The nineties of the last century saw a second wind of creativity in Tamil writing, particularly fiction. Largely unnoticed by the readers of the pulp magazines that sold in thousands, a new crop of writers were exploring new themes and new areas of experience in little magazines and original work published as books. Apart from the works of already established writers like Jeyamohan, Ramesh Prem, M. Suresh and Imaiyam to mention only a few who continued to produce significant works, younger writers such as Uma Maheswari, Salma, Joseph produced their first novels that were immediately recognized as important works. As a sample of the new fiction in Tamil, I shall discuss in what follows the latest work Ezhaam Ulagam by Jeyamohan.
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Hari - you are right that everyone has to read and come out of denial mode. But the subject is so heavy and repulsive that I found it difficult even to read your blog, so it is rather impossible to stomach the entire book. I might have suggested you "behind the beautiful forever" before, if you haven't read it yet, please read it.
Like you said I was astounded by the power of human spirit in spite of living in sub-human conditions. Hi Hari, I was absolutely stunned and shocked to read this time. Something like this is also happening around us that too in such a harsh way, never knew. You are right, this write-up of yours leads to think a lot.
Right now I am speechless Hey Hari, It is great to know you write this much. I was able to relate many characters of Ezham Ulagam with characters of 'Nan Kadavul'. I do not think I can read this book after knowing the impact of the movie on the audience. Please spare few MT messages and resume writing in as well. Regards, V. Nan Kadavul is a movie that had left a lasting impression in me, it changed my perspective towards movies, that is when I realized that not all movies need to be entertaining, there is a lot more to it.
It was extremely hard for me to digest the fact that they too live in the same world that we live in, death would be the obvious choice for fortunate people like us, if we have to live their life even for a day. More than once I simply closed the book and started to stare the skies without uttering a word, I just went blank, my thought process was empty, it was difficult for me to pick the book again and continue reading , such was the heaviness.
The story is quite descriptive about the way beggars are bought and sold, it reinstates the fact that human slave trade is still pertinent, in fact prominent, despite the social, cultural and economic change that we have all witnessed over the years. Muthammai , a conspicuous character in the story is described as a heavy women with only one breast, dysfunctional legs, one arm, eyes that are almost covered by the thick flesh that hangs from her forehead and an inconceivable gory face.
Muthammai cannot move an inch on her own, she has to be carried. She is forced to have sex with similarly handicapped ghastly beggars with an intent to produce more such filthy creatures, which are eventually sold or used as a tool for begging. The shockwave started there and continued till the time I completed reading the book.
The author also takes us through the other side of their miserable lives, they laugh, they cry, they love, crack jokes and make fun. They even feel sorry for their shabby boss Pandaram when his daughter runs away with a local goon, they console him, overlooking all his brutalities.
Regardless of all the ugliness, they still continue to live as humans with all emotions like that of those in the normal world. It was an overwhelming experience to read about their happiness. Pandaram, who makes his living by managing a gang of ill-fated beggars, is a staunch devotee of Lord Muruga , his day begins with the darshan of his favorite deity.
Pandaram absolutely has no regrets nor guilt for making money at the cost of sufferings of the hapless beings. On the contrary, he happens to be a loving husband, a caring father of three children. He travels all the way to nearby town to buy bangles in the middle of the night to make his daughter happy. From his perspective, he is a god fearing, honest and humble person. He does not even consider the beggars as human beings, hence turns a blind eye to their sufferings and leads a guilt free life.
The story begins with Muthammai giving birth to her 18 th dislodged kid and ends with her being brutally raped in a marshland by another disfigured beggar bought by Pandaram for the lone reason, who unfortunately happens to be one of her own 18 kids that she had given birth to.
She identifies the man to be one of her own children hunch back, blind and one finger in the place of the hand. Her screams and scrambles fall into deaf ears and the story ends.. Heaviness in my heart as I write this, I was dumbfounded, it took me 2 to 3 days to come out of the intensity. Ezam Ulagam is a novel that has to be read by everyone, the only hindrance while reading this book is the colloquial Tamil in which the book is written, author has extensively used Kanyakumari slang which is a blend of Tamil and Malayalam, it makes it difficult for an average Tamil reader but we get used to it after the initial chapters.
Please do not restrain from reading this book just because of its dark and intense content. After reading this book, there is bound to be a change in our individual perspective towards life, you feel blessed and start to realize the value of life. A change within us becomes imminent after reading Ezham Ulagam. Labels: Book review , Society. Minakshi April 25, at PM. Vignesh Gautam June 3, at AM. Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.
ஏழாம் உலகம்[Ezham Ulagam]
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