Bullocks from the West : Five Punjai Stories and a Play
In the village of Punjai, the ordinary is magical in the eyes of Na. Muthuswamy. A boy can’t wait to ride two bullocks until they’re broken in when they arrive. He also remembers the mystique of a widow who emerges like a ghost from the village pond every day. Then there is the delusional old man who sits at the teastall, telling stories about the Chola court. There is the devadasi Panchali, too, who volunteers to play Draupadi in a ritual disrobing at the temple.
Na. Muthuswamy’s prose shines for his brilliant gaze, his memorable characters and astonishing atmospherics. The book ends with his iconic play England about the inequality that followed Independence; freedom came but not to all.
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