Monday, December 14, 2015

Currently Reading | Some thoughts on Perumal Murugan's One Part Woman

One Part Woman spent a significant amount of time in the limelight early this year because religious/political (what’s the difference these days?) outfits in Tamil Nadu were trying to get it banned – four years after it was first published in Tamil and two years after its translation into English. Erm… Anyway, not only did they fail in their endeavours, but they also ensured that every reader across all Indian states now knew Murugan’s name and had ordered a copy of One Part Woman.

What they did succeed in doing however, was breaking the author’s spirit, leading him to write this note:
"Author Perumal Murugan has died. He is no god, so he is not going to resurrect himself. Nor does he believe in reincarnation. From now on, Perumal Murugan will survive merely as a teacher he has been."

I’m halfway through One Part Woman and this book will makes me feel a plethora of emotions, the most prominent of which is anger. Anger, because Kali and Ponna don’t deserve to be mocked by everyone they know, and even those they don’t know for not having a child a decade into their marriage.

Anger, because everyone keeps insisting that Kali get married again but he refuses like a martyr, letting people believe it’s because he loves his wife too much when really, he’s afraid that another barren marriage will ascertain his impotence and he’d much rather it be vague as to whose “fault” this really is.

But nothing makes me angrier than the knowledge that Indian literature has lost an significant voice. More importantly, the Indian hinterlands have lost a channel that was attempting to hold a mirror up to it and also translate it to the world.

Buy One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan from Flipkart // Amazon 

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