Rushdie’s Indianness love songs pulsate with passion
The opening paragraphs of Salman Rushdie’s essay Imaginary Homelands, a meditation on how migration can transform a writer, contain one of the most moving descriptions of homesickness ever written. Rushdie describes standing outside his childhood home on Warden Road in what was then Bombay and soaking up the rich colors of the bougainvillea creepers and the pointed hattowers and gabled roofs of the house he grew up in. Despite the fact that he returned after decades later, the Bombay telephone directory still contained his father’s name. This experience led him to write Midnight’s Children: “I felt as if I was being reclaimed, or told that the facts of my distant life were illusions: that this – this continuity – was reality.