Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Son The Fanatic - DJ

The narrative deals with the problems of Parvez, who has migrated from Pakistan to Britain with his son Ali. Parvez worries about his son drifting off course because Ali’s behavior has changed significantly. Early in the story, Parvez is afraid of discussing his worries with his friends because his son has always been a kind of showpiece son. Eventually, Parvez breaks his silence and tells them how his son has changed, hoping to receive some advice from his friends. After having a short conversation, they come to the conclusion that his son might be addicted to drugs and that he sells his properties to earn money to buy drugs. After this meeting, Parvez goes to his taxi to drive home. But in his car he finds Bettina, a prostitute, who drives with Parvez very often and has become a confidante of Parvez. Since Parvez has defended Bettina from a client who had attacked her, they take care of each other. Parvez tells Bettina what he has observed and that he and his friends assume that his son does all these strange things because he is drug addicted. Bettina instructs Parvez on how he has to observe his son to find out if there is anything physically wrong with him. However, after a few days of observations Parvez decides that his son appears totally healthy. The only physical change Parvez can observe is that Ali is growing a beard now. And apart from that it turns out that his son does not sell his things. He just gives them away for free.
Only now Parvez notices that Ali prays five times a day, although he had not been brought up religious. Parvez decides to invite his son for dinner to have a conversation with him about the happenings during the last days. Initially, Ali refuses this invitation, but later he goes out for dinner with his father. Parvez drinks a lot during this meeting and they start to argue. Ali criticizes his father’s way of life because in his opinion his father is "too implicated in Western civilization" (Kureishi 2001: 157) and breaks the Koran’s rules by drinking alcohol and eating pork. Ali explains to his father that he is going to give up his studies because from his point of view, “Western Education cultivates an anti-religious attitude.” (Kureishi 2001: ) After this evening Parvez feels as if he had lost his son and wants to tell him to leave the house. But Bettina changes his mind and Parvez resolves to try to understand what is going on in his son’s mind. During the next days Parvez tries to explain cautiously to his son what his ideas and attitudes towards life are. He even lets himself grow a beard to please Ali. But Ali still holds his father in contempt for not following the rules of the Koran. A few days later while Parvez is driving in his taxi with Bettina he sees his son walking down the sidewalk. Parvez asks Ali to come in and drive with them. In the car, Bettina starts to have a conversation with Ali, but as she tries to explain to Ali that his father loves him very much, Ali becomes angry and offends Bettina. Afterwards he wants to escape from the car, but Bettina preempts him. She leaves the car when it is still moving and runs away. Back at home Parvez drinks a lot of alcohol because he is very furious at his son. After a while he walks into Ali’s room and attacks his son who does not show any kind of reaction to protect or defend himself. As Parvez stops hitting him, Ali asks his father: "Who is the fanatic now?"

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