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Showing posts from July, 2016

Teresa's Man & Other Stories from Goa - Damodar Mauzo (Translated from Konkani by Xavier Cota)

What better day to write about this book than one where the sun is shining through my window and reminding me of a place that I have wonderful memories of – Goa! Family vacations, good food and sunshine. ‘Teresa’s Man & Other Stories’ by Damodar Mauzo was originally written in Konkani and has been translated into English by Xavier Cota. When I became aware of this, I was thrilled to say the least as Konkani is my mother tongue and is spoken only by a minority of the Indian populace. The translator’s note at the very end of the book is very insightful as it gives you a few facts about the book e.g. that it was written across 4 decades.
The flavour of the book is humble as its stories narrate the lives of Goans. One is often reminded of the idyllic way of life and at the same time one inevitably takes notice of the fact that although Goa is a vacation spot for many, for Goans it still remains a place where they have to earn a livelihood and face life in all its hues. The stories do a…

These Lines of Mehendi (A Novella) - Sumeetha Manikandan

Let me start with a short word association game. What is the first word that comes to mind when I say ‘Mehendi’? For the unfamiliar, Mehendi =Henna. Marriage?Sangeet?Orange?Fragrance?Bride?Festive?
I would love to hear from you and see if we managed to recall the same word! ‘Mehendi’ to me represents a joyous occasion and to read a book about this wonderful component of Indian culture whether actual or symbolic was comforting.
‘These Lines of Mehendi’ is the first of two novellas from ‘Love, Again’, the other being ‘A Tulip In The Desert’ by Shruti P.C. I came across Sumeetha Manikandan’s profile on Goodreads and was suitably impressed by her keen interest in Indian fiction and her dedication to promote not just her own work but also the work of other Indian authors. So it goes without saying that I was pleased to receive her novella for review.
I have always been inspired by strong women protagonists in literature and to see one such character in Sumeetha Manikandan’s novella, ‘These Li…

One Point Two Billion - Mahesh Rao

Red, Yellow and Black. The colours used on the book cover of ‘One Point Two Billion’ instantly reminded me of the small ‘kirana’ shop that I used to frequent along with my mum to stock up on daily home essentials. I vividly remember seeing these colours in combination with each other on labels of match boxes, oil and even pesticides. In One Point Two Billion, Mahesh Rao has authored a memorable collection of short stories which encapsulates a fleeting impression of India and its people. I say fleeting because although Rao has done a brilliant job, the fact that that India is so very diverse may make it almost impossible to convey this in just one book.
The stories are set across the Indian diaspora to include a distinct geographical representation of the Indian states which I found to be unique as the stories give the reader a glimpse into the lives of India’s ‘everyday’ people or as they are more popularly known, the common man.
Rao’s writing is compelling and he uses metaphors and a…