Forster’s novel,directed by David Lean. Many interesting characters brought to life the many nuances of Colonialism and meeting of different civilizations


You are a fine doctor, Clipton, but you have some things to learn about the Army institution, Colonel Nicholson –the commander who helps the Japanese build the bridge explains why he is helping in build the bridge, which may be of military use to the Japanese

The war will  one day be over, and my men, will remember that they built this project as soldiers not slaves.

A discussion on how the military institution is built, led to many nuances on how the British and American armies collaborate and how the Major Shears is explained that the only option he has to get over his impersonation as a US Navy commander is to cooperate and go back to the jungle from which he had escaped.

PERSONAL NOTE..I first saw the movie-Bridge on the River Kwai-with my father in Pune in 1970s. A military doctor, who had served in North East India, he told me about the Kohima war memorial and INA in a more intimate direct way. Through these discussions -woven around the story of Kwai, I tried to connect Sahil-his grandson- to the ways of the army institution and his grandfather, whom he never say physically

DARK STAR SAFARI..Paul Theroux-July 2017

Rattray Marsh area-Port Credit: We read excerpts from Theroux’s -Dark Star Safari.  His overland journey through Africa has many rich insights. This year have read and discussed three of Theroux’s books- Great Railway Bazaar, Dark Star Safari and Deep South. Deep South is particularly interesting in the context of what is happening in the Southern US -the open resurgence of the KKK.

To see earlier perspectives click on the link Negro Journeys (2012-2015)


About prashant bhatt

A psychologist, interested in mindfulness practices. I practiced medicine as a radiologist for 23 years in India and Libya as a radiologist before shifting to Canada. A regular diarist, journaling since 1983 Reading journal :
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