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Work of a police officer that reinstates faith in mankind

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BEYOND THE SEA: Writer C. Radhakrishnan with the first novel written by Inspector-General of Police R. Sreelekha after its release in Kochi on Friday. Ernakulam Press Club president Phalgunan is in the middle. Photo: Vipinchandran
BEYOND THE SEA: Writer C. Radhakrishnan with the first novel written by Inspector-General of Police R. Sreelekha after its release in Kochi on Friday. Ernakulam Press Club president Phalgunan is in the middle. Photo: Vipinchandran

Staff Reporter

A chronicle of the worst tragedy that descended on us, says C. Radhakrishnan

KOCHI: Memories of a tragedy will linger long; especially if it is of the magnitude of the tsunami that struck the coast on night after Christmas in 2004. Tragedies often do more than separating dear ones. It reinstates faith in mankind.

R. Sreelekha, Inspector-General of Police and currently managing director of Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala and Rubber Marketing Federation, has done just that through her new literary work. Neerazhikappuram (Beyond the Sea) is her first novel. She has two short story collections to her credit.

The book was released by writer C. Radhakrishnan at the Ernakulam Press Club hall on Thursday. Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Sreelekha said that she wanted to narrate the story to prove that man has tides of goodness in him than the mighty sea.

"I was serving as Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ernakulam Range, when the tragedy struck. I spent most of the time along the Alappuzha coast. The experiences I had there forms the backdrop of this novel," she said. Sea is one of the characters in the novel.

As Mr. Radhakrishnan puts it, the novel also serves the purpose of recording the reaction of Malayali society on a moment of crisis. "Our State has not experienced major tragedies. Hence this novel becomes a chronicle of the worst tragedy that descended on us," he said.

The sea and human characters go along parallel tracks in this work, said Mr. Radhakrishnan. Men too have turbulent phases, just like the sea, but the novel explores what lies beyond the obvious. The narrative and characters are more firmly rooted in realism in Ms. Sreelekha's works, he said.

"The writer also has the gift of a powerful language. In that sense, this work is an example of how experience could benefit a gifted writer," said Mr. Radhakrishnan.

Besides the sea, the novel has representatives of all strata of society that was affected by the tsunami.

The novel states that even the ferocious nature is humbled by the goodness of man, the writer said.

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