December 03, 2008

The Silent Raga

I assume the author is non- Brahmin- Ameen Merchant. He has painted a rather insightful and stirring picture of a conventional agraharam Brahmin Household-with all its richness in food and rituals and even language. One can only find a couple of errors here and there.
This story of two sisters ( one a veena prodigy and the other a bookworm) is poignant, the bonded to tradition and almost subservient existence that changes into a life of freedom and promise, a betrayal which is not, a loyalty which turns to naught, of misunderstanding and of rediscovery.
A nice book, but the style could have been a little crisper ( sometimes it is repetitive to the point of exhaustion)
The December issue of Chandamama with Mister Muthu- II is out.
At work, I have been given another account to handle. Finally I will have enough work for the day and less time to blog:-))


Monika said...

Hey, what is your association with Chandamama. Since I have started following your blog only recently, I am unaware.

Artnavy said...

i write a serial story called MISTER MUTHU

Krishnan said...

Author Ameen Merchant in a Muslim ! He should be a perceptive observer to write about Tamil brahmins.

Krishnan said...

Art, what about Sam Bourne's novel ? Finished it ? expecting review of it too.

Choxbox said...

was wondering what was keepin gyou busy. haffun with the busy-ness!

dipali said...

I found the book very rich in texture and nuances. It was both fascinating and disturbing in its depiction of the way families wreak havoc upon themselves. I was glad of the happy ending.

Anonymous said...

Hi Art,
I have not been able to read Mr. Muthu stories online. Any clue as to how to get to read them? Was told by amma that it was excellently written. OR can send a copy with Sumanth:-)
Email me if you need anything to be sent.


Artnavy said...

i had mentioned a one-line-review of white tiger and of Teh final Reckoning
will put it into the next post

dipali- me too

chox- was in Blore infact on Tueday- a day trip- the airport was soooooo far from my client's place

beena- will do- chandamama they dont place it online- i will send u the word doc

Mama - Mia said...


i have to refresh my reading list!!

and happy working some more! :p



GB said...

You're not supposed to send word documents of copyrighted material to people :D But I'll pretend I didn't see this...hehe...what the heck, you wrote it!!! :)

Artnavy said...


beena is my SIL in the US- u shld think of selling chandamama there??!!

people will buy it for the nostalgia value

GB said...

I think people in the US can subscribe to it online...the form shows US as one of the countries. There are some plans afoot to have a proper e-shop soon :)

Anonymous said...

hi artful, thank you for the review. I don't understand why you say that the "writing could have been crisper" and is "repetitive to the point of exhaustion."
How can a raga recital be made crisper? Can you ask a classical musician to make rush or make short? Isn't repetition with small variations the real purpose of any raga?
Merchant does a fine job with so many subtle tonal shifts in the book and captures all the elements with perfection. I loved this novel and was amazed to find out that author is Muslim! Wonderful novel, the best I read this year!

Vidya Kumar

Artnavy said...

hey Vidya

I did find it repeptitive in parts because u r taking of similar memories of 2 sisters which does get repeptitive

if u ask me even if a musician is guilty of it - she/he remains guilty of it- that is the diff between good and great

but as i said overall a good book and highly reccomended