When the strawberries bloom, 2015-09-15 02:40:11
Reviewer: Ananth Kottayam
fantastic books to read. This is one of my favorite book of all time.
strawberikal pookkumbol, 2009-06-11 11:20:49
Reviewer: azeez calgary
Green Books.108 pages. Rs 75
REVIEWED BY AZEEZ CANDADA
Hi Malayalis, Canadian Malayalis, aspiring immigrants, heres a book I would love to recommend.
Some of the best contemporary writings by Asian immigrants are about subtle culture of clashes they experience in their life in the immigrated land. They produce fictions and non-fictions populated by characters with feet in two different worlds. They tell intergenerational estrangement of communities and write that in the heart all are insider-outsiders in their own way.
Deliciously titled with a tantalizing picture, strawberikal pookkumbol gives a comfortable reading.
Grown up in Kerala but lived in Hamilton for a large part of her adult life, Nirmala, a computer analyst by profession, and author of two books, shares her knowledge, concerns, joys, dreams, sorrows and experience. Her life is intertwined socially, culturally and politically with dual experiences of two continents, and she wonders whats left behind if she separates her Malayali from Canadian and vice versa. This estrangement, feeling of with-them-but-not-with-them, otherness while at the mainstream, viewed through the lens of a mother of two second generation kids is the main focus of this book.
She writes about Canada, a land of ice, polar bears, and mountains of ice tower above mountains of rock. She writes from a country that inspires mixed metaphors; writes about a country of harsh land, tornados, hails ,long and bitter cold winters . She also writes enchantingly about pookkalute punaruddhanam, kilikalum pookkalum annarakannammarum,jalacharthukalute marmarangal, varna pakittulla sharatkalam ,kamanadalukkalam ,shirathile christmas
This book has three parts, the first is ചരിത്രം , ഭൂമിശാസ്ത്രം , രാഷ്ട്രീയം . It tells about Canadian geography, its provinces, peoples, and about the life of Malayalis in Canada and how they fuse together irrespective of religious denominations.
This part is a worthwhile primer for readers unfamiliar with Canada and its history, geography, weather and culture.
Part 2 canadian ദിനസരികള് is a compilation of 13 articles and part 3 പ്രവാസിയുടെ കാല്പാടുകള് has two articles.She picks at random some of her daily lifes moments and unveils its sweetness and sourness.
വെളുവെളുത്ത ജനുവരി is a month of sorrow for Canadians; Not just because it brings mounting credit card bills to all gift-giver Santas. It is a month of a terrible winter, blast of wind cold enough to freeze even a maple tree. The ground is dead. No images of life. We can hear the molecules in the earth slow down as the temperature drops to minus 40; wind makes a howling sound; the earth is a frozen solid sheet and roads icy liquid highways. Gloomy nature leads us to anxiety and depression.
But Nirmala amuses: എന്തായാലും മഞ്ഞിന് ഒരു മാസ്മരിക സൌണ്ടാര്യമുന്ടു മഞ്ഞു മൂടിയ ഇലയില്ലാ മരങ്ങള്ക്കും ചെടികള്ക്കും പ്രത്യക ഭംഗിയാണ് ചില മരകൊമ്പുകള് വെളുപ്പുമൂടി വധുവിനെപ്പോലെ തല കുനിച്ചു നില്ക്കുന്നത് കാണാം .
School children and their teachers welcome this period of heavy snow fall as it brings them holidays. But not this working woman, so she asks : കള്ള വാദ്ധ്യാരട്ത്തികളെ എത്ര മെഴുകുതിരി കത്തിച്ചു
Now we wait for the summer; life reverberates on branches for green leaves; small blooms opening eyes; thick layer of ice melts and little snow smiles. Now we smell spring as birds sing and sun nourishes with warmth of love and life.
All other articles in this part are very beautiful.
She writes without pretension. She writes with the innocence of word as a tool, incorporates images, and precipitates the same emotion.
This book is presented by the author to unni and kunjunni. she unfolds her story in the shade of this unnis. It is hard for her to think anything more universal than family, home and unnis
Children are her very purpose of existence, they are her solace: അമ്മമാരുടെ വേരുകളില്് നിന്ന് അകന്നു പോന്ന പുതു ജീവിതം എനിക്ക് സഹ്യമായിരിക്കുന്നത് ഉണ്ണികളുടെ സാന്നിധ്യത്തിലാണ് .
Nirmala seems to possess boundless affection for her kids. She writes a lot about the wit of her kids, their naughty acts ,their jokes , doubts , stages of growth ,the school news they bring in, their small demands, their talents etc. May be because I am not a mother, I feel it too much, repetitive and, boring. In fact ,many chapters of this book contain her unni puranam and I fear the book sometimes turn to a memoir.
