Paperback ✓ வற்றும் ஏரியின்

வற்றும் ஏரியின் மீன்கள் ‘The body was the only truth she knew It was the body alone that was left even as she went beyond the body’Journeys form the leitmotif of these astonishing new stories by Ambai Sometimes culminating in an unconventional love affair some are extraordinary tales of loyalty and integrity; others touch on the almost fantastic absurd aspect of Mumbai Yet others explore the notion of a wholesome self and its tragic absence at times These stories are illuminated by vivid and unusual characters from an eccentric penurious singer couple who adopt an ape as their son to a male prostitute who is battered by bimbos for not giving ‘full’ satisfactionCrucially some of the stories like the title one engage uninhibitedly with a woman’s relationship to her body For Ambai feminist par excellence the sensual body experienced as a natural landscape changing with age is at the same time the only vehicle of life and tool for mapping the external world 1) Journey 4 A short story. Amazing and unexpected ending.2) Journey 5 Also a short story. An unexpected twist. Sweet. A much deserved 5 stars! This book is beautifully written and has everything that I want from a desi book. It does not resort to unwanted romanticism and elaborate descriptions of nature to get it's point across. The stories are just right in their length and the characters in it are very well drawn. Reading the book was a breeze and I couldn't get enough of it. Sadly, it had to end, but it has ignited a desire in me to read all the other books by the author.It seems to be really honest writing that comes straight from the heart, no frills and no gimmicks. It has an understated tone of feminism and a sense of justice but does not resort to established tropes or clichés to get the message across. A really underrated book in my opinion, and one which I would happily recommend to everyone. Fish in a dwindling lake is a set of 10 short stories which have a common stroke of feminism brushed equally. These stories except three , don't have a proper name. The author has named these 7 stories as journey 4 , journey 5, journey 10. Though I couldn't make out an apparent reason behind these unique way of naming, these set of stories have an unnamed female narrator in common and mostly are sent in Mumbai as a backdrop.📚The titular story which is my favourite of the collection captures glimpses of life of an ill fated Kumud whose husband expires within days of her marriage. In her middle age, she unwillingly decides to settle in abroad with her niece nephew reluctant to leave her own land. One last visit to her friend Bimla devi her spiritual quest veers Kumud from the decision she had taken.📚'The Calf that frolicked in the hall' is about three friends Kadir, Udayan and an unnamed female narrator. After 25 years of their drifting apart , Kadir and she meet only when Udayan commits suicide. They both reminisce their past relationship with Udayan, their own past love life , the trio's passion for literature homeland and they also disclose a few hidden facts to each other.📚'Kailasam' is a an unconventional different story which I loved reading. It discusses philosophically about body and sexual desires how it withers fades away respectively as age grows.📚 And the remaining set of 7 stories though given similar titles yet they are absolutely eclectic in nature. These stories acquaints us to a pregnant lady whose husband is sterile; two women who were childhood freinds after many years, they plan travelling to Pondicherry searching for freedom but discover a new facet of love in a old couple there. A story on extreme secularist unrest cracked in Mubai city during riots; a lady who befteinds sympathesies a male prostitute ; story on how human wants needs are overpowered by their pets; I also loved reading this story of a lady from North eastern State fervouring for an identity in Mumbai.📚Ambai's female leads are intricately intimate empathetic and at the same unconservative too. They are independent face boldly their life turning topsy turvy. One or two stories didn't work for me , but this book packs a punch despite its slimness. While browsing randomly at the iconic @kitabkhanabooks at Colaba, I stumbled upon this transient section for #womenintranslation Month and picked up the first book I saw. I have hardly read much Indian translated books (the one I remember was 'Ghachar Ghochar, a book translated from Kannada language that I read back in 2016) and I have always been curious about Indian authors who have excelled while writing in their local language. Needless to say, this book caught my attention and hence I picked it up. Ambai's stories (originally written in Tamil) are unconventional, and so are her female protagonists. They dream, they travel, they think fondly of their unrequited love. They are unapologetic, they are empathetic. Some stories are just named as 'Journey 2', 'Journey 3' etc while some are named after a forgotten lover. There is exploration of female body, sexuality and sexual expression. There are tragedies of Mumbai riots. There is a non chalant campus romance here, and a unexplainable suicide there. I am glad I picked it up. I can say, I didn't choose this book, this book chose me.

  • Paperback
  • 176 pages
  • வற்றும் ஏரியின் மீன்கள்
  • Ambai
  • English
  • 07 September 2016
  • 9780143414056

About the Author: Ambai

Ambai is the nom de plume of Dr CS Lakshmi a historian and a creative writer in Tamil who writes about love relationships uests and journeys in the Tamil region and elsewhere Her stories have been translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom in two volumes entitled A Purple Sea and In a Forest a Deer Ambai was awarded the Lifetime Literary Achievement Award of Tamil Literary Garden University of Toro

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