On a River’s Bank
Author: A Madhavan
Translator: M Vijayalakshmi
Publisher: Ratna Books
(Pp 140, ISBN 978-93-86600-55-4, Rs 249)
A story of ordinary people told in an extraordinary manner – that’s the beauty of this novel. Published originally in 1974 in Tamil, Punalum Manalum is a path-breaking novel, highlighting the issue of environmental degradation through over-exploitation.
Beautifully written, the book portrays a girl, who has a deformed appearance and how her stepfather attributes all his miseries and ill luck to her. The author shows that how a river, which is worshipped, turns ugly after it is violated and exploited. The book actually flows like a river, matching human emotions with nature.
The translator M Vijayalakshmi has maintained the flow of the novel and has done a commendable job to keep it interesting till the end. Another laudable literary work from the house of Ratna Books!
– Varsha Verma