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SOCIAL CRITIC Reghunatha Pillai's first novel `The Cry of Cicadas' reflects his humanitarian attitude towards society
SOCIAL CRITIC Reghunatha Pillai's first novel `The Cry of Cicadas' reflects his humanitarian attitude towards society

NISHA NATH speaks to Reghunatha Pillai whose new novel `Cicadas Takes Life' is out in the stands

Reghunatha Pillai, a 50-year old KSRTC bus conductor, is in the limelight yet again with his new novel `Cicadas Takes Life.' The novelist has established through his new book that he is a born writer. Reghunatha made his mark in the literary world with his first novel, `The Cry of Cicadas,' published in 2005 by Pen Books. "You came to the bare and ugly streets of city in search of love," Noushad Ali's poem quoted in the novel reflects his humanitarian attitude towards society. The novel, which depicts the life of three generations, is replete with the agony of living and the degradation of society brought on by politics. Personifying cicadas as the symbol of agony in his novels, he says that the cicada is our constant follower. "We always search for it but it is difficult to spot. We feel the presence of cicadas whenever we are alone," says the author. The novelist recalls the compliments he got from writer Kamala Suraiya after she read his novel."I want social renaissance to happen through my novels. Social injustices drive me to write novels," says Reghunatha. Even when he is on duty, he has a copy of Gunter Grass' `My Century.' "Books are my companion throughout my journey," he says. The voracious reader refuses to name a favourite writer as he says it could be too long a list. He feels that his profession is a boon as it helps him observe and comprehend people and caricature them in his novels.

Mastery over language

His mastery over language is evident in his narrative style that is lush with subtle use of imageries and metaphors. "I acquire language through reading," says Reghunatha. "It is Nature that inspires the artist in man," says the novelist who is delighted when he is in the heart of nature. He says that the picturesque beauty of Kilimanoor has always been his muse. In the new novel `Cicadas Takes Life,' the novelist brings to life the plight of Govind and his family who were compelled to leave their native land and become refugees due to the various development projects initiated by the Government. Reghunatha raises a question against Government with his new book. As the cry of cicadas rise in the air, Reghunatha Pillai hopes that his cry against grim realities will also be echoed in society.

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