During The Hay Festival I made a startling discovery on the lineage of the writer, Jaisree Mishra. She is the great grand-daughter of one of the greatest writer in Malayalam, Thakazhi.
As Jaisree shook her legs drabbed in the neo-desi outfit, I couldn’t help but take a snap of hers. Due to poor lighting and movement, it came out as hazy. She might have looked on with suspicion at the guy who stared and impolitely clicked her. But it wasn’t exactly because I was enamored of her.
I couldn’t help but compare the contrasting figures of Thakazhi and J.M. The Thakazhi we have seen in pictures is a bare-chested man, relaxing in a chair flanked by his wife and adorned with the infectious smile. He wrote on the plight of poor farmers of central belt of Kerala and the out castes of the society. I still feel the tug at heart on recalling his famous work, ‘Thottiyude Makan’ (Son of the Scavanger). His works reflected the revolutionary era and the wide spread social changes that were sweeping through out.
Now I see, JM, writing on the make-break relationships in concrete jungles. Her target audience is the affable metro-sexual youth. The books are well adorned, well-publicized, costly and well-sold.
But what have we been missing?