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!! THE ROOSTER’S NOT FOR SALE !!
Jan 14, 2013 07:29 AM 39592 Views
(Updated Jan 14, 2013 07:32 AM)

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During his reading, he thought about his veteran’s pension. Nineteen years before, when Congress passed the law, it took him eight years to prove his claim. Then it took him six more years to get himself included on the rolls. That was the last letter the colonel had received.”


Colonel and his wife, in an old age of their existence, are living under extreme hardship in a decaying town in Colombia. Colonel’s wife is suffering from Asthma and they had lost their only son few years back in a shooting. With no work to help him earn money, they struggle each day for daily food; and one by one they had already sold most of the things that they could to sustain their existence. Colonel has all his hopes tide to a pension that he is supposed to get for last 6 or so years, every Friday he would wait at the dock for the postman to carry the letter from authorities but it never comes. No one writes to the colonel for last 6 years, yet he has not lost his patience.


Other than waiting for the letter, Colonel’s other hope is on his Rooster, a strong fighter rooster, who could make him earn some money in the coming season of fighting. But with 3 more months yet to fight, it has become really difficult for Colonel to pay for Rooster’s daily feed. Under these dire circumstances, a friend of Colonel offers to buy the rooster at a price that could make their living better, atleast for some months. Will Colonel yield to the pressure of situation and cries of his wife and sell the rooster, betraying all the boys of the town who are waiting to bet their money on it? Read the book to find out.


‘No one writes to the Colonel’ (NOWTTC) is a 1961’s novella by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (GGM). Its a very short novella with total length of close to 70 pages. Writing of GGM is as usual magical but the plot this time is very realistic. The story is filled with poverty and hardship but through the strength of the characters and the love that they share, it emanates hope and fills the reader with positivity. It has that bittersweet quality that each of GGM’s work possess, sad in nature but beautiful in portrayal.


The characters are quite simple, following simple life with all their hopes relying on events of future. There is no magic realism around, for which GGM is famous for. Colonel, the protagonist, a simple old man, who lives on hopes, is very likable and unforgettable; very early on reader forms a bond of affection with him. Colonel’s wife is one of those strong female characters the likes of which GGM always keep in his work be it the Urusula of ‘One hundred Years of Solitude’ or Famina Daza of ‘Love in the time of Cholera’. The character of Doctor is another impactful and likeable one. No character of this book is provided with names yet these nameless characters turns out to be unforgettable one by the time you finish reading this short book.


Only thing that I find a bit disappointing is that it ends very abruptly; not that GGM has not driven it well, but the way he suddenly ends the story without providing any conclusion to the hopes of Colonel and his wife, and not covering the event that Colonels and his, as well as the reader, keep looking forward to from the very first page, leaves one feeling sort of dissatisfied.


LAST WORDS: NOWTTC is not GGM’s best, but it’s a bittersweet story of an old couple leaving their life in hard circumstances. They are without food and money, but they are not without their Hopes and their Love and their Friends. I will remember this book for the character of Colonel and his wife and their unforgettable interactions, at times filled with anger and at others filled with silence, all credit to GGM's writing. Ending is abrupt and GGM leaves it to the reader to imagine it which every way they want. Anyway, who gets it all in the end, life is just about keep on living on hope for better tomorrow.


Few Quotes and Extracts from the book are in the comment section. They throw much better light on what to find in the book.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


PYAR HUMEIN PHIR MILAAEGA...


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No One Writes to the Colonel - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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