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Review of " Kathal Gopuram".

Discussion in 'Varalotti Rengasamy's Short & Serial Stories' started by Chitvish, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Kathal Gopuram:

    This story appears in Varalotti’s collection of stories “ Jannal”.

    This is beautifully written, exposing bluntly the practical difficulties likely to crop up in an inter caste marriage when the partners are still immature, with just infatuation as the connecting link, but at the same time he very clearly reiterates that the same intercaste marriage can be very successful between two mature individuals who get married fully realising what their commitments in a marriage are.

    The author brings us a picture of Shriram in the beginning itself, with a hilarious explanation of how perplexed Shriram is when Malathy ( Sridhar, yet another Malathy ? ! ) orders for burgers, sandwich, pizza & coke for lunch. Shriram is shocked how anybody can order such costly food which don’t fill you up at all & that too for a main meal like lunch ! Later when we learn that this is his lover Lizza’s favourite jaunt to entertain her clients, it is our turn to be shocked ! Our symapathies are already with Shriram, how he will strike a balance with Liz’s way of living ! The author very tactfully introduces his ideas that difference in food culture is not an easy hurdle to cross through. When in love, this may look insignificant definitely. But food habits literally grow on us & we will be only too happy if our partner is willing to change over to our food habits rather than vice versa !

    More than that, Shriram expecting that, as his wife Liza should change herself, is not acceptable to us at all. Why cannot a brahmin boy turn non-vegetarian for the sake of his wife, we want to raise the question.

    Malathi is shown to be a very clever, but understanding girl who subtly hints to Shriram, the risk he is taking by his decision to marry Liza . The explanation she gives to him about this in detail, how he will expect her to behave in an orthadox household ,makes very enjoyable reading. The morning routine in a brahmin household is explained in an interesting manner.

    As lovers , both the man and the woman are at their best behaviour. But once married, differences crop up and disillusionment starts showing its ugly head. It is not easy to iron out the differences & ego conflicts become inevitable. Malathy subtly hints at the possessive nature of Shriram also – in Liza’s profession this will not get him anywhere ! Malathy now places all cards before Shriram ina worldly wise fashion.

    First love definitely is the most impressionable and happy phase in one’s life, but to enter into marriage without taking all aspects into consideration does pose a threat to the marriage. Difference in food habits is bound to get magnified, with each expecting the other to change the deep rooted habits ! The author has successfully impressed upon us that without assuming that the spouse should adjust to us, we must analyse every point before arriving at the big decision. The pace of the story is very gripping & this story is a “ must read” for those who challenge that food habits take a back seat in general in life. We only come to the conclusion that this is an integral part of our life.

    Love & regards,
    Chithra.

    PS: The English translation of this story "Kathal Gopuram" has been posted in the same site as "The Failure of A Love Marriage" by Varalotti in the Singles World forum. Click here to read the story...

    Regards,
    The IndusLadies Team
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2006
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    You Have Chosen The Right Story, Chitra!

    Dear Chitra,
    This story was originally published by Ananda Vikatan 7 years ago. I had the unique honour - the one and only Jeyaraj drew the picture for this story. (which many said was unduly and unnecessarily provocative, given the subject matter of the story). AV adopted a new technique that time. They made the person who drew the picture talk with one of the story characters (imaginary, of course). In my story Jeyaraj was asking Malathi, 'You have thwarted a beautiful love.....'.
    As usual there were many criticisms for this story. Somebody said if accountants write they will write like this - arguing point by point. Some said it is not a short story at all but just an essay masquerading as a short story.
    And still others said food lovers like me (sappatu raman was the term used) will always consider food important. But for many normal thinking people real love is more important. Unlike in IL I could not reply to many of the criticisms.
    But one word of appreciation I received for this story is acid etched in my memory. My sister's maid had accidentally read this story. And discussed about this with my sister. She told my sister, that had this story appeared a few years back and had her nephew read this story he would not have gone for a marriage which has wrecked his life.
    After hearing that praise I forgot all the adverse comments I received earlier.
    Now, Chitra, when you, a seasoned, accomplished, matured lady say that you can see the points in my arguments, I feel elated.
    Thanks for the time taken and for the effort.
    regards,
    sridhar
     
  3. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Thankyou for the prompt reply, Sridhar !

    Now, I must definitele see the picture drawn by Jeyaraj - your adjective is very
    " tempting " & knowing Jeyaraj's style, I want to see it !
    Tell me one person, who is not a " sappattu raman" atleast to some extent! You can't live your whole life in pure love & air. " Food for thought" is nice to be written about, but " our daily bread" is more important, in day to day life, don't you agree ?
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  4. purnima_2k

    purnima_2k Senior IL'ite

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    Trivia?

