Haruki Murakami: Deep Inside 1Q84

I am not fond of doing reviews for books because I don’t take notes while reading. It breaks the momentum of the story and back reading is tedious as they come. I hate back reading even on chat boxes like messenger. And when you read a Haruki Murakami, you wouldn’t have the energy to take notes or back read.

1Q84 is one of a kind. Like other Haruki Murakami’s works, I felt I was standing at the edge of a cliff but wouldn’t have the slightest idea because a thick fog had obscured my sight. When I thought I have understood it, it takes up another notch and made me doubt I did.

Don’t let appearance fool you. There’s always only one reality

It is like looking at Munch The Scream and wonder at the enigma of it. That is the depth of 1Q84. Since my depth of understanding is of the average person, the meaning escapes me.

In 1Q84, there is Aomame. She is a killer. She’ll put a needle on a point at your nape and bam you take your last breath without much qualm. A painless death. In contrast to taking a life, she loves unconditionally, regardless of time. She holds her friends close to her heart and her love for a man named Tengo transcends everything. She said:

If you can love someone with all your whole heart, even one person, then there is salvation in life. Even if you can’t get together with that person

Aomame and Tengo’s love story is romantic in a distorted kind of way. It took them 20 years to realize they took a long detour before deciding they have to find each other. That love is the sole reason for living.

Tamaru had asked what will Aomame and Tengo do when they see each other after 20 years of separation. Aomame replied “We will look at the moon”. “That is romantic” was all Tamaru can say.

At least Tamaru knows what romantic is. Despite his cold exterior brought about by abandonment and poverty, he is calculatively warm. Giving understanding and kindness when necessary. He paraphrased Tolstoy,

Each kind of pain has it’s own characteristics. All happiness is alike but each pain is painful in its own way

A cynic, he goes on to break everyone’s belief about hope:

Hope is abstract while trials are concrete

Yes of course. Hope is abstract. One can not hold it or see it but like faith, hope is tangible. It is the rudder of each person to survive the routine of life. Put a tiger in your tank and a person just has to believe.

One commercial asks “Para kanino ka bumabangon?” Hope.

We hope that the day will bring changes to us, to our future, to our lot in life. We hope for acceptance, respect and friendship. We hope for that one person who will love us for who we are or if we have already found him/her, we hope that love will last.

Love is fueled by hope.

And some will take it for granted, some die for it, some suffer for a lifetime and some cherish the person they love even in absence.

Hope and love do go hand in hand like shadow and light.

Where there is light there must be shadow and where there is a shadow there must be light

Aside from hope and love, in this world where blood gushes out from a wound and death is real – pain, crime, loss and brutality that involves a perpetrator and a victim also exist.

The ones who did it can always rationalize their actions and even forget what they did. They can turn away from things they don’t want to see but surviving victims can never forget. They can’t turn away

Suicide was also prevalent in the novel as with Murakami’s works. The taking of ones life as an ultimate answer because powerlessness had eaten the soul.

This much is true for rape victims regardless of their age. They either choose to die by their own hands or move on, carrying a huge vacuum in their souls.

For those who survive and move on, they will laugh, live, cling to hope or try to forget. But hard as they might, that vacuum will remain in their heart until something or someone fills it – if they are lucky, with love. Like Ayumi with her cheerful personality, the hole in her heart was so evident when she said to Aomame:

Whatever time and place this might be, you do have one person you love deeply and that is something I can only envy. I don’t have anything like that

People come into our lives and it’s the choice of each side to choose to either stay together or fall apart yet for Aomame:

Once the ties had been formed it will never be cut. We are bound by artificial blood

And maybe one should learn from her.

In the year 1Q84, there is only one exit – the passageway where one had walked to enter.#

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