Monday, November 30, 2009

Ghatikarangal Nilaykkunna Samayam - Subhash Chandran

A devastating earthquake stuck the district of Latur and surrounding districts of Maharashtra on 30th September 1993. Images of destruction and suffering were displayed in various media, to the terror of the readers. There was one image of a watch/clock shop with all the watches stopped at 4:00am, was one of those images still recurring to my mind. Subhash Chandran, combining this image and another news story of a lost child looking for his parents into a beautiful story which carries the name of this short story collection, Ghatikarangal Nilaykkunna Samayam ( when the clocks stops ). The local thief Thukaram, spares the shop with repairs and sells clocks, where he spends his night, from his usual targets. One dreadful night he sees witnesses the fury of the nature as buildings after buildings collapsing, people leaving the towns and villages. Holding one clock which is removed from the rubble of the fallen shop, Thukaram starts his journey. Listening to a soft cry in the destruction, he manages to rescue the young infant. Towards the end of the night he realises that the life beating under his dress ( in the form of pendulam) had ceased and the clock stopped displaying 4:00am, before he along with the lives he rescued descends to the depths of the planet.

I also observed that Death is one recurring presence in every story ( except one, if I recollect correctly) appearing in the form of suicide, murder, natural disaster, dead body etc. Book consists of eight stories, apart from a forward by M T Vasudevan Nair and an excerpt from an interview with the writer.

Subhash Chandran, as observed by M.T.Vasudevan Nair in his foreward, uses the language to his best ability and outstanding effect. Some of the clever use of idioms, the symbols and the structural joining of words are highly effective. However, apart from the main story and another, the rest of the stories in this are very ordinary. Clever use of language and the structure alone does not necessarily give you a good story.

Ghatikarangal Nilaykkunna Samayam ( Malayalam )
(ഘടികാരങ്ങള്‍ നിലയ്ക്കുന്ന സമയം)
Subhash Chandran
D C Books
94 Pages

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