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Nature Sao Tome and Principe
Almost A Classic...yes, it is there!!!
Jun 04, 2015 12:40 AM 1780 Views
(Updated Jun 04, 2015 12:42 AM)



What makes a good novel?   What makes a classic novel?    I think the answer is almost the same.   The foremost importance is the story.   The novel should have an entertaining story.  (For the new generation brains which says writing novels with a story is a'criminal act', may take leave now.)  The subject should be universal and it should have its relevance for the centuries to come.   Not only it should have a story but the story should make the reader think and ponder on life.   To do this an author may  touch different areas of life in one single story, say politics, science, religion, personal relations, sex, morality etc. etc.   In all cases Humanity should be core of the message of the novel, so that the reader identifies this fact and after reading the novel and he/she feels for it.   Even if a writer does all above, still the language of writing may of extreme importance.   The writer may be using simple or hard language to his wish but the prompt use of metaphors, poetry, humour, crudeness etc. to decorate it will make the reading an experience which too act as a major criteria for a novel to become classic.   For me, any book do all the above can be called as classic, irrespective of its year of writing.

Not often we get a chance to read such a novel and I got a surprise in the name of'Nireeswaran' which firstly attracted with its name, then the cover and the subject.  Oh yes, it is there.well, almost.

Our faith is in question.  Our findings of science are in question.  The base of humanity is in question.   Three friends, Antony, Bhaskar and Saheer join their hands together to challenge the blind faiths and rituals of religions.   Together they plant a statue of Nireeswaran(Anti-God) in their local street, which was called as devatheruvu(God's street) which they rename as'Abhasa' theruvu.   Their aim was to challenge the present religious mindset.   Local people get attracted to this new Anti-God and started praying to it, though the trio intended it only as a joke.  It turned out that the people's wishes started to get accomplished and even the creators of the Anti-God fail to remove it from the place.   We will be meeting a scientist who experiments on smell as a dimension of life, A pro-stitute helps the scientist in his venture and eventually turns to be a scientist and even a'near saint'.  A person comes back to normal life after twenty four years living without any movements and when he comes back he realise that the age hasn't affect him where his mind was moving faster to deceive the ageing process, but his wife looks like his mother.  This and many other lively characters, events and stories, all leading to one end, the book'Nireeswaran' passes the first test in style.   The story has dramatic moments, heart touching situations and hurdles to surpass which all keep your interest.

It is not easy to find people who observe life closely.  It is not easy to find writers who can write philosophy that too interestingly, in novels.   It is rare to find writers who can write science in novels and make readers read it.   And the chances to find a writer who can write philosophy and science alike in stories is rarest to rare.  Here the writer, VJ James makes this impossible as possible and worth calling "The Writer Scientist".(Probably due to Nireeswara blessing)  Then, he does not confront religious bases for the sake of it but do it for the rituals adulterate it.  Nor he accepts what science says blindfold.   The Engineer writer stays strongly with the humanity, challenging the limitations and opening the possibilities.  It is a rare feature which makes the book MUST READ for all those who are ready to give some thinking while reading.

What makes the novel highly readable is the simple language in which James writes the novel.  It is not easy to find writers who can write about serious matters in simple language.   VJ James did it with utmost proficiency and control.   Considering the subjects the author covered in the novel, easily it could have passed to the'vulgar' tag, but James use it like a feather touch, which is a huge success.   The writer has this'deceptive simplicity' in his writing.   We may feel he is writing in the very simple language and it is so easy, but not really.  Congrats to the author!

Another area the writer score heavily is his sense of humour.   Page by page, the writer make sure that there is an undercurrent of social satire.    Intellectual, innovative and interesting they will make you think and laugh.   The author's use of satire as his weapon to attack the fouled system works wonders for the novel.   The author had this ability which is evident in his earlier novels but in Nireeswaran it has been used with utmost care and often.

There are many characters in the novel which we cannot forget.  Not necessarily the leading characters, the master story teller makes even the small characters stay with the readers along with the leading ones by giving away life principles through these sub characters as well.   Each and every character has an identity and without fail each has a lesson to teach and meet a situation which we remember.   Character of Indrajith, Roberto, Janaki & Antony will impress us throughout.   Then, the other characters gets the sympathy most.   From Sudha(the aged wife of young new born Indrajith), Ghoshayathra Annamma, Barber Maniyan, Dhamu, Sumithran.they all impress and how!

Having said all I had this feeling that the novel could have been better edited with some sharp cuts in the extra doze of philosophy to make the novel appealing to many more.   Also, some experimental observations like the life span and the breathing interval may turn not correct in passage of time.   Though it is only a less chance possibility it could have been avoided.   Leaving these arguable reservations, I found the book worth a read, pondering and discussion.

Overall, Nireeswaran is a reading exprience and the novel worth the'Classic' tag, if we can give one, within one year of its publication.   Religion or Science let us continue our search in our chosen path but we may come out from one exit.  Humanity survives but the struggle to find the ultimate truth continues.

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