Thanks to the new feature on Amazon for Prime subscribers, I got my hands on a free copy of this book. I had heard so much about the Author that I read it as soon as I got it. If you know me, you’d know that I have had more bad experiences than good when it comes to Indian Authors, but this one- I had a lot of hope from.
A red background with the image of a long eared goat kid is what Poonachi looks on the outside. With the title and the Author’s name boldly splayed on this, the cover is pretty direct in its approach as the book is about a black goat kid who is named Poonachi.
An old man is given this goat Kid by a mysterious passerby. He is survived by his wife and his daughter who is married and lives in another village. Apart from Poonachi, this family and their herd of goats are the other characters in the book.
A mysterious passerby gives the old man a frail goat kid. The old man is a goatherd and he and his wife make a meagre living out of the same. The drought has made survival difficult, and this addition to their clan seems more trouble than they asked for. The book takes one through the life of the old couple and this female orphan goat. From being a troublesome baby to growing up to be a miracle that the mysterious man had promised- the life of Poonachi makes up the premise of this book.
The book is translated to English and the language is pretty simple and direct. While I cannot compare the original to its translated counterpart, the English one is beautiful and conveys the story just as brilliantly.
Though the year is far from over, I know this will go down to be one of the most brilliant reads from 2018 for me. The simplicity of the story and the underlying complexity of it all is fantastic. Though the story is about a goat, many an often, I thought to myself, is this really just the story of a goat? Or about a female child, a woman, a mother and so much more. The translator rightly points out that often, animal protagonists are seen in children’s books. But Poonachi is definitely an exception as it holds a strong appeal for older readers inspite of being about a mere goat. More often than not, the instances were just not about goats, or about tending to them but about human life, our society and everything in between. There is no parallel drawn by the Author, not once does he hint to you that maybe, just maybe, he is talking about something more than a goat’s life but he manages to convey a message about the lives of you and me.
While my stint with contemporary Indian writing has been largely disappointing, regional writing has been a respite. Right from works by Tagore, to the brilliance that RK Narayan was, stories about small towns, slower times and such have been a delight to read. Perumal Murugan makes it to this list with just this one book already. The rest of his books are on my wish list and I can’t wait to read them all. The beautiful way in which he integrates human life into the life of this little goat is truly remarkable. When was the last time you read a fable about the life of an animal that spoke, felt and conveyed to you her life and lessons from it?
Who do I recommend it to?
I have been recommending this book to anybody who asks me for a book recommendation!
The difficulties of the dead leave along with them, those of the living are here to stay.. No matter how much you give to this heart, it will never be enough…
Go ahead, grab yourself a copy of Poonachi and tell us what you think about the book! If you are a Kindle person, ensure to select the Kindle edition of the book.
Looking to buy a Kindle?
The frontlit, high-resolution Kindle Paperwhite seems to be the officially preferred Kindle at Meraki Post; Veena, Gazala and Ram have one each. And while Pooja may claim she is more of the “Love the new book smell” kind of person, she may be secretly deciding between the premium Kindle Oasis and the simple and efficient Good Ol’ Kindle.
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