Sunday, September 30, 2012

അടയാളങ്ങൾ - Sethu

In the contemporary Malayalam writers, Sethu is one one the prominent names. His books stand apart in the general melee of publishing. The latest Marupiravi, was also a good attempt. Taking up his 2005 book, which supposed to have won the prestigious 'Vayalar award' in 2006, was with a lot of hope and expectation. However, this book did not live up to the expectation one had on this writer.

Priyamvada Menon is a middle aged HR executive in a respected private firm, living with her college going daughter Neethu. The mother -daughter relationship is that of a close friendship, especially after her seperation from her US residing husband Ranjith Menon. The nasty separation, seemed to have made a lasting impression on the daughter and hence her dependancy on her mother is beyond expression. However, as expected in such a relation, it has to go through the period of distrust and disown. Everything started with a trip to Goa by {Priyamvada on an HR conference, where she presented a paper on the plight of workers at a Sugar Mill in Meenakshipuram. The story of old employees, committing suicide at the age of 59 ( few months prior to their retirement) in order to secure the job to their children, was received with a lot of enthusiasm. She had a lot of fans on her ability to portray a question of ethics and those cases beyond the known HR guidebooks. One of her idea of being at the conference is not only to present her paper, but to meet her mentor Prof.Roy Choudhury. A meeting which did not go too well with her,. She recalls later ' an idol should remain an idol, it should never appear in flesh and blood, demeaning its own values.

The rift between the mother and daughter now increased with them busy with their own life and not willing to concede their position. Adding to this Priyamvada's own struggle at her office, working around a factory modernizing scheme,trying to garner the support of the warring workers were taking her time. Bringing the fiery Meenakshipuram HR lady to her folds , as an assistant at the factory and as a sister to her own life, did not yield the desired calm in her life. However, as it is expected the issues at the official front as well as the home front.

Conflicts in a mother-daughter relationship. At the outset, a standard, cinematic, cliched plot. Except for the clever incorporation of the subplots related to her work as an HR head of a private firm, and the symbolic Meenakshipuram incident, where the employees of a sugar mill commits suicide at the age of 59, in order to get the job to their direct descendant, the book is very very ordinary. The new trends in writing, with working professional women in lead, the independent living, open discussions between parents and kids etc could be a welcome change. Notwithstanding his ability in handling the subject with a good control of language, to me this is not one of those books that stands out in Malayalam literature, irrespective of the numerous awards it is supposed to have won.
അടയാളങ്ങൾ ( 2005)


DC Books

276 Pages

Rs 125

No comments: