14th October 2018
K R Mohanachandran
Viresh Nair is my friend and colleague in ESAF Small Finance Bank. I was fortunate to have a copy of his literary work in Malayalam – “Randam Balyam”- a novelette – containing two stories – “Üpacharam” and “Randam Balyam”. And I am astonished to see the beauty of this literary work of a very young and promising writer in Malayalam.
Randam Balyam Cover PageRandam Balyam Back Cover
Viresh’s literary skill in Malayalam is evident and well exhibited through these two stories. I read this book more than once – first, like reading any other novel, second time with a serious mind of evaluation; and again, following each of the sentences with curiosity. Shown below are the words of Viresh. Randam Balyam Note
Introduction by Viresh, as shown above, made me reading his stories more than once. What is a story, and what do a reader gets by reading a story ? The preface as above is sufficient to persuade a reader to go further into the book.
‘Upacharam’ starts with the thoughts and feels of Sivan, when he performs the post death rituals ( Sradha oottu) for his forefathers. The young man and his two brothers saw their father last, when he was alive. Their father suffered injuries from a fall, had to be bedridden for long and paralysed fully. On such occasions, relatives and friends usually come to help others in the affected family , but gradually skip the scene , leaving the rest to the people at home. The situation is awfully narrated in the following sentences.
In course of time, Sivan’s father could regain his ability to move around, talk a little bit, but his memory was completely lost. The family was, however, happy that he could slowly move around. But, leading them to further shock, he was lost from home……………
1It was a journey for Sivan and his brothers thereafter , searching for their father .
All hopes faded and the mother had to leave Delhi with her three children. The struggles of real life awaited them , once they arrived at their native place in Kerala. The truth of life is well narrated in the following words.
The mother , however, rebuilt their life, with courage. Sivan turned up for the Sradha oottu for his forefathers. He was, however, not sure whether his father was dead or still alive. While doing the rituals, Sivan thought, let that be witnessed by all his forefathers, but wished, his father not being there…………
‘Upacharam’ ends with the grave feelings of Sivan, as above ……. in the hope that he would be able to get united with all those who had eternal relationship with him, in ‘Randam Balyam”…
Moving on to the next story, ‘Randam Balyam’, the reader gets an impression that it is a continuation of the first one. Curiosity develops, how the stories, entirely different in theme and way of expression, are related to each other. The anxiety continues till the end, when the reader realises that the author intentionally caused a type of curiosity in the text of stories, but both differently unwind certain core philosophies of life.
Life of Balamani amma, whose 60th birthday is planned to be celebrated, is unveiled in a very lucid manner in the novelette. Bala was made to marry a person, whose action of killing another,caused her lover to be jailed . She lived with him for thirty years, fighting and protesting against fate, but not knowing that her husband murdered a person , for which her lover was made the scapegoat.
Finally, when she came to know the fact, revealed to her by the husband himself at the time of his death, and when Sethu, her lover was seen again, both were too old to rejoin for yet another life.
The ultimate truth and philosophy of life is unveiled here. ‘Randam Balyam’ draws out a road of thoughts for those who understood the life differently.
Viresh’s two different styles of writing can be seen in these novels. But he carries a legitimate anxiety of sober thoughts and solemnly brings out characteristic revelation of certain myths of life.
‘Randam Balyam’ is published by ‘Crimson Corner’, a jaleby media venture. The book is priced Rs.75/-.
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