Thursday, September 30, 2010

Meerasadhu - K R Meera

Contemporary Malayalam Literature has some interesting writers. K R Meera's name had been one of the prominent young women writers for some time.  That prompted me to check out this book.

Meera Sadhu's are those women, living in the Vrindavan at Krishna Temple ,Mathura ( the place of Krishna's childhood), abandoned by their relatives. They are considered "married to Krishna" and have been living out of the meagre pension ( Rs 10 per day) given by the temple authorities as charity. Their life have been of rejection and are forced to earn their living by begging in the streets. Often molested by thugs, with no one to take care , living in dreadful rooms with many stuffed into one, many sick and almost all dirty. Adopting the name  from the legendary poet/singer Meera who spent her lifetime singing in praise of Krishna, the new age meerasadhus, flock the Lord Krishna temple chanting his name.

Tulasi, an IIT first Rank Holder, ends up in the 'galis' of Brindavan as a meerasadhu after going through some torrid times in her married life.  Tulasi, during her final years of IIT, acquaints Madhavan, an enterprising journalist , during one of his visit to write an article. The acquaintance become friendship to a level that he started influencing her decisions in life, including her own marriage. The love grew, in spite of her realisation that Madhavan boast of having an affair with 27 girlfriends, All those were not lasting, as they had been approaching him for help. Tulasi, run away from home on the eve of her wedding with old friend and another IIT-ian Vinayan, now an working in the US.

The initial days of marriage was filmy and the couple settled in Delhi where Madhavan now works, and soon she delivered her first kid. It did not take long, for the old Madhavan to come out of the shell, and the visit of one of his erstwhile girlfriend caused the initial drift in the family. Forced to lead a life of housewife, Tulasi now isolated from her family and husband ( who spent more and more time in Office), taking solace in her two kids.  The final nail in the coffin of the failed marriage came in the form of a request for divorce. Tulasi's revenge starts at this point. She poisons both her kids and the ending up in the mental asylum before her final destination of Brindavan.

This is a novel of love and revenge. The vengeance is turned against her husband, take a form of self inflicted insults, torturing herself, causing damage to her own self-morale, thus executing her revenge on her husband. While she claims moral victory over her husband, by refusing to visit him at the hospital ( while in a very filmy style he returns to her in the end), in reality she succumbs to revenge that continue to torment her. 

One of the issue of this book could be that it feels like an extended short story. Instead of attempting to write a full-fledged novel, she seems to have attempted to tell a story, into 56 pages. As a result, some of the characters that could have been interesting and possibly developed ( Vinayan for example) did not get enough attention and thus become pedestrians in the whole system. While the language is brilliant and maintains the same tone of anger and frustration ( converged in the form of revenge), that alone does not make this a good book. This short novel does not remain in the memory of the reader for too long, for its narrative sounds  forced with no depth whatsoever.

I have the second edition of the book, and I don't understand the cover. Apart from causing some curiosity,I doubt if it depicts the real character of the book.

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Meerasadhu ( 2008)

K R Meera

D C Books

56 Pages

Rs 40
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Other Reviews : Cutewriting

1 comment:

Sabina said...

I read this novel a few years back when it was published in "Vanitha" .

After finishing it, I was in a strange mental state that, I dint talk to anyone around, for 2-3 days...

The language she used was pretty strong and it gave me a mild headache in fact... No more words to explain it..

I wanted to own a copy ,but it looks like it is out of stock .. I lost the vanitha edition too..