Book Launch and Giveaway: The Puppeteers of Palem

Puppeteers-of-Palem-cover

Welcome

Welcome to the blog launch of my fourth novel, The Puppeteers of Palem. This is going to be just like a book launch, but you don’t have to be in the same city – or even the same country – to attend it. You will get all the same things that you get from a ‘regular’ launch: an introduction to the book, a sample to read, and a link to pre-order.

In addition, there is also a giveaway right at the bottom for five lucky winners. Given the number of comments I normally get on this blog, those are good odds! So don’t run way just yet. Read this post right to the end. You may find something that will interest you.

Let’s get started!

Back Blurb

The village of Rudrakshapalem awakens, and tells her tale.

Five friends return to the village of their childhood to find that nothing seems to have changed, and at the same time everything has. Whose voice is it that called them back, and whose hand is it that now hunts them down, one by one?

Palem’s grand old man, a Brahmin landlord, their childhood storyteller, makes one last ditch attempt to save his village from ruin at her hands. Will he succeed or will his past catch up with him and demand fair price?

Two boys, one blind and the other lame, skirt the village borders at the old Shivalayam, listening, staring. On their faces they wear smiles of contentment. They sleep well. They see happy dreams.

A TV reporter arrives to study the village, only to sink deeper into the mystery with each passing day.

And hovering above all of these is the shadow of Lachi, who is believed to haunt the old Shivalayam on full moon nights. Some say she’s consumed by lust, others call it madness, but all catch the red glint in her eye and the icy calm in her voice as she croons a sad, lonely song. The one thing she hungers for, that will satisfy her soul, is the fire that will burn Palem down to ashes.

The village of Rudrakshapalem awakens, and tells her tale. Listen closely. It will chill you to the bone.

What is this novel about?

I will try to be as unbiased as I can (being the author) and list three main themes that figure in this story.

  • Homecoming. It’s a story of five friends who come back to the village of their childhood.
  • Rural India. Almost all the action happens in a small, sleepy Indian village. The atmosphere, therefore, is quiet, quaint, and – dare I say – a little unsettling.
  • Dreams. We all have dreams. Some we dismiss as random, but others we chase like madmen, wishing to plumb them for their hidden meanings. This is a tale about such dreams, those that make you run and run and run…

Free Reading Sample

They say if you can’t hook a reader in thirty pages, you’ve lost him. So I thought why not give away the first thirty pages of my book so that people can make up their minds whether or not it is for them. So go ahead, download a sample from the below link. I hope you like it!

Download the first three chapters here (PDF, 275 KB)

Please note that I’m actively looking for feedback. So if you read this and feel a certain way, shoot me a note and we’ll talk. My email is sharath40@gmail.com.

Pre-Order on Flipkart

If you’ve read the sample already and if you’d like to buy the book, it is up for pre-order right now on Flipkart. It’s a special price, so do hurry!

Pre-order a copy of The Puppeteers of Palem here

Giveaway

Five free copies of the book are up for grabs for five lucky mailing list subscribers, as my way of saying thank you for being on this journey with me. To be eligible for a chance of receiving your copy:

1. You need to be part of the email list. If you’ve not yet joined, click on the button below and enter your email address and first name. You can unsubscribe at any time, and you have my word that I will NOT spam you.

sign-me-up-button-2

AND

2. You need to leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling us in a few words what you love most about Indian villages. This can be fiction or nonfiction, memoir, poetry, travelogue or an essay. Make your comment at least 100 words long. The upper limit is your imagination.

3. The giveaway ends on Wednesday, 26th November.

Please Share…

Do you have friends who you think will enjoy this book? Please share this post with them. You can do so with just one click on any or more of the sharing buttons below.

A single click from you – only if you think it is worth sharing, of course – will help me enormously in reaching more readers.

Thank you!

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Mahabore's Mumblings and commented:
    One of my favorite authors Sharath Komarraju announces his fourth novel – The Puppeteers of Palem, in the ‘paranormal thriller’ genre. Am sure all book readers will enjoy this book.

