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Author Thoppil Mohamed Meeran’s works will be read at the Independence Day Park

A kattaikoothu performance from one of the earlier sessions | Photo Credit: special arrangement
Gowri S 17 October 2019 18:24 IST
Updated: 17 October 2019 18:24 IST

The reading will be done on Saturday by author and translator Prabha Sridevan as CH Eshwar Rao plays sitar in the backdrop

The story of a tree, laden with history and told through subtle imagery; a story of how this tree is felled in the name of development. What better place to read this story in, than a park? At the next session of UNESCO Creative Cities Network’s Concerts at The Park initiative, this short story written by Sahitya Akademi-winning author Thoppil Mohamed Meeran, will be read aloud by translator and author Prabha Sridevan, with the accompaniment of sitar, played by CH Eshwar Rao.

The author has three collections of short stories, from which 18 stories have been chosen to be translated by Sridevan, which is still in the works. And at the session, three among these will be read by Sridevan. “There is no common thread, but there is one similarity. In all these stories, he writes only about his native place, Thengapattanam in Kanyakumari district and writes extensively of the beautiful green region — the ponds, the sea and fish — and how we have messed it up,” says Sridevan. She plans to read one of the stories in Tamil, following it up with the next one in English and Tamil, and the last one in her translation in English. “The last one is totally autobiographical, and it kind of tells us what brought out the poet in him. This is the only story among the three that does not talk of Nature.”

The author also talks of families and how rich and full they were, at one point, and not anymore by hinting at the genre of magical realism. “It’s a very ‘rich’ world that he talks of and I use the word rich in a very different sense; he speaks of a life that I don’t know much of, which drew me,” continues Sridevan.

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In collaboration with Chennai Greater Corporation, the initiative is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, and has been hosting events ranging from traditional theatre performances to fusion music concerts on weekends, for the past six months. “We make sure that we have sessions in all the areas, and the Corporation has already a curated a list of parks for the events. Our aim is to bring in as many folk forms as possible. But, we also encourage fusion music and the like,” concludes Natarajan from Anmajothi, which is also one among the contributors.

The reading session, will be on October 19 from 5 pm to 6 pm at Independence Day Park, Corporation School Road, Lake Area, Nungambakkam, followed by a parai attam and a Tamil theatre performance by city-based theatre group Mei KalaiKoodal.

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