Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Malegalali Madhumagalu(book) - Kuvempu

Finished reading it the third time...!

I got lost the last two times, but this time, I am determined to write something about this book in the blog. 

The book is about the marvels of the nature in the western ghats of Karnataka. The story is set up in the beginning of 19th century where the electricity and analog clocks had not gotten as far as the remote villages of India. There was British rule, freedom struggle, Vivekananda and missionaries converting Indians to Christians. 

As it is said in the prologue, there is no one character or incident the novel talks about. Everyone and everything is important or not important at all. There is no beginning or end, There is no destination, there is end. 

As such there is no ONE thing that you remember as summary to the story. Its an ocean of emotion, sky of language and the characters are stars. 

It starts with naayi gutti planning a kidnap of his maternal cousin Timmi and marry her. Then there is Timmappa Hegde, Rangamma, Jattama, Subbana Hegde, Bharamai Hegde, Mukunda, Chinnamma, Itha, Peenchlu etc etc. Naayi Kutthi succeeds in kidnapping Timmi and elopes in to the dense forest of Hulikal where the dangerous wild animals and tiger attack each other. Timmi is agreed by her parents to be married to another guy from her own village. The landlords of Timmi do not agree to send of Timmi with Gutti as Timmi and her family owe their lives to the landlord. 

Timmanna Hegde is a ugly looking rich man but no girl wants to marry him. He plans to exchange his sister to another man - Bharamai Heggde and get his sister marry Timmana. There is cold war between Sankranna Hedge and Subbanna Hegde, Kanna Pandita is a malayali ayurvedic doc who give tantra for all types of maladies. Aiytha and Peenchulu are newly wed couples. Mukunda is in love with his childhood sweetheart Chinnamma. His brother in law - Devay Gowda is deeply influenced by the pastor - Jeevarathnayya. Naayi Gutti is held by police, escapes and elopes again with Timmi. This time his beloved dog - gutti naayi dies. Itha and Peenchlu plans to get Chinnama run away with Mukunda on the eve of her wedding. When she runs away in her wedding attire to the nearest hill - one among the thousands in the ghats, she is pictured as "Malegallalli Madhumagalu". Her father dies after realizing Chinnamma has run off the wedding. Mukunda looks after Chinnamma's father left over property and business, Devayya Gowda is stopped from undergoing Christian conversion process at the last moment. 

There are stories to no end and one just needs to keep tab on whos who and enjoy the book. Kuvempu has finely sculpted this book with more than a 100 sub stories in it. Each one has its own beauty and grandeur in it. The characters are too many but one feels like, they are all so familiar. The description of the nature is too real to make it appear in front of the reader's eyes. One will be inspired to visit the forests on the ghats during rains when reading it.

Its one of the best books I have read. I recommend everybody to read it

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