Author: Thoppil Mohammed Meeran
Publisher: Orient Longman/Disha
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8125015442
This novel chronicles the stark lives of a poverty-stricken people who struggle with life under a despotic feudal rule and feudalism's fall around the turn of the century.
Ahamadukannu Mudalali is the undisputed ruler of his village in the princely state of Travancore - a descendent of Arab settlers, he is the chief trustee of the village mosque and the arbitrator of all disputes before whose glance the entire village quakes in fear. But his authority is challenged by Mehmood, a lowly trader in shark fins, who refuses to accept the landlord's arbitrary imposition of fines and tyrannical rulings. An when an English school is opened in the village, inspite of Mudlali's opposition to it, the revolt against his authority seems to be complete.M Vijayalakshmi's translation from the Tamil original captures the flavors of the local patois - a mix of Arabic, Malyalam and Tamil - employed by Meeran.