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  2. Awesome, Sharath!
    Congrats & all the very best.
    Have shared already!
    Here’s wishing you every success.

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  3. Reblogged this on britestarlites3's Blog.

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  4. Prashant Gouda says:

    I like the quite climate of village. The fresh air makes me rerefreshing. Innocence of people is very interesting and makes me innocent, too. I like the simple lifestyle and simple way of thinking and way of approach towards forming. Having been born and brought up in village I wish to spend my second innings of my life in a village!

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  5. THE VILLAGE OF MY CHILDHOOD

    This village no longer exists, except in my dreams.
    I have very, very fond memories of our old rambling bungalow, a dirt track running past the main gate where a paved road now runs. The stream behind our property gurgling softly by until it met up with the mightier local river.
    I have only happy memories from this time of my life… not a care in the world. One of the most fun times I ever had was when my Grandfather, in his calm, friendly way offered a passing bullock cart man some mangoes from the bumper crop. The happy chap thanked him and volunteered to give my sibling and myself a cart ride. We were ecstatic and more than glad to hop on. It’s funny how this lane we had walked and driven our cycles on time and time again changed before our very eyes when viewed frim our perch besides the kindly old bullock cart driver. The world itself slowed its pace as if seeking to keep time with each turn of the cart wheels.
    An u forgettable moment, frozen in the mists of time.
    Nothing of that piquant charm remains today.
    Cars whiz by new high rises. The rolling hills and lush green fields now hold malls aplents.
    Few rough, dusty dirt tracks remain. Someday they too will vanish into posterity.

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  6. Reblogged this on Fabric of Life and commented:
    A touch of mystery, a touch of indianness

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  7. Reblogged on my blog Fabric of Life and commented – ‘A touch of mystery, a touch of Indianness’.

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  8. Reblogged this on The Literary Voyage.

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  9. Done

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  10. Reblogged this on personal website of mamatha jahnavi and commented:
    Sharath does his best in setting a paranormal thriller in a small village. He maintains a fine balance between portraying the innocent village characters in a paranormal background. Great work Sharath! All the best.

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  11. All the best with your novel launch, Sharath 🙂

    Destination Infinity

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  12. All the best Sharath! May your book bring you success.

    —————————————————————-

    I went to Assam recently and it was an interesting especially I have had little doses of the rustic settings in India. For unexpected reasons it was a very liberating experience. Being closer to nature and animals somehow felt like being closer to life itself. The rubbish strips away quickly unnecessary divides cease and it feels more genuine. The people in the community need one another and bonding happens more naturally. It reopened the door to the pleasure in the simple things of life: A sunset, a walk in the open, staring at the night sky, a bath in a pool of water.

    I am looking forward to the next trip.
    —————————-

    I hope your book captures the soul of the village and I get more of an insight 🙂

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  13. RUSTIC CHARM…..

    I closed my eyes
    Fresh air ruffled my hair, sweet breeze tickled hot skin
    Smell of wet mud below the feet coursed up through the nostrils
    Sound of water flowing unhindered by my side
    Melody to ears tired and stressed
    The muscles relaxed
    Nerve endings twitched in delight
    I was at peace with myself
    The rustic air, the rustic smell
    Enveloped me in its warmth and love
    I felt safe, secure and at peace
    As would a babe in mother’s lap
    The village a sweet respite
    From hot, polluted urban air
    Each moment a joy I dare not miss

    Slowly opening eyes now fresh and cool
    I looked around, surveyed as far as the eyes could see
    The lush green fields with paddy ripe and ready
    Took me back to days of yore
    To women standing in ankle deep water
    Towel wrapped on head, sickle in hand
    Singing in unison, harvesting paddy
    Stacking bundles on head and heading
    With swaying hips to the nearby granary
    Wiping sweat from the forehead dripping
    Not sighing, still singing
    Enjoying the feel of the bundle rich and green
    Enjoying the thought of the mouths they could feed
    Feeling satisfied and important
    Treading each step with steely determination

