In the days I started serious reading, I preferred English literature. They were supposed to improve my language and mould me into a global citizen. Recently I found out that my native Kerala is blessed with amazing writers which I have missed all these years. So I am into Malayalam now.
I have been reading ‘Asura Vithu’(Evil offspring) by M.T Vasudevan Nair. MT is one of the renowned Malayalam writers and has scripted some of the award winning movies as well.
One of his first books I have read is ‘Randamoozham’(Second Chance). Usually we read the Mahabharata in the popular point of view. Here he draws the picture in the point of view of Bhima. It was such a wonderful and touching portrayal. Bhima is shown as a soft hearted person taken for granted by all.
The climax where his mother reveals his paternity is very touchy. I wonder if the Hindu fanatics would have allowed such a book to be released today.
‘Asura Vithu' is set in world war days. It paints the picture about a rural village during those tough times.
MT’s command over language, issues and situations is remarkable. Today it would be impossible to touch up a whole lot of issues in a single novel.
The main difference between a good writer and great writer is his writings transcends generations. Even it would be difficult for me to put my favorite writer Kushwant Singh in the list of great writers.
Most of the issues MT mentions in ‘Asura Vithu' is still prevalent in our society. The most prominent one being the casteism, moreover, the influence of the rich in the caste equations.
Another feature being the degradation of families entirely dependent on agriculture. As a result a new breed comes up that prefers getting a paid job. Even today a farmer has only second rate status even though he grows our food.
WW-II is a sensitive area for
Another sensitive and very relevant subject is infidelity. Men from rich families are allowed to spill their wild oats. In the end the unfortunate woman is married off to some idiot who gets a good amount as bribe.
Reading such books enhances our social outlook. But sadly these serious writers have been ignored today.