Friday, January 3, 2014

New found, good old C Radhakrishnan

Just completed reading C Radhakrishnan's "Karal Pilarum Kalam". It is a sequel to "Munpe Parakkunna Pakshikal". Meanwhile I also completed reading Jumpa Lahiri's "The Lowland". Infact "The Lowland" was a sandwich read between the two novels by C Radhakrishnan. I couldn't help comparing these two writers. What a difference. One an internationally celebrated author, the other much lesser known.

I would like to use the following metaphor to compare these two authors : C Radhakrishnan is a tree. A tree with strong roots and great spread of growth. But the radius of growth is limited. Jumpa Lahiri is like balloon - attractive, highflying, but lacks real substance. Lowland is a compelling novel, but naively crafted. There are unwanted instances of sexual gratifications in the novel. But largely its a blown up, pathless effort. It sure had the potential to be made into a novel, had some serious editing been done. I regret that I bought this book.Long listed for Man Booker Prize - yeah right!  Man Booker prize, for me has lost all its value the day when "The White Tiger" was awarded.

C Radhakrishnan's above two novels are much beyond the reaches of Man Booker prize. I can sense that the author has thought about the novel in English, but effortlessly scripted in Malayalam. For the same reason this could have been easily translated in English and could haven given all Jumpa Lahiris and Aravind Adigas a run for their money. There are graphic instances in his novels, which but the author communicates with ease and finesse that the reader will never once feel disgusting. The suspense and the thrill of progressive description is laudable. As a chronic late reader that I am, it took me about two decades to read C Radhakrishnan. But no regrets, as some one says - a book finds the reader, when the reader is ready for the book. So, the greatest discovery during 2013 for me was C Radhakrishnan.