    Stepping in the stream
    Feeling the gush of cool, fresh water
    I sighed but not out of worry
    Sigh of happiness and contentment
    The gushing water tickling my ankles weary
    Set the blood in a tizzy
    The tired ankles enjoying the tickle
    Danced on pebbles smooth and silky
    Splashing water, getting wet
    Reminding me of years bygone
    The gushing waters in hurried tone
    Invited me to move on
    They nudged, they slapped
    And when I did not move
    Tried pushing me with gentle moves

    Stepping out of the water cool
    I walked down the narrow muddy path
    The mud taking a liking to my wet feet
    Decided to accompany on my trudge
    The grass on either side caressing me
    Reminded me of simple village folk
    Blessing the young, caressing their head
    Soft, gentle touch wishing the best
    I touched the grass with loving hands
    Felt it kiss my palm hot
    A wave of happiness coursed my being
    The grass looked beautiful, not a weed
    The mud caking my feet wet
    Shielded it from shrubs prickly
    A friend in need it proved to be

    Slowly entering the courtyard wide
    I looked around and saw a cow
    With swaying head it looked at me
    Wondering whether to barge or leave
    Taking a bunch of leaves I stepped
    Straight into its path with beating heart
    It looked at me with intense eyes
    Then came to me with dainty steps
    Bowing the head, sniffing my being
    It smelled the leaves, opened the mouth
    Slowly, boldly tugged at the leaves
    A second! The leaves disappeared into its mouth
    I caressed it first with timid hands
    It did not flinch, nor let out a mow
    A friendship unique that day, was born

    Patting the cow I moved ahead
    Cow- dung cleaned courtyard greeted my steps
    Spic and span it looked vast
    Floral pattern at the entrance took away my breath
    Sweet smell wafting through the air
    Tickled my nostrils, set tummy rumbling
    Slowly heading for the kitchen north
    I peeped in and saw a hearth hot
    The wood burning set off a smoke
    That hurt the eyes, set tears tumbling
    Yet unfazed I moved in with quiet steps
    Peering into the pot boiling pulled out a ladle of broth spicy
    Slowly pouring it on palm cool
    Sipped on it and let out an ‘Ooh!’
    The spicy broth set the taste buds oozing.

    Devouring the wholesome yummy meal
    I set about to rest under the banyan shade
    The cool breeze rustling the leaves
    Soothed the skin, caressed the head
    Sent sweet sleep to my side
    Slowly, slowly, I drifted off
    Into a world of dreams wonderful
    The paddy fields, the coconut groves called out to me
    Slowly I coursed through the greenery thick
    A temple small and solitary caught my eye
    Climbing the steps a stone lamp I did find
    With trembling hands I lighted it
    The glow of the flame lighted up my face
    Set my eyes sparkling in delight
    I prayed with hands clapped together

    Slowly moving out I headed
    Towards the mountains high, majestic
    The sway of giant trees welcoming
    The chirp of birds delighting
    Winding my way through the forest thick
    I walked in search of the river bed
    The clear, crystal water greeting
    Set my throat wanting
    Bending down I cupped my hands, drew water
    Slowly sipped the clear, sweet elixir
    Quenched my thirst
    Looked into the water running
    Saw a face radiant, shinning
    Realized that the urban tan was waning
    The village air was truly invigorating

    The smell of hot, sweet coffee
    Reaching through nostrils snoring
    Woke me up and wanting
    Slowly cupping the hot steel tumbler
    I took a sip, then another
    The old lady with cottony hair
    Looked at me, smiled a toothless smile
    Then inviting me to her side
    Set off telling tales of yore
    The sound sweet, mesmerizing
    Held me in its spell for hours and hours
    Dusk set in, the crows returned
    The cows walked into their sheds weary
    The hens were huddled into the coop
    The lamp was light, prayers were said

    Dinner saw the family assemble
    Plates full of hot, steamy rice porridge
    Waited to be devoured with jack-fruit leaf ladles
    Silence pervaded the dining area
    Dinner over, soft, cotton beds took over
    Tired backs stretched out, the house fell silent
    A blanket of darkness enveloped the village
    A solitary owl shattered the silence
    Yet not a soul stirred, not a door opened
    The snores, the heavy breathing all mingled in the darkness
    The village slept in peace till the clock struck four
    The sound of sweet melody wafting through the wee hours
    Set women abuzz
    A new day dawned
    The village looked fresh and beautiful bathed in the golden morning rays.

