Stories of the true – Jeyamohan | Book Review

The society is not fit for innocents. It is as dark as we can’t even imagine sometimes. It is the land where charities were made out of business money. What forces someone to pay back to society? It is dharma aram in Tamil. The victory of Mahabharata war is justified based on aram. Duryodhana has his own justifications where as Yudhishthira has his own. The injustice and humiliations of Draupadi made the Yadava chief choose Yudhishthira’s side – accepted aram!

Aram was the theme of Singapore Writer Festival 2017, where writers from different parts of the world persuaded this topic. Everybody has their own interpretation of aram to justify their stand. There comes the deadlock. We believe, the one which benefits the victim, is the right aram or righteousness.

I write about the one of the finest short story collections of Jeyamohan – Stories of the True, as part of #TBRChallenge by Blogchatter. This is the translation of his Tamil collection Aram. It talks about different personalities, who are real persons in the writer’s known circle and their attempts to ensure justice or righteousness.

This collection contains the iconic stories Elephant Doctor and A hundred arm chairs. Many of the stories would disturb the readers as it has a concentrated extract of painful hearts of our society.

I read A hundred arm chairs in Tamil a few years ago and blogged here. Still, I can’t resist reading it once again. I can totally absorb the mental agony of a son, a mother, a society, and the conflict around them. The agony of the mother became paradoxical with her son. The struggle between them pierced the reader inch by inch.

Elephant Doctor is something to be kept as a compulsory school read. Liquor has been made a fast-moving consumer good by the companies and the Government. Having money to travel to forests and waterfalls, consume liquor, break the glasses, create a ruckus is wrongly perceived as a ‘status building’ or ‘socialization’. But the pain created by desperadoes is something no one acknowledges.

I was moved by ‘Aram – The Song of Righteousness‘ and ‘The meal tally‘. Such stories show the gems out of a stereotypical society. ‘One world’ reminds me of Jayakanthan’s Tamil novel ‘oru manithan – oru veedu – oru ulagam‘.

Nutcase‘ was so closer to my heart because those who struggled for Indian freedom and those who got benefit out of it are different. The regents of Indian democracy showed an overt act of suppression on the whistle-blowers.

I recommend this book to get the a memorable reading experience. It will help us to reevaluate ourselves.

About the author and the translator:

Apart from what is written in Wikipedia, he is one of the best writers of Tamil literature. Apart from his writings, he engages his readers on a daily basis. He used to take a stand, clearly justifying the reasons behind it. He spent an enormous amount of days writing a full-fledged Mahabharata as a novel series called venmurasu, which was released on a daily basis for free. I was one of the readers who followed this novel till the end.

Translating Jeyamohan’s language is a challenge for any translator. In that way, Priyamvada Ramkumar had done her best.

Name of the book: Stories of the true.
Author: Jeyamohan B
Translator: Priyamvada
Publisher: Juggernaut Publication
Genre: Short story collection
ISBN: 9393986177

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