‘[Bama has] painted the Tamil-Indian village from the perspective of the cheri (Dalit colony), thus turning the socio-cultural geography upside down.’—The Hindu
From the author of the widely acclaimed novels Karukku and Sangati, this is a fiery, feisty collection, comprising all the stories from her acclaimed book Kusumbukaran and new ones written for this volume. Set among the Dalits of rural Tamil Nadu, these stories display the full potential of the ‘weapons of the weak’—small, everyday acts of rebellion, sharp, irreverent humour and a determination not to be crushed and extinguished.
Pachayamma in ‘Chilli Powder’ taunts the rich landlady Gangamma by collecting fodder only from her fields, despite dire threats, and laughs in the face of blustering policemen. The handsome and audacious young Ammasi leaves a landlord fuming in impotent rage by calling him his brother. A pig and a monkey debate which of them deserves a higher status. A ghost demands whisky and insists he has no caste.
Bama’s prose bristles with the raw energy and vitality that comes from living close to the ground, and Ravi Shanker’s translations retain all the power, wit and brilliance of the originals.