    Morning ablutions over
    People got ready to face new challenges
    Handle new worries
    With smiling faces they greet each other
    Share tales of joy, share tales of woe
    Hold hands and wow to stand together
    In thick and thin to move as one
    The fresh morning air imparts a special glow to their faces
    Reminding urban folk
    That life in Indian villages is still a pleasure
    The unpolluted air, earth and water
    The clear crystal waters, the rich green foliage
    The innocent love, the care, the share
    Medicines healthy for both the body and the soul
    Are things that need to be cherished, valued.

    Inhaling the rustic charm of the Indian village!

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  14. Stunning Cover!!

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  15. Congrats, Sharath! The book sounds very interesting! I’ve downloaded the first three chapters and do hope to offer feedback if time permits. Wish you all the best for the book!

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  16. pradeepthyagaraja says:

    Done. Reblogged this in my book review blog Reading.Reviewing.Sharing!. I am sure everyone will enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed reading it!! All the best from my side. It will be an awesome reading experience for the readers.

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  17. Very interesting plot-outline! When spookiness combined with a rural setting beckons me, I cannot ever resist! all the best Sharath!

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  18. Hi Sharath, the three chapters are intriguing. Have shared the links with a few friends and on my facebook. All the best.

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  19. The villages in India boast of a simple life, away from the hustle-bustle of a fast-paced city. The aroma of the mud and dung inspire in me an altruistic way of life. The quiet, serene surroundings make me want to live there forever. I have visited my village a number of times and have never wanted to come back. The green environment and the straightforward life appeals to me the most. Today, villages are getting connected too, and I feel that everyone should, atleast once in a lifetime, go to their origins and experience the village life. 🙂

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  20. My idea of the village is right out of an Agatha Christie novel. Salubrious from outside but seething with myriad human nature within . A tale waiting to be told by Sharath Komarrajus of the world.

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  21. Here is my second entry –

    REVELATION

    The earth was covered in a blanket of darkness. I looked at my watch and bit my nails (I know its bad manners, but couldn’t help it). The storm brewing within me brought furrows on my forehead. It was 8 in the night and I was still in the bus. I cursed the traffic jam, the traffic police and the errant motorcyclist for the umpteenth time.

    College had closed for Onam vacations. The hostel had emptied right after classes were over at 4 pm. Bag in hand I had joined the others on my way to Kozhikode bus stand. Things were fine and I had reached the stand without a hitch. The bus to grandma’s village i.e. Pullancheri, was ready to leave. I hopped in and caught a window seat. If things were fine I’d be there before the evening lamp was lit.

    The bus gathered speed and so did my thoughts. The next ten days were set aside for merry making. The entire house (a ‘nalukettu’) would be bustling with activity. Aunts, uncles and cousins from far and near would assemble to enjoy the spirit of the festival together. The entire ‘baccha’ bunch ( including teenagers like me) would be up early in the morning to climb the hills doting the outskirts of the village to gather wild flowers for the floral carpet that would adorn the big front courtyard. The ladies would be busy preparing food for the entire lot including the men and women harvesting our fields. The smell of ‘avial’, ‘sambar’, ‘mulkapachadi’,………. wafting through the air would set our tummies on fire. My face broke into a smile at the very thought of eating home cooked food and that too with my cousins. I just couldn’t wait to get home. Time seemed to drag.

