Summer never elated me, the only good thing about summer is Mangoes! And with all these unannounced storms & rains happening here I couldn’t resist myself from taking a dive into the pool of words. I was thinking about what should I read and suddenly ‘Seasons of the Palm’ came in my mind. With an author like Perumal Murugan, this book sounded interesting to me. So I read it and can’t help to share my review here regarding the same.
The story revolves around Shorty who is a young untouchable farmhand, who’s dreams are his only companion in the darkness of slavery. He works for his landlord & gets yearly wage which is given to his parents. Shorty has no idea how much wage he gets neither he cares. He has accepted his fate & works tirelessly all day. His master & mistress are always ordering him this & that. Also there’s Selvan, his master’s son, who always does something which ends up landing Shorty in trouble. Being a ‘filthy’ untouchable boy Shorty has to address Selvan as master despite of the fact that both of them are almost of same age.
In his unforgiving life Shorty does get some fresh air when he’s with his buddies, fellow shepherds Belly, Stonedeaf, Tallfellow & Stumpleg. They play games, share the little amount of food each of them get, help each other with work, take care of each other. There is Poochi, the dog who gets a little food, always hungry, but never eats anything unless he has been told by Shorty or his friends. In short, they’re more like a family. Obviously their sheep are included as well, how can I forget them. 😉
The book will take you to the old days, our grandma used to talk about; playing in the fields, stealing fruits from the tree, collecting fallen peanuts. The description is written so well that I could literally see the place in my mind & feel the fresh air. The bond shared by Shorty & his sheep touched me the most. He could connect with all of them so well, understand their pain & glee. Shorty knows his responsibility towards his family so well. In such a tender age, he is seen refusing an offer made by Selvan to watch a movie, just because he didn’t want to leave the sheep pen unguarded. He thinks if something bad happens when he’s gone his family will suffer & have to repay the loss occured. This thought is coming from a young boy who lives a miserable life. For him movie-watching is a luxury as he knows the temporary pleasure won’t make his hardships disappear. All he wants to do is hug his mother & play with his younger siblings, but this cruel world comes in the way.
‘Seasons of the Palm’ is not just a mere story of a young boy, it deals with a much bigger issue. It deals with child labour, it deals with social discrimination, it deals with old parents being seen as a burden ( Tallfellow’s old master ). Hats off to the author for bringing up so many emotions into light via this book. I feel like reading it again & again.
We all deal with our own version of difficulties, whining isn’t a solution. We need to rise above it and deal it with a more mature way. Do try reading ‘Seasons of the Palm’ once & I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did. 🙂 You can order it from Flipkart. Do share your thoughts in comments section after reading the book.
Love, phoenixX ❤