Book Review: Palace Smash Into Slum by Ashok Yeshuran Masilamani

This is my second book from the author, I must say that he really worked radiantly to begin the book with such a brilliant cover page, it’s a full of story in itself. Next, as I sat with the book in my lap, I was brooding what could this title mean. I had better not to decipher it beforehand and spoil my mood. Thus, I begin reading it.

The novella is about a rich family from Chennai. Their ancestral roots were associated with Zameendars (landlords). Though they have lost much of their land since the independence of the country but still their mansion is a big house with all luxurious facilities. The big theme of the story is irony of destiny. The climax of the story is delivered in dark alleys of poverty and loneliness. But my question is, it’s possible for such a royal Zameen family.

So, in the story, characters are less. Periya Zameen and his wife have only one son named Anbu Chezhian, who is carefree about marriage and future of their wealth. He takes care of business, he is an atheist, and travels and indulges himself into drinking and smoking.

Upon the behest of his parents, he marries a young bride called by name Tamilsevi. Now the usual family drama of having children begins. The couple travels a lot but finally confides to the promises of elders. Anbu Chezhian visits many doctors and astrologers for his heir. As luck favours him, his wife is pregnant but due to complications she will be able to deliver only one child and that too through operation. It worries Anbu Chezhian, he commences prayers to gods.

Fast forward, nothing happens as the doctors or astrologers suggested. The final circumstances were way different; they were marred by the difficulty of fate. When the delivery time was nearing, Anbu Chezhian flew to Somalia to free his trade ships. The elderly couple of Periya Zameen flies to Delhi.

In the palace is alone pregnant Tamilsevi with a few servants. A deadly rain and storm brings life to halt. But it is also time for her delivery. There is no doctor at the home, no nurse, no connection with outside world, and no in-laws or husband at home. What will be fate of Anbu Chezhian’s wife and his child? The climax is hidden in the words of title. The way the story changes its track is fabulous and unbelievable. But the strong message in the book is socialism. One should never boast off his/her wealth, in the times of difficulty it is humanity that saves life not the crisp currency notes. Despite being a short novel, it doesn’t fail to impress with its cast of characters and their drama. Overall, a lovely novel on vicissitude of life.

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