    The sound of metal scraping on the tarred road, the cry of dozen voices and the weight of someone falling on my shoulders woke me from my reverie. Gathering my wits I looked around. The bus was tilted precariously by the side of the road; the left side front tyre was entrenched deep in the roadside mud. Within seconds a crowd had gathered around the bus. People were yelling, pulling, jumping off the bus. Chaos broke all around. Slowly gathering my belongings I got off the bus. It seems an errant motorcyclist had suddenly come in the way of the bus at break neck speed. The bus driver in an attempt to save him had swerved off the road. The bus was stuck.

    I waited, waited, waited………..

    The minutes ticked by. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty……… Finally after an hour I managed to catch another bus bound for the village. The entire crowd got in with me. The bus moved slowly under the weight of double its capacity. I feared whether the axle would break and let out a prayer to the heavens. Winding slowly through the hilly roads the bus reached my stop at around 8.20 pm. The two hour journey was completed in four. Pushing my way through the crowds I jumped out a totally disheveled figure. I looked around. Not a soul was in sight. The entire area was shrouded in darkness. Slowly heaving my bag on my back I crossed the road.

    A flash of light hit my face. I cut my face sideways shielding my eyes. The light hit the ground. I looked ahead. An old man of sixty plus dressed in white shirt and dhoti with a white cloth wrapped as a turban around his head looked me straight in the eyes. Fear engulfed me. The silence surrounding us was heavy with fear, curiosity,…….

    “Are you from Kaniyaruthodi?” The stranger asked. Should I or should I not reveal my identity I asked myself.

    “Are you scared?” He asked. No reply.

    “Don’t worry. I’m not going to harm you.” He said.

    Finally overcoming my fear I said ,”Yes.”

    “Are you Prabhakaran Nair’s cousin?”

    “Yes.”

    “His youngest aunt’s daughter?”

    “Yes.”

    “I thought so. You resemble your mother. Come let me see you home.” He said

    I looked at him with suspicious eyes. “No I will manage,” I said.

    “Don’t worry. It’s dark all around. A tree fell on the electric line. It’s snapped. It will be hours before they set it right.”

    Having no choice but to obey him I agreed. We moved along the dark dusty road. The only light leading us was the beam from his battery driven torch. I looked around. Here and there a faint light from a glowing lamp cast a shadow eerie.

    “Ah! Let me introduce myself to you,” the stranger said. “I am Koya. What’s your name.”

    I mumbled mine.

    “ I know your family from the time I was a kid. In fact I know your entire family right from the days your great grandmother lived,” he said.

    Curiosity getting the better of fear I looked at him with interest.

    “You know I’m deeply indebted to your family.”

    “How?”

    “There was a time when food was scarce and it was difficult to get paddy/ rice. The only families here who had plenty were those that had fields of their own. Your family was one. As a kid I would go around each of these big ‘tharavadus’ (Big ancestral houses belonging to a particular family) requesting for paddy grains. None was willing to part except for your great grandma. The lady was famous in these parts for her intellect and generosity. Not a soul was turned away from her doorstep without food or what they wanted. In those times when all stocked and guarded their granary fiercely she was the only one who opened up hers. Anyone in need of grains could get bag full for a meager ‘anna’. She was like an angel sent from the heavens. The day she passed away the entire village wept. People from all walks of life, belonging to all castes and religions came from far and near weathering the heavy downpour, to pay their last respects to her.”

    “Really?”

    “Yes. She was dear to all around in these parts. Known for her generosity, she was an instant hit even among those who came from far off places for treatment at your tharavadu. She saw to it that not a single patient left hungry, not a single child or woman who entered her courtyard in dire straits left empty handed.”

    A few more questions, a few more answers surrounding my ancestors, the village and its history and we were there in my ‘tharavadu’ (ancestral home).

    The flash of torchlight coming down the path leading to grandma’s had already alerted my aunt. The door opened. A frail figure holding a lamp stepped out. It was my grandma.