    How many of us think that the matter of food is just a 'trivia' in our daily life? I am sure many of us do and those many are definite hypocrats! Food, and that too our daily preferences of a meal is known by the family members. When we date, usually people are mesmerised by each others looks, and more importance is laid on how happy the other person is in your company. But is this everlasting? Can we say "after all" food(!) cannot enable us to choose a life partner? The truth is we never consider "food preferences" as a criteria for marriage, and suddenly after years we feel that we cannot keep 'pretending' to like what does not constitute our soul and the rosy marriage breaks eventually. I Wonder how Varalotti comes up with these fine points . He certainly needs an applause. And Chitvish? wow! the very fact that i am able to comment on the story(w/o reading it) itself shows the brilliance in which the review has been done!

    I wish the younger generation gets to read her review and in turn grab the story written by the 'poetic author'(i STILL stand by my words Varalotti!, u are amazing!)

    Great going guys, we need more of such social awareness, keep your throughts going! You both are coloring IL blue and red and we totally enjoy it!


    Regards,
    Purnima
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2006
  5. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Purnima

    Dear Purnima,
    Thanks for those nice words which will definitely enthuse me to write more and better.
    And as you rightly said Chitra has done the review so well that you are able to argue on the story even without reading it.
    But I would suggest you rather read it. A sensitive, matured person like you will surely like the stories in both the books.
    As to the points raised by you I have added a dialogue for the main character, Malathi, (again). The hero of the story is a handsome man and the heroine, a very beautiful lady.
    Malathi tells the hero, looks are all right. The appeal of beauty will stay only till the bodies come close together. If that happens a few times, the appeal of beauty and good looks will vanish. And things like food preferences will stick their ugly heads out.
    I only say what I personally feel to be true. For instance I am a very strict vegetarian. I can't even imagine dating a girl who eats NV items. How can I ever hope to live with her?
    Food is a fundamental fact which needs to be tackled before we go on to something higher.
    Thanks once again for the nice words, Purnima.
    Haven't you got the books yet?
    Chitra, I do owe a share of my royalty to you.
    sridhar
     
  6. AGR

    AGR Bronze IL'ite

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    Re:Its here??

    I thought I read the story in this site only............???
     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Where is it, AGR ?

    As far as I know, that story has not been posted in I L ! I read it only in his " Jannal" !
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  8. AGR

    AGR Bronze IL'ite

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    Re:I am sure I have read the story

    Or was it a review?? I dont have the habit of going throu the threads.........will just click new posts and will read everything there.......but am sure this has appeared
     
  9. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    You are righ AGR, I appreciate your memory

    Dear AGR
    You are right. I had posted the translation of the story in the Family and Relationship forum which was subsequently moved to Singles World. That was long back, well before my books were published. (posted on 27th Nov, 2005)
    Now all of you can read the story going through the following link. And once you read the story, you will appreciate Chitra better.

    http://www.indusladies.com/forums/showthread.php?t=872

    regards,
    sridhar
     
  10. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Enjoyable

    Dear Chitra,

    If you did not throw light on these wonderful stories by Varalotti, likes of me would never know and will lose out on some great reading. As usual, your reviews are greatly appreciated by me. Just like your recipes do for cooking, your reviews too are perfect and always do justice to the story, which I am yet to read. The review throws light on what to expect from the story and readily prods one's curiosity and interest in the book.

    Food habits affecting marriage is a great and very important point. Ask me, I know, what with having a meat loving son-in-law:) This has played a big role in my family even earlier. My in-law family are very open minded and crossed the barriers of caste and creed many many years ago, my huband's grandfather being a staunch Gandhian. My sister-in-law, who is a great beauty, was adored in the family. All the same, my mil and in turn others involved went through many heart aches and hurdles as my sil was a meat eater and everyone including her could compromise only to an extent. It defenitely became a matter of great contention. Also a reason why me, a veggie, got to be the second dil!!:)

    In my own case, I am considered as a reasonably good cook. But lo behold, my own son'il finds my food passable, except on those days I force myself to make some chicken kurma for him...which I don't really relish doing!! So there, food is defenitely a problem in marriage. But poeple bitten by love and respect for each other, somehow try to work/cook around it. But defenitly some feelings and sensibilities are hurt.

    I admire Varalotti for his fantacy and imagination for delving into this topic. Unfortunately, much as I would like to, I will not be able to read his story in the near future, atleast for the next 4 weeks. We are moving house and I have too much going on here. Please don't be surprised if you my postings here become a little rare for a month are so:)

    Love to you and all...Kamla
     

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