Two Leaves and a Bud — by M A Chacko
Publisher: The Write Place
Price: Rs. 299 INR(Paperback), Rs. 175 (Kindle Edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/30xCWfC
In Two Leaves And A Bud, M. A. Chacko shares his rich insights into the lives of the Syrian Christian community of India. Three distinct stories weave their magic in this novel: The first, The Faithful Husband, stars Seby, a true Sunday Christian, who has acquired land from the Malabar Namboodiris and contrives to retain the land for his family, using any means.
The protagonist of the second book is a young Catholic boy from Kerala, who sets off for greener pastures to earn a living as a construction worker. Chacko fluently discusses the interplay of family, values, society, marriage, dowry, and property on the day-to-day life of the community.
The Holiday, the final book in this trilogy, is a day in the life of Raymond, who wanders through old haunts in Goa on his day off. With its leisurely pace and graceful style, The Holiday gently touches ethics, culture, politics and religion in this multi-cultural tourist hotspot.
About the author:
M. A. Chacko originally hails from Kerala. He started as a school teacher in Goa and retired as the Principal of a Higher Secondary School after a long teaching career spanning more than three decades. He presently lives in Goa, having made it his home, and pursues his passion for writing. He is the author of three other books: The Circus and Other Stories , How He Met Me and Other Stories and Those Memorable Days.
My take on the book:
The book consists of three stories, each unrelated to the other; the only common thread being the protagonists and their families belonging to Christian community.
The first story is about a landlord Seby and his family — his brothers, his wife, his two sons and daughter and their respective families and how they influence or connect to the happenings in their small town. The story is also about the change in political landscape in the erstwhile Kerala, the uprising of communist ideology and how people from different backgrounds embraced it.
The second story is of a young man who migrates from his hometown to Mumbai to later work as a construction worker; how ambitions and reality are not always the same, how social economic conditions influence one’s decisions. The story also explores how life in a small village/town are more relaxed and secure when compared to that in a big town.
The third story is an interesting account of one day from life of the protagonist Raymond when he has a day off from his government job and incidentally his wife is away. Since Raymond has a lot of time on hand to while away, he goes around the neighborhood, meeting a lot of people by chance. Raymond hence starts reminiscing his relation with all his old friends and how life has been treating each of them.
The story telling and writing are very sweet and simple; the book takes back the reader to those good old times when life was more about friends and family, neighborhood, and the more simpler joys in life. The stories and subplots have drama which is subtle and doesnt go overboard. All the characters are well built and very relate-able.
Pick this one to be taken back in time to days of simpler living. This book is very engrossing once you start; it is such a hidden gem, the writer’s style has a great poise and takes reader on a beautiful journey across the locales of Kerala and Goa.