Regional: Postman by Benyamin


            Benyamin is a highly inconsistent writer in my personal opinion.While I loved reading his 'Aadujeevitham' and had an okay feeling about his 'Manjaveyil Maranangal',his 'AkkaPorinte Irupathu Nasrani Varshangal' and 'Shareera Shastram' kind of disappointed me.So I picked up his 'Postman', an anthology of eight stories dealing with helplessness and longing, to read with mixed feelings.But to my pleasant surprise, I liked this book a lot.The stories are genuine, contemporary and succeeds to a very large extend in portraying the emotions which the author has tried to convey.
            As I mentioned already, the book has got eight stories and the pick of the lot is undoubtedly the one titled Postman, which talks about a dedicated Postman in a small village who was reverred by almost everyone in the locality.After his passing away, his son discovers some secrets about him and how he deals with it is what the story is about.The story explores various themes like morality, the perception of right and wrong and also about 'untold' love.
           In Solapur,Benyamin narrates the sad tale of Shobhi and her husband who have been taken for a ride by the Kidney racket and the porn mafia.A genuinely moving tale about poverty and exploitation,this one is! Perhaps the weakest one of this lot is ,'Pusthakkada' in which the author has tried to show his contempt towards best sellers and what it's doing to the avid literature lover. I have multiple issues with this story.First of all, this story is a bit of a stretch and I genuinely do believe that 'popular fiction' also has a very big role in making non-readers to readers. C'mmon, each one of us were introduced to the world of books through these light stuff ,isn't it? But for what he has faltered in 'Pusthakkada',Benyamin more than makes up for it in 'Neeleswaram Baby' which is a genuinely satirical and interesting take on the modern day writers and the double standards they practice.'Markes',another enjoyable tale in this collection has it's protagonist in 'Gregory Mathews', a wannabe writer and the parallels with the Srinivasan character in 'Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala' is unmissable.'Alice In Wonderland' kind of reminded me of P.Padmarajan's 'Lola',but neverthless this one is also an okay read.

On the whole,I'm going with a 3.75 out of 5 for this collection.

-nikhimenon

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