New Delhi, May 29 (PTI) K R Meera, regarded as the superstar of contemporary Malayalam literature, has come out with a powerful, unsettling novel that touches upon the themes of love and loss. Also Read - Sadhguru’s Next Book ‘Karma’ to Be Launched in 2021
“The Unseeing Idol of Light” also looks explores blindness and sight, obsession and suffering – and the poignant interconnections among them. Also Read - International Yoga Day 2020: Book For Kids Has Peppa Pig Enjoying Yoga With Friends!
Published by Penguin, the novel has been translated into English by Ministhy S. Also Read - India has tendency to root for underdog: Ruchir Sharma on 2019 polls
Meera thinks this was not an easy book to translate and credits Ministhy with finishing it in “record time”.
“Never in my wildest dreams had I thought that this would be translated into English. Because, it is not an easy book to translate. Even the title ‘Nethronmeelanam’ is a tantric term with layers of meaning,” she says.
Meera says the novel took shape in her mind when her favourite teacher at school, Ramchandran Unnithan, narrated how his sight went erratic on the day he lost his wife.
“Thus he opened my eyes to search for the meaning of sight and eventually its equations to justice and gender,” she says.
According to Meera, this novel is important in her professional life too, since she had to resign from her job when it was about to be published as the newspaper she was working with imposed a new role prohibiting creative writing in other publications.
“Even otherwise, I risked a lot by writing this novel. I was experimenting with form and theme, dreaming up a book which not many women writers of my time would choose to write,” she says.
The book talks of Deepi who on one fateful day, vanishes mysteriously. Baffled by her disappearance and consumed with grief, her husband Prakash loses his eyesight. For Prakash, the inexplicable loss of Deepti is doubly painful because she was pregnant with their child. And no amount of consolation can bring him solace in the years that ensue.
Into this void steps Rajani, a woman with a tormented past. Despite her initial disdain of Prakash, she steadily finds herself drawn to him. And although an intense desire brings them together, Prakash is unable to give Rajani the love she craves just as he is powerless to dispel the luminous memory of Deepti.
Meera has published short stories, novels and essays, and has won some of the most prestigious literary prizes including the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, the Vayalar Award and the Odakkuzhal Award.
In 2015, she won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for Aarachar, widely hailed as a contemporary classic and published by Penguin Random House India as Hangwoman.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.