K R Meera Kept Me Allured

The title seems a bit ambiguous? It may be so for most of the readers of this blog. K R Meera is a famous novelist in my language, Malayalam. She doesn’t write in English (as far as I know), neither may she be known outside our humble frontiers. Kerala is a small, really small region in the face of the earth, at the bottom-most of IndiaGod’s Own Country, as it (Kerala) is known.

It was a few years ago, that I spotted K R Meera, a young vivacious writer in our language. She was getting a lot of kudos, praises, and reviews for her writing style, as well as gaining readership. Though it is my mothertongue, I am not much into Malayalam. I usually read great works of fiction in English, and very few, really few, from my mothertongue. Anything, if any, I read in Malayalam was among classics.

However, I have great respect for the greatest authors here, whom I have read, and who are known far and wide as greatest exponents of highly original and emotionally-rich concrete writing styles.

So, I just decided to pass time with this little novelette of K R Meera, which I found in a pedestrian women’s magazine of popularity among all sorts of women here (nay! I am not the regular reader of the magazine, just my mom and sister, and I just go through them when I have nothing to do). Actually, I noticed the novelette since it was written by Meera and I knew her. So, I just decided to kill my spare time with it. But when I read the first two pages, or even more specifically, the first paragraph and some of the subsequent, I knew that I was in for a wonderful, mesmerizing ride with it.

It is a rare talent we see among authors like Stephen King, that I found in K R Meera’s vivid, lively narration of the state of affairs.

The novelette was named ‘Meerasadhu’ (of course not! with no connection to novelist’s name)—the term applied to the wretched woman-devotees of Lord Krishna flocking Vrindaban (north Indian town of shrines devoted to Krishna). Meerasadhus, poor, dismal, miserable lot, living on 20 or 30 cents a day, with the only job of chanting of Lord Krishna’s name the whole day in the temple, are hundreds in number. They have clean-shaved heads hooded by their cheap dirty sarees, emaciated weak bodies, sunken eyes, and dry dark skins. They are the most pitiful lot, many of whom abandoned by their husbands, children, or relatives. And according to Meera, “the sweethearts of Lord Krishna.”

They always carry veenas (with smaller heads and thin wooden handles devoid of frets), as sign of their worship. They chant—it is the only thing they do and they need to—recite the Lord Krishna’s kirtans loudly by rote.

The story tells us the tragic life of a woman who forced herself into the appalling fate of a Meerasadhu. A woman who had been terribly betrayed by her lover and husband, and still couldn’t help being passionately in love with him. But the paradox of this love after the episodes of betrayals is that it is dank with vengeance. A vengeance crouching behind the passion of love.

The woman, a topper from IIT, a truly gifted professional, destroys herself in the fire of her vengeance toward her husband, by voluntarily becoming a Meerasadhu. She avenges herself on her husband by rotting in front of him, in the plight she chose herself to suffer, as Meerasadhu, and still shows him her extreme passion and love, thus making him not only repent his actions but burn in the wildfire of his remorse. Her vengeance is one of love, showing how aptly the betrayal of trust should be repaid. It is a form of Satyagraha that she uses against her lover.

Meerasadhu is a story of extreme devotion and passion flavored in sweet vengeance.

The most important aspect of this story is that the novelist, Meera, never fails to etch a situation in our minds deeply. She writes in her own highly piercing style, with many quick-witted metaphors and similes. Her choice of words is profoundly effective that way.

Maybe, Meera’s passion and her style have even encroached into my way of writing here. I am a person given to such manipulations. I allow myself to be taken away for a ride, and sometimes bring back treasures like this, though occasionally just plain zilch.

The greatest worth of K R Meera is that, as I said, her style is honey-thick in similes and metaphors (all of which apt to the situations). And nowhere does she slip. I didn’t find any lame wording or crippled metaphors, which many authors are highly prone to.

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008

3 Opinions:

  1. will you plaese write a review on meerasadhu community in orkut...?
    otherwise let me publish this article to that community...?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Anonymous, yes you may publish this article in orkut no problem, but link back to it, that's required. and please later comment on where you published it, thank you. By the way, how did you get to this article?

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's a good post, Lenin. I am really font of K R Meera, and I hope to see more of her works in action

    Arun Kumar

    ReplyDelete

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