The Extraordinary in the Ordinary
Jayashankar Menon
THEEYOOR CHRONICLES (Theeyoor Rekhakal) by N. Prabhakaran. Translated from the original Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2021, 290 pp., 299.00
August 2021, volume 45, No 8

‘Words are like human beings. Behind every living word there are many dead words.’

Theeyoor Chronicles  deals primarily with the resilience of human beings in different situations to a certain extent and those who seek refuge in death when they are unable to do so. It depicts the dark side of the ‘phenomenon’ where power intertwines with localism and further creates a rift in human identity.

Theeyoor Chronicles is not only a model for a fictional documentary but also the work impresses with its accuracy of language, clarity of social observation and depth of characters. It can be considered as an example of a postmodern novel in Malayalam. The novelist narrates the extraordinary story of the ordinary ‘life’ of ordinary people in a hamlet by name Theeyoor in North Kerala. It is also the autobiography—of sage of Koneri Vellan, Wardha Gopalan, Arival Achu—those who committed suicide, those who went missing and also those who were a part of resistance movements.

Continue reading this review