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Review of " The Scandal"

Discussion in 'Varalotti Rengasamy's Short & Serial Stories' started by Chitvish, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    The Scandal

    Please refer to Varalotti’s story in this thread


    This is one of the most poignant short stories, I have ever read. Not only poignant, but unbelievably poignant. This story pays a glorious tribute to the pure friendship that can exist between a young man and a woman where physical involvement is totally non-existent !

    If tears roll down my eyes for Lakshmi, my heart cries for Kamala.
    When Lakshmi tells her husband that she has lived with him fully trusting him for forty years & she is above suspecting him for doing Kamala’s last rites, we find it difficult to digest . Next comes the revelation that it is a story of the fifties. Was a woman’s psychology very different then – looks like, the author thinks so. Still we wonder how such an equation is ever possible between a husband and a wife !

    Kamala blessing the young priest for treating her like a human being with a mind and a heart, is very touching and inadvertantly, we develop a soft corner for Kamala, eventhough she is practising the world’s oldest profession. In spite of that, she had no plans of “ making him her customer “ and this shows her in very good light. She has compartmentalised professional and soul satisfying friendship, which, the author has brought out very admirably.

    The sentences “ No more words were exchanged between them. But both felt comfortable in each other’s company” show that Kamala and Sharma have struck a beautiful emotional chord with each other. This suggests that a deep friendship is possible between a man and a woman irrespective of the gender difference. This is a beautiful view point of the author, which is very relevant in today's life, where men and women are closely associated in all spheres of life.

    When the Head Office manager makes clear his terms to Sharma, for not framing him in the case, it sends a chill through our spine. We see such demands in movie stories, though. But Kamala’s offer made to Sharma to help him out of the crisis, shifts the focus of the story to Kamala and endears her to us. The price she pays for her friendship melts our hearts, eventhough we know that it is her profession.

    A discordant note is struk in the story when we see that Lakshmi offers all her jewellery to her husband without uttering a word ! It is unbelievable, to put it mildly. But, the story requires this step, to move further !

    The price, Sharma offers to pay Kamala for her timely help, risking his own name & honour in the town, speaks volumes of the inherent noble nature of Sharma
    and also how he wants to honour his emotional bond with her.

    The author proves that it is possible to derive from such a friendship, emotional support and thrapeutic value equally, if not more from one with the same sex. One partner seems to offer psychotherapy to the other, which is a beautiful aspect, on the lines of universal friendship, dissolving gender difference !

    Sridhar, your style is usually enjoyably racy, but in this story it is immensely absorbing and explores the relationship between a young man and a woman from a totally new and different perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

    Love and regards,


  2. Sharada

    Sharada Senior IL'ite

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    Better than the previous one

    Dear Chithra,
    This again leans more towards story analysis. However, there is a marked improvement in language and style. A review should be more objective in approach. But as you know Varalotti as a person and writer your comments tend to be subjective and sentimental. Suggestion: try to review a non-VR story, then you won't read it with a forgiving or indulgent eye!
    The Scandal I read a few months ago and appreciated the angle of platonic friendship and the strong foundation of trust between husband and wife. Somehow, the language was vernacular - like a literal translation from Tamil to English.
    Keep at it Chithra, you are doing great,
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    I am grateful, Chitra!

    Dear Chitra,
    For a writer all his stories are his children. Even the most impartial mother or father cannot help liking some children more than the other, though they will treat all children equally. And if the child they like does not get a life, which they think it deserves, then the parents feel sad.
    Hope I am clear with the simile. I liked writing this story very much. Only while writing this story, the Scar and the 5th and 6th episode of The Beauty and The Brain, did I actually cry. In the height of emotion, words came of their own and sat on my laptop. They took wings of their own and flew in all directions.
    I still feel, like a parent, that The Scandal is one of my under-rated stories. And, Chitra, your review has made the parent really happy and proud.
    Sharada, please pardon me. I am so much emotionally attached to this story and hence can't assess Chitra's review. And when I am incapacitated to assess the review, I can't say the review is good, for that would be patting my own back. As a writer, as an author, I can only say, I am very grateful to you Chitra for making me happy by reviving interest in a long-forgotten story.
    Sharada, it's your turn to deliver the bouquets. (Even if you throw a brickbat when it lands, it'll be only a bouquet... ha ha ha.)
  4. purnima_2k

    purnima_2k Senior IL'ite

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    beautifully written!

    touching and a heartwarming story and a prefect analysis. This story cannot recive a better justice!

    Hats off Mrs CV and Varalotti!

  5. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Missed this one...

    Hello Chitra,

    There is so much going on in IL that I somehow missed this review of Scandal by you.

    Here you go again, giving everyone a precise and interesting impression of the story. After reading your review, believe me, I had to click on the link and read the story at one big glance! Your review does full justice to this story with characters that stand out in their nobility. I don't know whose magnanimity towers over whom. You rightfully point out that Lakshmi's total and unquestioning trust in her husband is a bit difficult to understand, atleast for women like us! In doing so, you have proven that you are an astute reviewer, nothing really escapes your notice.

    Looking forward to more such reviews from you. By the way, when will you be starting as a professional in your local Dinamani, or is it Dinamalar?:)

    L, Kamla
  6. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Chitra,

    Good to see that you are continuing your reviewing and also getting better at it!

    You have brought out the essenceof this bold and unusual theme and have also taken the liberty to question if such characters like Lakshmi existed that too in the fifties! By reviewing this short story you have again brought it out to the forefront again.
    Good job, keep it going, awaiting more such critical works from you!

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