Akkaldama-oru Snehavilapam: Thariyan Koshy; Rainbow Books, Chengannur-689124. Rs. 100.

The 30 essays presented in this book are marked by vivid depiction and rare insight. Thariyan Koshy has endeavoured to look at his own experience and what he saw around him from the standpoint of Christian values, and in this he seems to have succeeded. For the readers, it turns out to be a rare experience, especially because he draws Biblical parallels.

In the New Testament, ‘Akkaldama' is a potter's field near Jerusalem and used as a burial ground that acquires notoriety. Innovatively, Biblical incidents are elucidated and developed into short stories. For instance, two housewives, Mary Kutty and Gracy, are neighbours but one cannot stand the other being happy.

Mary Kutty is convinced that the agonies Gracy goes through are but a punishment by God for the misdeeds she had committed in the past. Here, the author cites the relevant passage from the Bible, and a brief incident that relates an amazing prayer and promise involving two criminals hanging on to the cross at either end.

An adept in arriving at maxims that suit individual experiences, Koshy has humour flowing naturally and spontaneously in his writing. What is more, the effortless ease with which he gets to the bottom of every happening he recounts is remarkable.

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