The stories were written on the background of Santhal Adivasi diaspora and jumping into a conclusion of poverty,exploitation and rebellion theme would make you the wistful thinking about it with no second thought.But there were ingredients in here more than we have expected,Jharkhand and it's people,especially those who marginalized came to fore in different characters such as a central government employee , a doctor,a neo rich family,coal thieves,Dancer,innocent and helpless individuals and so on.This ten story anthology served its purpose to strike a chord in the mainstream life of our country.
Right,who is the writer...Hansda Sowendra Shekar ! A Doctor by profession and a santhali by origin.Won Sahitya akademi yuva puraskar in 2015 and It has been accorded as most sought out and discovered one on and by a Santhali.The book confronted severe opposition when it was translated into Hindi, of course by his own Santhalis for being made insulted remarks on local deities and leaders,and suspended from state government service.
Let's get some of the dough as a sample.First story title" They eat meat".Beeram Soren family was to move to Vadodara of Gujarat from Bhubaneswar as a central government employee.Their native place is in Jharkhand.As a tribal of Santhal,faced hardships finding a house for rent,their meat eating became a big trouble.Every body wants vegetarian tenant in the part where Hindus only live,and Christians and Muslims live separately in the different parts of the city.First, he was clueless to understand the situation and getting known inside things as time goes by.
At last, A Rao's family from Telugu origin accepted to give the house on two conditions.One,they should not eat non veg and reveal their limited identity to outsiders when they are asked.They have underwent a torture of having meatless meal,their relatives living in a government quarters came to help by weekly once hosting at their place.Here writer tried to compare the food habits in different communities.And how our society divided on invisible lines.At last, Soren family transferred to Jharkhand happily.
Places in Pakur district were chosen when themes evolved with local importance.The Adivasi will not dance is another story with heart breaking truths.How the mineral rich patches were plundered by business people with the political clout was explained in this,Mangal Murmu,the Santhal dancer who brought to the programs of VIPs with his troupe,on losing his land,expected to submit his plea on the day, to Rashtrapati in vain,was dragged aside after the program completed.
November is the month of migration, in the story, we could understand how poverty and hunger led one woman to accept a quick sex on the platform of a railway station.In some stories,explicit writing is seen but it supports the cause at the scene,Hansda picked his plots very carefully and executed with precision required.Simple narration and commitment would always be felt all along the stories,If the reader breaks into tears when reading some stories without conscious sometimes,it won't be a surprising thing for me.