Exploring the history of north Malabar in Kerala during the seventies, the English novel 'Monsoon in Malabar' is gaining popularity among readers here due to its theme and the author's rich description of the region's lush green milieu.
The quality of the debut novel by P V Jayaraj, English department head at Nirmalagiri College, Kannur university, has been enriched by the vivid description of periodic monsoons lashing on a verdant landscape in the background.
"It is a story of the unremitting love that binds a young boy with his wayward uncle who dissipated himself and his large family by remaining a hopelessly irresponsible drunkard," says Jayaraj.
The locale is set in his familiar environs and traverses the topography of north Malabar as a whole. "The novel unfurls in the mode of the varied recollections of the protagonist who comes back to his native place after years," the author says.
The moods of the characters in the novel are inextricably linked with the accounts of rains in the backdrop, turning it lively and vibrant.
Though many works have come out in Malayalam with the milieu of the lush landscape and torrential rains, `Monsoons in Malabar' is said to be the first fictional attempt in English to copy the life of north Malabar.
The author knits together, in the self-published work, a string of interesting tales about the social situation that prevailed in Malabar in the seventies through characters familiar to him.
The historical sense of the author is evident from his documentation of communities during a transitional period, dissecting the dominating influence of caste system through his characters.