Today, in an all new session of THE READING ROOM, we are going to review “Dolmens in the Blue Mountain” by Kandathil Sebastian.
- Book Description
Most of us still dream and hope to find ways out beyond violence and corruption. Using dolmens (single-chambered tombs constructed, dates back to Neolithic period 4000 to 3000 BC), as a metaphor, Dolmens in the Blue Mountain explores the meaning of life and death in the context of migrations of Kerala’s Syrian Christian community, and the struggle for survival of tribal communities in the Western Ghats mountain ranges. The story revolves around the lives of three brothers. One of them migrated to Canada. The second one joins a Delhi based NGO, bogged down by a corrupt and callous system, was forced to quit his job on moral grounds. The third one stayed back in Kerala, but got into conflict with the radicalized tribal community. Will the brothers, inspired by the dolmens, which taught them the meaning of living in harmony with nature, without compromising the resource needs of poor people and future generations, be able to fulfill their dreams and aspirations?
- My View
First of all, the amount of research that the author has undertaken to write this book is worth applauding. The history of the dolmens, Neela Kuriniji flowers , the tribal Gods and revengeful Goddesses of Kerala are very interesting to read and are beautifully placed in the book. The description of the landscapes is so aptly written that readers will feel that they have reached Kerala in 1970.
The story starts with the life of two brothers in Ezhacherry village, Varghese and Thomman. As the story progresses, focus is brought to the children of Varghese and Thomman. The three brothers, Saju( son of Thomman), Dominic and Philipose ( sons of Varghese) are three different individuals who wanted different things from life. While Plilipose, the elder son of Varghese was hugely materialistic and cunning, his younger brother Dominic had a soft and loyal heart. Saju, the only son of Thomman was hugely ambitious and struggled hard to complete his PhD in Delhi. The book comprises the way these three brothers’ life unravels through the passage of years.
As the blurb promises, the dolmens in the blue mountain are skillfully used as a metaphor in shaping the lives and destinies of the brothers. The quotes of Pablo Neruda which Saju’s beloved, Linnet kept mentioning add meaning to their love affair. The friendship of Dominic and Thevan was heart touching.
Being a debutant, the author has done a marvelous work in this book. The description, the flow of language and the witty narration speaks volumes about the potential of the author. On the downside, I found that the pace of the book is a little slow. Few instances of the book lack the emotional intensity required like the place where Saju learnt about Linnet’s death.
This book is a very well-researched, intelligent and brilliant work but it falls slightly short of emotions.
My rating: 3.8/5
Title: Dolmens in the Blue Mountain
Author: Kandathil Sebastian
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd;
So here we come to an end to today’s session of Reading Room
Reviewed By: Purba Chakraborty (Team WordBite)