Sunday, January 4, 2015

Perumal Murugan’s One Part Woman


I enjoyed reading a lot of Sandilyan’s historical fictions when I was a little boy, way back in 1970’s. Kadal Pura, Raja muthrai, Raja Perigai  etc.. etc are my favourites. The prince travelling in horse, meeting a beautiful girl in a fountain, or taking a long voyage, meeting his lady love in secret are real fest to my reading pleasure. During my college days I became Leo Tolstoy’s fan and loved Resurrection, War and Peace, Anna Karenina and Father Sergius. Leo Tolstoy was very cruel with the Monk Sergius!!!
Then stopped reading novels and immersed in Philosophy, Psychology and Religion.
The novel I read after a long gap (last year) was Thoopukari; That too because I know the author personally. I was curious to know whether anything that I know about the author is reflected in her novel!!!
The saffron clad moral police & modern day cultural guardians of India made me read Perumal Murugan’s English translation One Part Woman. I did not see any controversy in the novel. Slightly dull novel, moving very slowly, repeating the same agony that the couple had no children... blah..blah ..blah...
The positive thing I see in the novel is: ‘the author tells what he wants to tell’- the plight of a childless couple – probably an ancient cultural solution...an orthodox praxis now sounds unorthodox.
Sati is a funeral ritual practiced in India. Nobody approves such practice today. Can we oppose someone who writes a novel based on that? Devadasi system is a religious practice in parts of southern India; no sensible person will approve such practice today. Does that mean, if someone writes a novel based on that s/he degrades our culture??

Indian psyche has lost its glorious tolerance and the golden lotus of Buddha is clouded by the present day lotus. The narrow minded fanaticism has become the symbol of Indian Psyche today overshadowing tolerant, open minded past.