Book Name – The Nomad Learns Morality
Author – Tomichan Matheikal
Publisher – Online Gatha
Number of Pages – 140
Publishing Year – 2015
Edition – Paperback
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“Truth is simple, but Dharma is subtle,” says Bhishma in one of the thirty-three short stories in this collection.
Each story throws brilliant light on certain fundamental human dilemmas and paradoxes. Some of the stories are very short, yet capable of stirring deep thoughts and intense emotive experiences in the reader. Many of the stories are taken from great epics and history. Quite a few are carved out of present day life. Whatever the source, the author has transmuted it into a fascinating literary experience. There are moments when the reader may feel being elevated to a higher spiritual plane. The stories probe “the endless human delusions,” as one of the stories describes it.
Nomad learns morality is a collection of 33 short stories. For the ease of review, I would review them genre by genre. The stories can be divided into three sections- Mythological fiction, Historical fiction and Contemporary fiction.
Each story proclaims the tenacity of the author. The stories will surely hang on to our mind and haunt our thoughts. The mythological and historical stories are rendered in an interesting way. Instead of blindly reproducing the stories, author presented them as a thought process of a character and forces the readers to see another dimension of the milieu. Needless to say that the language of the author is exemplary.
Since it’s difficult to review every story, I would pick a few stories that touched my heart.
1. The autumn of the patriarch
Bhishma is swayed by Draupadi’s question if he was a selfless person. He realizes that even after his oath of celibacy or due to the same, he wronged many women. Bhisma’s thoughts reach the readers and force them to reconsider their centuries old myth.
2. And quiet flowed the beas
An interwoven tale of Alexander, Diogenes and Coenus tells us the invariable truth of life in simple words.
3. The saga of warrior
This is the retelling of love, hatred, treachery and sabotage in the Mughal Dynasty.
4. The devil has a religion
The story haunted me so much. I had to take a break before reading the rest of the stories. Philip’s pain and the priest’s cruel practices are not fictional. We can see similar real life characters.
The story is a lesson to every Indian who thinks that all Muslims are terrorists.No, they are not. A few black sheep spoiled the name of the whole flock.
6. Twinkle twinkle little star
The story brought tears in my eyes. Being a mother, it’s painful to see that there is another side of the reality. Watch out before sending your kids away from your eyes.
7. The queen of spades
Author kept the best to the last. A simple mystery that a reader could not decipher.
There were one or two stories that didn’t excite me much but that should not be counted. What disappointed me most is the quality of the book. On seeing the book cover, readers would not be compelled to try it. For such a compelling book, the cover and the general layout is a huge let down.
Reviewed for the author
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.