Friday, April 21, 2006

Landscapes of the grid

Salma's novel unravels a stunningly textured world of Muslim life. PRASANNA RAMASWAMY talks to the author.

THE poet Salma's first novel Irandam Jamangalin Kathai unravels a stunningly textured world of Muslim life in Southern Tamil Nadu; rather a densely layered female space in its ruthlessly restricted and guarded grid, governed by a fierce religiosity. The young and the inquisitive Rabia, nubile Vahidha, zestful Mumtaz, vivacious Nafisa, vituperative Savura, greedy Safia — each one of them appear in their dominant colour and by emanating a gamut of transient emotional tones, acquire their form in flesh and blood. Even as the characters who people the novel serve as specific representations within the chartered canvas, they reveal a certain universality beyond the garb and context.


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