Monday, May 27, 2024
Writers Cave



Another outstanding female protagonist emerges from the creative mind of KR Meera in the novella “Qabar.” It’s essential not to underestimate the depth within the slimness of this work, spanning just over a hundred pages. This literary piece seamlessly blends elements of social commentary and a journey of self-discovery, interwoven with a nuanced love story. Despite its brevity, the novella adeptly delves into challenging terrain, shedding light on religious polarization, bigotry, and patriarchal constraints.


Translated from Malayalam by Nisha Susan, “Qabar” invites readers to suspend disbelief momentarily, urging them to make sense of the harsh realities of our world through an immersive journey into the surreal. The narrative is presented as a first-person account by Bhavana Sachidanandan, an Additional District Judge and single mother presiding over a case involving the demolition of a petitioner’s ancestor’s qabar (grave). The petitioner, Kaakkasseri Khayaluddin Thangal, challenges Bhavana’s preconceived notions with his urbane demeanor, natty attire, and a physical appearance that defies stereotypes.


Undoubtedly, Meera’s “Qabar” stands out as the best Malayalam novel of the year. The narrative skillfully explores the idea that judgments alone cannot offer solutions. Rooted in both realism and magical realism, the story unfolds against the backdrop of contemporary India, where the construction of a temple involves the demolition of a masjid. Through the characters of Bhavana and Kaakkassery Thangal, the novella navigates the realms of fantasy and reality, weaving together themes of respect, love, grief, and commitment deeply tied to the lineages they carry. In a year marked by increased indoor activities and a surge in bibliophiles, “Qabar” emerges as a captivating literary work. As creative expressions flourished, numerous fictional pieces were released, with many of them leaving readers in awe of the intricate storytelling and thought-provoking themes. – WILLIAMSJI MAVELI

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