Title - Moustache
Author - S Hareesh
English Translation - Jayasree Kalathil
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Harper Perennial, an imprint of Harper Collins Pubishers
ISBN - 978-93-5357-602-8
I am a half mallu. Having said that, I must admit that I never spoke Malayalam at home and I visited my relatives only once in this 40 years. I have visited Kerala, 20 times for various other reasons. I have not seen a Malayalam movie but have watched the actors from Mollywood performing in Tamil movies. Hence there is no surprise that I never had an opportunity to come across a book which is related to Kerala soil(read it as written/penned by Malayalam authors).
When I heard about this book, which became popular for other reasons, I thought I should pick this up and find out as to what exactly was written in the book. I must say that I was overwhelmed. There are few reasons to it:
1. We must not see or approach everything as it is.
2. One should not assign raw meaning to the portrayal - be it with pics or wordings.
3. There are chances of these being misunderstood but one must appreciate author's view point (Please note that these are my personal opinion).
4. Not everything should approached through religious aspects(I need to iterate her that I am Hindu by Birth and Practice and I am NOT paid for this review).
What makes this novel real special?
I always knew that Malayalam authors approach a subject in a different perspective. I witnessed it first hand when I read this novel. I was overwhelmed. Hareesh has approached the delicate subject in a well polished way. The characters lived through each and every page. Though the outline may look simple - "Dalits Vs Upward Caste", the struggle which they have gone through during the British Era couldn't have been captured better than this.
Vavachan, the protagonist plays a beautiful role in this novel which is a mixture of magic, myth and metaphor. Initially, I was not able to follow the story but when I started giving more attention, I could easily relate to the role played by the Moustache. The briefing of the story is already given in the product page as synopsis. Hence I am not going to go deep into it.
The wordings used by the author were a class apart. For instance the reference of Spaceship by a kid named Ponnu in Chapter 2, wherein he questions his father - "is it sailing through the sea in the sky?" is a beautiful imagination which is unique to the author.
If you wanted to know more about the God's own country, I think this novel would serve as a beautiful reference since Hareesh almost made the scenes appear before us, in real. I could live and feel the beautiful landscapes, tasty dishes like Chemballi(dark skinned perch kallada).
A classic novel which shouldn't be missed....
This book is available on Amazon and on all leading stores, online and offline.