I grew up watching, listening, viewing PL literature, and drama. PL has demi god status especially in our circles. I appreciate PL for his life and value him as a person more than his work. His work is accused of being based only on middle class experiences. That’s another story that the incidences, minute observations, characters are universal and have great human values. His style, language is wodehousque. Humour is intelligent and subtle. PL's biography is that of man who has lived 100% . Always seeking full value and enrichment (not physical riches though he has great philanthropy track record). he had able support from sunitabai. Be it music, drama, movies, novels, doordarshan/AIR stint, role during emergency, harmonium: a truly versatile genius.
On other hand of spectrum is GA. I got sucked into GA much later (as usually happens with serious authors). The names of his novels are mysterious. The stories are dark. The human values explored by GA and 180 degrees opposite of those depicted by PL. But these human experiences are real for sure. If PL is 100% optimist to human life, GA is 0% towards life. Life seems an eternal journey of suffering, pain, mystery, and quest.
Both are real aspects of life. Take any morning for example. You start your day expecting day to be fulfilling for your quest. Each one has quest. Quests differ. One can have two ways of looking. PL way when you think that today will be yours. or GA way is that your day is full of drudgery and your quest is meaningless. Don’t you agree that our moods swing from one spectrum to another depending on one’s inner strengths, outlook and situation? Example you drink for pleasure or to reduce pain. Each way of looking is true. You become addicted to each and every thing. Be it pain, success, enjoyment, love, hate: name an emotion and human mind will be slave. That’s GA 's take. For PL is journey of happiness.
That does not mean that PL did not have his share of pain or GA never had happiness. It is up to you to define your life how you want.
For commoners like us, life is combination of pain and happiness. Grass is always greener on other side. you feel everyone else apart from you is fine. Facebook adds to that feeling. You start feeling dark. Then you get ray of happiness and feel life is yours for that moment. You are chasing moving target. But the chase can be worthy if you enjoy it. You keep fighting most of the time against your own self. Sometime you are your most dangerous enemy. But its your strengths which have defined life for you till now. Its complicated. Thus life is a novel half written by GA, half written by PL and pages mixed randomly.
Author runs a blog http://nayakgiri.blogspot.com