Our immigrant kids are living with two heads. We are dumping their heads with the double load of the east and the west. Child is struggling to balance his internals and externals. He is struggling to satisfy his mothers culture, which has no meaning for a second generation kid, and adapt to his living culture. This is a torture met by all immigrant second generation kids. Aqsa of Missisauga has to wear hijab in her house. She takes an additional set of long sleeves when she returns from school. But she likes to tan her hair, tattoo, not to wear hijab , to wear shorts, to date and to spend weekends with boys.
How far can an immigrant parent allow this .And we hear Muhammed Parvez, the father, calling the police : sir, I killed my daughter.
Oh my god, who is wrong?
We are a society of victims. Every child is a stranger at home and in his society. Not all immigrant mothers are fortunate as this mother. We have so many cases of substance abuse, alcohol ,sex, depression, obsession, compulsive gambling and family violence.
Behavioral scientists , psychologists and child counselors further torture the kids by finding big names for their problems. They say the child suffer from :Multiple Personality Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Credit card Dependency Syndrome, Dysfunctional families Syndrome!
No counselor, no psychologist can undo this Life is much too complex to be understood by diagnosis. This cannot be cured by prescription drugs.
Multinational companies are developing models of kids adaptation. They introduce new math for measuring the happiness and goodness of kids life. They teach that the negative destructive energy can be overcome by positive energy and advise children to indulge in video gaming, wrestling, love, soccer and encourage to go for skiing, run for type 2 diabetics, run nude for breast cancer, jog for MS(multiple sclerosis ) eat broccoli and finally relax with a coke. .,
The reading of ozhivukalathinte ahlaatham at page 65 and 66 is an emotional reading.. Thats the most striking paragraph of this book to me.The situation is mother bringing her unnis to their motherland.
കടിയും കരച്ചിലുമായി കയ്യും കാലും നിറയെ നെയ്യപ്പം വിളയുമ്പോള് ഉണ്ണിക്കു സന്ഗടമ് വരും .
നമുക്ക് നമ്മുടെ വീട്ടില് പോകാം
നമ്മുടെ വീട് ഭൂഘന്ടത്തിന്റെ മറ്റേ പുറത്തു കടിയും നീറ്റലുമില്ലാതെ ചൂടും തണുപ്പും ക്രമീകരിച്ചു
അവിടെ ഇരിക്കുമ്പോള് അച്ഛനുമമ്മക്കും മനസ്സിനൊരു കടചിലാണ്
നമുക്ക് നമ്മുടെ നാട്ടില് പോകാം
വേണ്ട ഇപ്പോള് തന്നെ
ചൂടുള്ള കണ്ണീര് തോളില് വീഴുമ്പോള് നെന്ച്ചുരുകിപ്പോകും
If I have to choose the most interesting chapter of this book, umm
yeah, its enikkumoru poonkavam .Its mystic.Like a sufi writing, she reveals the dream of a never revealed flower.
Now a few quibbles :
Repetitive ideas makes reading boring.
Too much anatomical details of strawberry and Tim coffee.
Undefined pronouns and broken structures:
page 37 മേഘ സന്്ദേഷത്തിന്റെയും
page 38 last line canadakkaran തെറ്റിദ്ധരിക്കെന്ട ആവശ്യമില്ല
page 33 First line ശോകവുമുന്ടു . It should be ശോകമുന്ടു
Forgetfulness of the writing premise:
A reader severs his emotional attachment to the writer when the writer addresses some other reader.
Page 26 കഴിഞ്ഞ പോസ്റ്റില് ദേവന് നിര്ദേശിച്ചത് പോലെ
Which post? Is the author talking to somebody else or to me?
Nirmala has a lucid style. Her language is relaxing and witty. She never loses her cool. Flashes of wit appear with right choices of phrases. .
At the end of the reading ,a reader cannot close this book without raising a deep question of his identity: who am I, a Malayali, a Canadian, both or none?
Or as Kafka puts it: is it an existential crisis?
A note to the publisher Green Books:
My son asked for a copy of this book at DC/Current Ernakulum. He didnt get one.
He tried DC/Current at St.Alberts, Kalamassery , Aluva. They said they are not selling Greens Books. Then he had to purchase a copy from your Brahmaswam building, Trichur.
It is not available in any of the book shops in Ernakulam including CICC Books.
At a time of guerilla marketing, non-availability of a new, first edition book in any of the shops at the hometown of the author is very very bad.
Are readers like me, if not the author, manipulative victims of the commission agents and their business empires?
Posted by azeez at 3:53 AM 0 comments
, 2009-03-18 16:12:19
Reviewer: jilcy mumbai
hk, 2009-03-14 12:55:05
Reviewer: hk delhi
I want to review this book.