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Review of " Flowers for a mother".

Discussion in 'Varalotti Rengasamy's Short & Serial Stories' started by Chitvish, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    This story by Varalotti Rangasamy appeared on Woman’s Era March ( second).

    This very sensitive & touching story is an expansion of the line “ Matru devo bhavah” occuring in Thaithriyopanishad.

    The story starts with the twin florist brothers John & Ed getting excited about, being able to secure a big order for a wedding in the minister’s house to be held in Pune. Oh, no, they suddenly realise on noting the calendar that it is their mother’s birthday ! Their mother lives in a hill resort where her husband had breathed his last. The boys are both passionate about flowers & run their own business in Bangalore, the flower city ! But come what may, every year they spend their mother’s birthday with her, showering her with a wide range of gifts. Besides they celebrate their mother’s birthday by decorating the local church that day with the choicest flowers of the season. That is an occasion when the mother’s heart swells with pride & the boys adoringly and devotedly please their mother.

    Now, the dilemma starts ! The boys have notched an order of a lifetime which will give them a prestigious leap in business. But their mother’s bitrthday falls exactly on the wedding day. So, a difficult decision has to be taken – which to attend, or rather which to skip ! Sridhar, you have described their mental turmoil about which has to take precedence between the two events, beautifully ! They fear that, one of them attending the birthday & the other going for the wedding may give rise to a lose talk about a non existent difference of opinion between the brothers. But when it comes to business, a tall order has its giant share of importance. So, now there is a toggle between devotion to their mother & a rare opportunity in their dedicated business.

    The decision comes from unexpected quarters. Just then a 10 year old girl comes to buy a bouquet for her mother. With limited money, she wants her mother’s choicest flowers. The boys are touched by the girl’s love for her mother. They give her a very beautiful bouquet costing much more than the money she pays them. They enjoy this so much & lovingly do it for the girl. They ask the girl if she is planning to go home straight & give her mother the bouquet. Her answer stuns the brothers ! In fact it shocks us more & that too very sadly ! She is carrying the bouquet to the grave of her mother who died 2 years back. She wants to pay her homage to her dead mother by placing a bouquet of her favourite flowers, on her grave.

    The girl has now decided for the brothers, what should take precedence in life ! The boys are now clear about their priority & realise that their mother is more precious than a giant step forward in business & prosperity.

    Sridhar, please believe me when I say that on reading this story, I feel like immediately rushing to Madurai to see my dear aged mother. I had no plan of reviewing this story. But that urge has resulted in the shaping up of this review, & this review is my unplanned tribute to my dear mother.

    I also cannot help mentioning that your mother has been extremely fortunate to have a sensitive & dutiful son like you – you have proved that love for a mother surpasses everything in the world. &that the mother’s love is the selfless, strongest bond on earth. It is a feeling & cannot be expressed in words. She loves, shares & inspires unconditionally. God bless mothers !

    Sridhar, thankyou again & again for a beautiful poem – I do not have the heart to call it a story !
     
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, Microsoft Madam!

    Dear Chitra,
    Cookery fans might have a complaint against me that I am pulling you out of microwave into microsoft.
    Joking apart your review is very good. You have captured the essence of the story and the writers mind in less than one-fourth of the original length of the story.
    Slowly you are becoming a reviewer, Chitra. And when I write my next story I will always bear in mind that a person no less than the great Chitvish, will be reviewing my work and so will have to be more careful.
    Let me go a little personal here. You say that my mother is extremely fortunate. Well, it may not be actually so. You need to talk to her to find out. I love my mom, I respect her and do adore her. She is very enterprising; when my Dad retired in 1986 she made him start a saree business. In the first few years of business people in our neighbourhood used to say, "auditoroda amma pudava vikkaranga" (Auditor's mother sells sarees) It took just five years for that enterprising lady to reverse this saying. Five years later I heard one of her customers saying "Pudavakarra Ammavoda pilla auditora irukkaru" (The saree-woman's son is an auditor).
    In spite of all these I and my mother do not see eye to eye on many matters. Many times we may end up arguing. So my interaction with her is limited.
    I am just saying all these to rebut your statement "Your mother should be extremely fortunate"
    Now this is another problem - to identify the writer with his characters. In this case it is a noble character and I can bask in borrowed glory, OK. But in my story "Should I Tell?" where a chartered accountant travelling on duty has a sexual relationship with his professional colleague. Well, if people start identifying me with that character...... well, I had it. (Already, the standing joke in my friends' circle is that I wrote that story out of my direct personal experience.. ha ha.. ha)
    Let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for a good review. Thanks a ton.
    regards,
    sridhar
     
  3. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I still stand by my statement, Sridhar !

