Product ID: 3442

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Author: Gopal Gandhi
Publisher: Ravi Dayal
Year: 1989
Language: English
Pages: 178
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0863110649


First published in 1987 in a paperback edition under the title 'Saranam, A Novel of Refuge', this new hardcover edition has been issued in recognition of a remarkable work that is likely to endure for many years.

Set in the tea estates of Sri Lanka, Refuge movingly evokes the plight of the down-trodden Tamil laborers on them; the contrasting lives of their urbane, whisky-drinking managers in their clubs and mansions; and the punitive effects of the 1964 Indo-Cyclone agreement on the lives of the Tamil laborers repatriated to India under that accord.

The story hinges around the slender, doe-eyed Valliamma, a Tamil laborer on one of Sri Lanka's plantations. In love with Soma, a Sinhala fishvendor and the father of her illegitimate son, Valliamma is exploited by individuals, a brutal social and economic system and, ultimately, political developments. Her fate symbolizes the dilemma and tragedy of her community, the so-called 'Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka. Struggling for a niche in the land of her birth and that of her child, Valliamma is denied the shelter and refuge she seeks there, thanks to a conspiracy between race and language - old allies. The novel ends as a journey begins, once more in search of refuge. The novel ends as a journey begins, once more in search of refuge.