Updated: June 6, 2013 17:06 IST

People of all shades

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The people Prapanchan has come across in his life find a place in this collection. Also, those who have made an impression on him. Some of them are illustrious, for example T. Janakiraman, Jayakanthan and Kumudam editor Annamalai.

Political and social developments run as an undercurrent absorbing the contributions of individuals into the flow. As Malan rightly puts it, people either leave behind sweet fragrance or smear mud. This is a parade of personalities that made Prapanchan take notice, one way or the other.

Most touching are characters that record their presence unobtrusively. From them, he learns of the pain beneath aberrations and crimes and wickedness behind masks. Friends teach him to love Nature and to be human. Romance touches him but it is unrequited love. There is no regret on either side as the woman, a picture of poise rules out marriage for practical reasons.

Prapanchan pays tribute to his parents, especially father, wife, who bears the brunt of the travails his profession entails and many who make life meaningful and beautiful. The collection ends with a chapter that identifies three persons as the author’s guides – Perumal, the old man selling sweets at the school gate and litterateur MVV.

Manidar, Devar, Naragar – Prapanchan – Pudiya Thalaimurai, 25A, N.B. Industrial Estate, Eekkaduthangal, Chennai – 600032. Phone: 044-45969700 – Rs. 180.

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