Blurb: A humane tale of childhood friendships, painful severance and soaring, joyful redemption. Kumar and Raman are champion kite flyers, and Lakshmi makes superb barfis. The friends live and play together in the idyllic environs on the shores of the Kaveri river, learning about life from the friendly peanut seller. Till a small mistake shatters their idyllic childhood and alters the course of their lives. The story follows the three friends through the Tamil Nadu of the 1970s, with its politics and society on the boil thanks to the language agitation orchestrated by the ADMK and its charismatic leader MGR, and brings alive the era while addressing universal issues of politics, caste and gender.
About the author: Dr. Sharad P. Paul was born in England, and grew up in India. He runs a busy medical practice specializing in skin cancer surgery and divides his time between Australia and New Zealand. Sharad holds senior academic positions in skin cancer surgery at the universities of Queensland and Auckland. He has received several commendations for his work in the field of cutaneous surgery and skin cancer surgery. Sharad writes both fiction and nonfiction (recently, a widely acclaimed book on skin titled, SKIN, a biography); his previous works of fiction are Cool Cut (2007) and To Kill a Snow Dragonfly (2012) and The Kite Flyers (2013).
Review: A painful human tale of severance, soaring and joyful redemption showcasing the politics of caste, gender, and language, set in a small village along the Kaveri river in Tamil Nadu sets the theme of young NRI writer Sharad P Paul’s The Kite Flyers. The novel explores the threatened decline of ancient Tamil culture and language through eyes and lives of three young villagers – Kumar, Raman and Lakshmi. The novel’s highlight is that it also explores the lives of Eunuchs, the ‘third gender’, who are seen both as sources of good luck and misfortune. The story portrays life in Tamil Nadu, series of incidents that moved people of the state, their fight for anti-Hindi agitation. The novel is set in an idyllic surrounding where friendship blossoms between three youngsters through their shared love of kite flying, but they succumb to fate which throws each of them into their painful and dark world. With the presence of Eunuchs in the novel, author has made his characters more interesting.
I got this book as a free review copy through a joint initiative of Harper Collins and Indiblogger.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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