‘Beads of Memories’ is a simple book, written in a simple style by K. Pankajam. It tells the story during and after his lifetime of patriarch Krishnan’s family comprising two sons Gopalan and Viswambaran, and four daughters Leela, Padmini, Vilasini and Shobana. Most of the events in the story take place in and around their ancestral home Meledath House in Manalur, a village located some 17 Kms. from Thrissur.
‘Beads of Memories’ essentially traces the story of Soudamini lovingly called Mini by everyone, from her sheltered childhood to adulthood as a successful entrepreneur amidst the trials and tribulations that she herself and her family go through. The story moves at a gentle pace and along the way, the reader is drawn into the stories of those who impact Mini’s life. And each of these stories is engagingly narrated by the author Pankajam, whether it be about the lecherous Narendran, selfish Leela, the runaway Viswambaran or Mini’s mother Devaki who does everything to keep the family together despite her own ill health. The story also talks about Mini’s heart break when her cousin Hari with whom she is always linked and whom she loves, is married off to someone else as Mini’s family could not match the demands of Hari’s mother for her doctor son. It speaks of how Mini sacrifices her own aspirations of becoming a teacher, to look after her siblings and family especially the ailing Devaki. And it speaks of Mini’s triumph over her circumstances to become a successful entrepreneur and a woman of substance.
What sets apart the 106-page book ‘Beads of Memory’ is the flowing narrative style of Pankajam that grips the reader’s attention throughout. Another interesting feature of the book is it exposes the reader to a number of rituals, customs and temple festivals of ‘God’s Own Country’ Kerala. The book indeed show cases very well, the cultural mores of Kerala.
‘Beads of Memory’ is a concise book, a good one to just relax with on a lazy Sunday and be treated to a story with an simple plot and some interesting sub plots.
Beads of Memory by K. Pankajam
ISBN 978-81-7273857-0 Price: Rs.200/- USD 10/-
Authors Press, New Delhi 110016, India