What particularly holds out is the simplicity and the easy structuring of each one of these short stories. None of the complex build-ups or any of the dramatic turns or twists, but each story seems unfolding along the natural strain. Easy to read. Easy to absorb. Easy to relate to! A book review by Humra Quraishi
Title of the book- Birthing Hut and other Stories
Author – Thamizhachi Thangapandian
Translator — V Bharathi Harishankar
Publisher – Vitasta
Price – Rs 350
Pages – 73
It’s a slim book of short stories by poet-writer-academic-parliamentarian Dr T. Sumathy aka Thamizhachi Thangapandian, but carries much weight.
Foremost, these stories exposes the non-Tamil reader to Tamil Nadu, to be precise to its Karisal region. Why this focus on this particular region of Tamil Nadu is because Sumathy comes from this region. To quote her from the author’s note: “ For readers who are not familiar with Karisal, it is the region which I come from in Tamil Nadu, whose name is attributed to the type of soil. Most of the lexicons I have used here, hence are unfortunately termed as not so mainstream. However, I feel delighted to have recorded them…this is a deliberate and self-conscious decision in which I humbly try to pass on Karisal’s petrichor to the next generation.”
For me, what particularly holds out is the simplicity and the easy structuring of each one of these short stories. None of the complex build-ups or any of the dramatic turns or twists, but each story seems unfolding along the natural strain. Easy to read. Easy to absorb. Easy to relate to …After all, they revolve around the human beings. Bypassing the superficial barriers, in the form of language or the geographical settings, human emotions and the offshoots are the very same! All over! Yes, we all cry at departures and death of the various hues and forms. And we all laugh and smile over bonding and meetings and interactions.
Sumathy’s prose and verse have an abundance of the human factor. And with that comes in the connecting factor. Why I, as a reader, residing in North India’s suburbs of New Delhi, can relate and connect with the characters residing in Tamil Nadu’s Karisal, is simply because of this basic underlying factor: that is, we all are human beings!
Let me also quickly add that whilst reading these stories I have rather too automatically picked up Tamil words. There is the glossary tucked at the end of the book where a long list of Tamil words stand out with their English counterparts!