Pyre by Perumal Murugan

Pyre coverThe book Pyre is originally written in Tamil by the author Perumal Murugan and translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan.  It is the same combination of the book One Part Woman.  As expected,  the translation is impeccable.  That is half the objective of the book achieved.  Aniruddhan also mentions at the beginning that there are different dialects used in the book to show regional flavour.  But,  the same cannot be literally translated into English.  Alas! If only one could read the original.  These are the nuances we lose out in English.  And a whole lot of the author’s skillfully written dialogues are lost.

But,  to the credit of the author,  the social problem highlighted here is very specific to India and other places where caste and honor is of paramount importance.  It is more important than the people involved itself.  Though,  this story is in the past,  there doesn’t look like anything has changed in reality in the present.

A man loves a woman and the woman loves him back.  But,  does the heart understand the barriers or boundaries of caste?  The couple love each other and have no issues.  But,  the society with its old customs and superstitions with no basis,  cause people to do the unthinkable.   Continue reading