    Dear Sridhar,
    Please rest assured - my cookery friends will never complain about me, since they know that it is always, duty first for me !
    In which house do you think, mother - son arguement is non-existent ? Perhaps Shiva of MIL thread Malathy is still in your mind ! All that you said, happens in every house ! My son, living locally finds time to visit us only on Sundays & that is also not possible if he is tied up with work ! Can I complain that he has no time for me ?
    Sridhar, that is where a mother's greatness lies. Just because mother & son do not see eye to eye or end up arguing, does not mean your mother is less fortunate. Just try faking a head ache - a mother will immediately get worked up whereas the wife will know the reason- he wants her to sit by his side & give him her undivided attention. A mother's love is always latent.
    Next time , I come to Madurai, instead of going " downtown" ( !) for saree shopping, I will come to your house, buy a couple of sarees from your mother & ask her about her son ( wiithout revealing my identity).I am sure she will immediately start off " Enga Sridhar, this, that' etc. That is the stuff mother & son are made up of.
    Now, tell me,how do I get to read the story " shoud I tell?". With a woman's unmistakable instinct, I will be able to tell you whether you have written it from personal experience or otherwise ! The reviewer will identify the author with the character, not because he or she thinks so, but to present the review effectively & get herself a good name.
    I am glad that you liked my review, thanks a ton, Sridhar !
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  4. Sharada

    Sharada Senior IL'ite

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    Flowers

    A nice bouquet of emotions has been expressed in this story. Chithra has narrated the full story and added snippets and thoughts of her own - don't mean to sound arrogant and dogmatic, but this is not how a review should be done. A review should bring out the salient points, the nuances, the author's language and style - but not reveal the content in totality.
    Varalotti's style is simple and sends an arrow straight to the heart. The mother-son bond has played an integral part in our society, culture and even movies. Who can forget Shashi Kapoor's reply to Amitabh (in Deewar) - Amitabh says he has a house, car etc, and asks what SK has. He replies, "Mere paas Ma hai." This dialogue will live on for generations.
    Everyday one reads about family feuds over property, money etc - so these kinds of stories are important for the younger generation to realise the value of relationships. It took a young girl to open their eyes - and the twins realised that their mother would treasure the birthday flowers.
    With a bouquet of good wishes,
    Sharada
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2006
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I take it in the right spirit, Sharada !

    As you know, I am totally new to this field of writing review ! Probably, I should not be poking my head into what I am not competent to do ! Thanks for your advice, Sharada, I take it in the right spirit. Be assured of that.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  6. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Hello Everyone,
    Just adding my own thoughts to this thread.....

    Chitra , what u did asa review of Eleven Minutes was a proper review....
    But here abt theMOther story , it was an analysis and sharing our views and emotions and since we have our writer in the midst , we can afford to discuss and at the same time argue or share, with his point of view etc....which i am sure can never happen if you write a REVIEW, and not show how u were affected personally. Lets coin a different term and START A new way of discussing Sridhar's stories , since there are a lot of discuss and share from different angles. The other books maybe we can just share our views as against the authors since there will be no interaction with the author directly....what do u all think?:?
    As for Sharada's correction, i think we will leave the actual writing of a review to these experts, ha ha ....we don't need to break our heads over that, :confused: u are doing fine, Chitra...dont stop now, u will not get ur royalties:tongue .....ha ha
    But all said and done there seem to be some MOTHER /SON relation discussion onto which i cannot contribute unfortunately!:cry:

    All of u keep up the discussions, so that we can jump in now and then......

    Have a good day!
     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Sudha, you just write what I was thinking !

    Dear Sudha,
    I was wondering if I should have mentioned " analysis of the story" instead of "review", when your mail came in. Besides, everybody knows that we are in the learning process & what better way to learn than through mistakes ? You all know that I am nowhere near a professional reviewer, where the rules have to be followed
    perfectly.Thanks for your sweet words, Sudha, very thoughtful of you !
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  8. nuggehallipankaja

    nuggehallipankaja New IL'ite

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    My opinion

    Dear Chitra,
    I will call you Chitra, since I like the name very much; It conjures up paintings, landscapes, etc. Now coming to the point, I am glad you did the review work in your own way, for we came to know the beautiful story in your
    own beautiful way. Forget our Sharada's comments, she
    adhers strictly to the professional way in Deccan Herald.
    I too do reviews, and sometimes get strictures from her,
    each his own way. Anyway, re. our Mr.Indusladies's stories published elsewhere, please give us the story in the same vein; We will call it 'writer's opinion', and enjoy.

    Nuggehalli Pankaja
     
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    You have touched my heart, Pankaja !

    Dear Pankaja,
    I feel absolutely thrilled to hear from you - you are so warm & friendly !
    I consider I L as our dear home - common to all of us in a very enjoyable way. So without adhering to the " rules of a professional review" I just wrote because that story really touched my heart & I could not resist expressing myself.
    After reading your nice words, I am tempted to try my hand again at " analysing" yet another story of Sridhar - no more reviews for me please !
    Thankyou, very much, Pankaja.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  10. Sharada

    Sharada Senior IL'ite

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    Do continue...

    Chithra, I meant no offence - just trying to hone your skills in another area. I want you to become an expert at reviewing too. You have the potential and I think it can be channelised. Varalotti always says that I'm very direct and to the point - perhaps that's my achilles heel! I hit with a hammer and then try to soften the blow with a sponge! Pankaja always asks for my comments - because she knows that I can't beat round the bush.
    I want my comments to spur you to success, not make you feel diffident.
    All the best, always,
    Sharada
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2006

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