I always used to step away from Madhavikutty’s novels for obvious reasons(?) which I believed(ignorant me), but now I realize that was a big blunder. This is one memoir that swept me away.I bought the book on a spur of moment, after which I was thinking why did I buy it??It took me some more weeks to actually start reading the book. And what an amazing read!!
I do regret now, I should have read this earlier…Well, better late than never.
Madhavikutty was born in Punnayurkulam, Thrissur District in Kerala, to V. M. Nair, a former managing editor of a Malayalam daily, Mathrubhumi and Nalappatt Balamani Amma, a renowned Malayali poetess.She spent her childhood between Calcutta, where her father was employed as a senior officer in the Walford Transport Company that sold Bentley and Rolls Royce automobiles, and the Nalappatt ancestral home in Punnayurkulam.
From the novel we get to experience the days she spend at Calcutta and also her vacations at hometown, with her beloved grandma.
The experiences are so vivid that we can actually see and feel her world ,her experience as a child ,the curiosity about various things that
happens around her, about people she meets and their lives.It also makes us take a look back into our own childhood.
On reading the novel,we get a better picture of India during independence,but through the eyes of Madhavikutty,who is not worried much about any personality we know in history.Rather she sees the hardships of common people like the dhobiwala of her home,her servants,and the women she meets.She also describes the english people who neither belong to England nor are they Indians.This book is full of relations she posses with everyone she meets be it her father, her mother, her brother, or her grand mother. Its the servants who score the most, it is to them she turns for advices and opinions and its them who actually help her get away with most of things she does.It also gives us a very good description of how a typical village of Kerala.The various customs in the villages,at her home and the nearby neighborhood.It also shows how people of lower castes were treated at those times.
One thing thats sure is we can very well live the experience a childhood once again by reading this!