Bouquet of Feeling
Malati Mathur
NANDANVAN & OTHER STORIES by Lakshmi Kannan Orient Blackswan, 2012, 266 pp., 00.00
April 2012, volume 36, No 4

This collection of stories (originally written in Tamil and translated into English by the author herself) brings to the reader slices of life tinged with courage, pathos, humour, in short, situations and expe-riences that we can identify with in a myriad ways. Whether it is the field of academia frau-ght with gender-biased undercurrents, family issues and the plight of the aged-so beauti-fully brought out in the surreal setting of the story ‘Nandanvan’, people caught up in emo-tional and physical impediments or a look at hidebound traditions and stereotyped preju-dices (‘A Political Colour’), the stories take up the threads of ordinary life and deftly weave in a rainbow of sensation and thought, making them resonate with the sense of the present, of a life lived now.

Rooted strongly in middle class India, the stories explore the physical as well as the psy-chological world of the characters without taking up an overt judgemental position. They are who they are and they act or react in the way do but the author does not force any opi-nion on the readers although in stories like ‘Simone de Beauvoir and the Manes’ and ‘Ano-ther Hour, Another Hue’ for instance, there is no mistaking where the author stands.

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