It has been an eager wait for quite some time to get this book and read, the reason being the author Mr. Poornesh Mathavara, happened to be my senior during school days at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Chikmagalur. It is his first book, a collection of stories in kannada, published in various magazines & newspapers.
The book of 83 pages and 13 stories, at the end of which, I had a kind of lingering appreciation on this maiden venture. It is a beautiful read, especially for the ones who hail from the malnad region. Though in outlook it seems to be just pages out of an author’s travelogue, it is lot more than just that. It has humour; it mirrors the exploitation that gets veiled beneath the shadow of plantations that which act as the very source of revenue & employment in the region. The book uses satire to mock the deep rooted caste practices that are still exhibited with its own pomp & gaiety to alien, rule & subjugate the poor labour class in these plantations. The book debates & introspects in itself the very nature of exploitation that which led to the rebellion of the labour class in the form of naxalism & the awkward spread of its pangs & toils. It also sheds humorous light on the corruption at the grass root level of administration and the farce democratic exercises.
Overall, the book mirrors the divided, discriminative, unfair society that is still out there in the places from where we were fortunate to jump out because of a better chance of education that we got and which they didn’t. So, it touches your heart by reminding you that there is something that is expected out of you to better the lives of thousands out there who are still reeling under the age old problems.
The author dedicates the book to the very same exploited, underpaid labourers who sweat & toil for long hours every day with a distant dream of a good life. When the dream still proves to be just dream for very long time, they become slaves of cheap liquor and domestic violence. The author in his thanksgiving remembers his kannada teacher to have instilled the love of literature in his heart which seems to me the best way of thanksgiving to a teacher!
I liked the prose, language and the many aspects of depiction of everyday events in a subtle manner. The book looks to be an advance to the great works that is expected to come out of the author’s pen in the coming years!