I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Monday, October 02, 2006

DRIZZLE OF YESTERYEARS and other stories by M K Ajay

Frog Books
4A, Diamond House
Mumbai 400 050 India
Genre: Fictional short stories
Rating: Good
ISBN: 8188811424, $10.00, 115 pp.

And I quote from the Foreword:
"This book is a collection of stories about the people of Pambunkavu, a fictional village situated in the Malabar region of Kerala, a souther Indian state. The twenty-first century Pambunkavu is a village which has lost its innocence, and the substantial diaspora of its people living in foreign lands has contributed to the integration and ‘corruption’ of this village with a sense of modernity.

"The narratives capture the lives of these ‘villagers’ either ‘at home’ or ‘in exile’– the former dealing with happenings within their native land and the latter following their lives outside their home state. Accordingly, the seventeen stories in this collection are organized in two sections . . . which treat the lives of the people of Pambunkavu separately, depending on their physical location."

This book is well-written and well-edited. Many of the stories are simplistic to the extent that I wondered why they were written, but as I am not an authority on poetry, I thought possibly the significance was beyond me. There were two stories which particularly appealed to me: A Question of Morality and Fortunes of Circus–a dreamlike occurrence with interesting imagery–allow me to quote an excerpt:

"These are moments when legends die, their words hanging upside down like the mangled knots of roots that drop from the branches of trees to the brown earth. Their words which you worshipped are buried, then exhumed, and the bones are flung into the primitive lands of metaphors–it is these moments, when the world has desecrated his legends, that a man faces his most difficult dilemma."

M K Ajay’s writings have appeared in many publications. He has a Master’s degree in Psychology and is a post-graduate in Human Resources Management and currently lives in Kuala Lumpur.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - October 2, 2006


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