P. SUNDARESAN

POORANI NINAIVALAIGAL: Poorani; Chaduram Pathippagam, 34, Chitlapakkam 2nd Main Road, Tambaram Sanatorium (East), Chennai-600047. Rs. 120.HERE IS a woman nonpareil going down memory lane. The day is not far off when an interlocutor will be summoned to highlight her achievements. What if Poorani Ammal is 93? With her indomitable spirit, she could easily pass off as an emancipated young woman! Writing is in her blood. Her marathon literary journey kickstarted with her marriage at 13. Despite a growing family under her loving care, she has managed to fill umpteen notebooks with glittering blank and free verses, short stories, anecdotes and translations from Hindi to Tamil. She began to see the first fruits of her labour when Kalachuvadu Pathippagam published her anthology of poems in December 2003. How well she has unlocked her imagination can be perceived from Ambai's illuminating foreword. The next anthology after exactly two years is the book under review. It is a large and compelling family saga flooded with endless reminiscences. Poorani's daughter Brindha provides interesting sidelights on the living legend. The travails of a vast spectrum of humanity associated with the family, captured in the memoirs, provide a barometer to separate the sheep from the goats. The literary lighthouse she has erected on the solid foundation of the apostle of non- violence stands out starkly against the dark sky. Not to speak of the dynamic Karma Yogi's concern for women's liberation.