Author: Neela Padmanabhan
Translator(s): K Sankaran Namboothiri
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8126015381
A classic in Tamil, this novel touches author's own life and the life of the people around and away at several points, lending it the semblance of an actual story marked by reminiscences and remorse's, rumors and rivalries, tensions, traumas and treacheries, and furors and fulminations.
The central scene of activities is a medical college hospital ward, where Rajagopalan, the protagonist, is attending on his father lying there as a heart patient. All his dear and near ones come and go after making inquiries, but none expect his mother and some of his brothers stay there round the clock. Thus Rajagopalan is often left to shuttle between his home and the hospital, ruminating over the relations between man and man in general and between son and father in particular and recalling his bitter and sweet and bitter-sweet experiences in the past.
The curtain calls on the scene with the death of the patient. But Rajagopalan's ruminations and recollections combined with his occasional nostalgic references to his father's admirable qualities, his emphasis on filial duties, his incidental remarks on the vagaries of engineers, doctors and politicians etc. directly or indirectly point to the rottenness of present day society and strike a rather pessimistic note about the future of the human race itself.
In this respect, the novel transcends the limits of time and space.