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TeeBee for many, Manthru for some, Sunny for a few, Myna for selected, Suresh for record. Hailing from Thrissur of Kerala and now lives (read survives) in Monroe Twp, NJ with wife and daughter.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Avakasikal

It was after one of my annual exams in high school that I came to know about a 4 volume novel that was lying in one of the almaras of my grand father's house. The books belonged to my aunt, my father's younger sister, and were bought by her husband who was working in Sharjah at that time. I was told that the book spreads into four huge volumes and must be about 4000 pages. Author's name Vilasini was new to me and initially thought it to be the work of a woman. This was immediately cleared and corrected to my surprise that the actual name of the author was Moorkanat Krishnankutti Menon (M.K.Menon) and that he was hailing from Thrissur, my birth place and home. I was interested and took the first volume home after getting permission from my aunt.

The first volume took a lot of time to complete. In fact, it took 15 days for me to finish as reading was going very slow with a lot of gap between chapters. The plot was good and it got interesting as each and every character was unfolded. I took the second volume and finished in 7 days. The third did not take even 3 days and the fourth one was read in one stretch without me moving and was completed in just one and half days. In fact the novel was such an influence that till date I had read it three times.

Avakasikal is a huge novel. In fact it is the longest novel in an Indian language. I have read that the author took 10 years to complete the novel and it must be true. If it takes a month to read it, it must have taken a substantial amount of the life of the author. Avakasikal- meaning The Claimants - is briefly the modern day Mahabharata and has got a number of characters in it. The well woven plot that unfolds mainly in Malaysia does not take away the charm of the Indian feel of story and it sometimes take a ride in India for some crucial part. The novel depicts in depth analysis and mental state of each character and hence does not leave any tables unturned. The effort of the author was rewarded with rave reviews and prizes including state and central awards.

There are some reasons for me to like the book "Avakasikal". One of it is the beauty of story telling through the perpective of different characters. The same incident sometimes gets different interpretations through the eyes of different people and the author has done this job with ease. Another reason is the presence of the protagonist, Krishnanunni, and his mesmerizing approach to resolve issues. I won't say that this is the best novel in Malayalam but I would say that this is one of the best. One reason is that it has got not one story.
Instead it has got many stories that got interwoven well and narrated nicely and carefully. It would be difficult to spend a lot of time on such novels these days, but I would recommend it simply because this novel had played a good part in shaping my character.

7 Comments:

Blogger Raje said...

hello Suresh..loved ur post. Avakashikal is my favorite novel too. It's more like a bible for me :) Actually my mom read the book and named me rajeswari. Happy to see somebody else who also loved the novel :)

8:22 PM  
Blogger Myna said...

My pleasure to know. Incidentally, my aunt (from whom I got the book) named her first daughter Raji. I am impressed at the influence of the novel.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - I am really happy to find this. great job!

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey - I am definitely glad to discover this. Good job!

8:46 PM  
Blogger jaya said...

i read avakashikal thirty years ago - stealing moments between college hours and my auntie putting the book down..... i still remember the book and its characters like they were part of my adolescence. and incidentally i saw this blog after a vehement argument with my sister regarding the name of raji..... funny you wrote the blog just one day before:)

2:10 AM  
Blogger Jomon Varghese said...

its a amazing to go through the pictorial depiction in Avakashikal...i wonder how the author was able to get into the minds of the characters and then to write a huge novel, the longest one..!! His narration is unmatched in the history of Malayalam Novel, no doubt !!

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard about this novel a few days back. Any chance someone can tell me how to source it? I live overseas and would prefer an ebook.

9:20 PM  

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