    “Look whose come?” He said. “Lucky that I was there at the stop or else the poor girl would have had to walk all alone in darkness.”

    I entered the veranda. Grandma thanked him profusely. Taking leave of her he turned around and walked. The light from the torch faded away. We entered the house. The door closed behind us.

    That day I realized three things-

    1) Goodness does return in some form or the other. Had it not been for the good deeds of my ancestors, that night I would have had to stumble my way from the bus stop to grandma’s all alone in the dead of night and that too without a light to guide me through the rugged terrain.

    2) Village folk unlike urban folk go out of their way to help you. I believe it is the greenery, the beauty of the hills & hillocks, the lush green fields and the sparkling crystal clear waters that are a part of their life, that nourish their inner beauty. The concrete jungles, the smoke, the noise, the plastic menace of the urban environment make urban folk insensitive and emotionless like the concrete buildings that surround them. (Of course there are a few exceptions on both sides.)

    3) Want to know more about your roots, befriend the simple village soul. He/ she is sure to feed you with stories surrounding your family. The bonding between them is such that they know each family in-and-out, their history, their members, their joys, their sorrows, each little thing. They may belong to different castes and religions, yet they live as one.

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  22. Th first three chapters point to an interesting read Sharath. I am sure this book is going to be a huge success. My best wishes are with you.

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  23. I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other.
    -pete
    MK Gandhi said that if the village perishes India will perish too. India will be no more India. Her own mission in the world will get lost. The revival of the village is possible only when it is no more exploited. Industrialization on a mass scale will necessarily lead to passive or active exploitation of the villagers as the problems of competition and marketing come in.
    Brightest sun in the sky
    a fireball in space
    like a bride of first night
    blushing and gushing
    blossoming sunflowers matching its pace

    Our farmers always sweat and toil
    To brings out gold from country’s soil
    Triangle of birds
    wave after wave
    chirping in symphony
    flying in harmony
    Village is the place we are born and brought up.how can we forget it.

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  24. The village of my childhood memory is now a district place in MP called Alrajpur, but those days it was no more than a nondescript village. My father had studies there up to his high school before moving out to a big city for higher education, but since my grandparents still lived there, his all social connections were alive.
    We visited Alirajpur in every summer. My father to take care of his parents and their huge house and we children ( me and my cousins) only to fool around and eat mangoes. This place is famous for the yield of mangoes it produces .We bought mangoes in the number of hundreds like 500, 800 or 1000.
    They were supposed to last you for 15-20 days. mangoes were unloaded by local tribesmen by bullock cart at the place they were left to ripen. The adults and children in the house then made batches of raw, semi raw , about to ripe and ripe mangoes and spread them on a cow dung plastered floor and covered them with Palash leaves.Every morning we used to get the buckets full of mangoes down near the huge well, immerse them in water and eat them for breakfast. 5….10 any number we wanted. I so vividly remember that one year I had them so much that by the time season came to an end ,I had developed nausea of mango smell and I hated going to the first floor where mangoes were stocked.
    My grandfather was an old man who wore black topi,a huge sherwani and churidar .To me he felt almost like having directly descended from the story of kings and Queens. He was an advisor and confidante to the king of Alirajpur .Our house was full of things which gave clues of connect with olden times. A huge cot of sheesham wood with intricate carving , a wooden toy cannon which actually worked as Diwali cracker, a lovely brass lamp with intricate carving and special design and many other artifacts.
    The soft toys were not in fashion those days but someone had presented him a toy monkey with rubber face, It looked so real and scary that my elder cousins used to scare me with the toy.

    There was a jail nearby and we used to see the prisoners with chains tied in their feet walking up and down the prison well, to draw water . The feet loosely shackled and hands tied to rope ,these convicts used to walk some 200 m distance up and down from the well opening and mechanically fill up water. Passing through that route with adults in charge ,it was a scary sight and I used to run as fast as I could to go to my friend’s place. As I grew up I was told ,the tribal populace there was maintaining a highest crime record in the state.
    Our house looked very stylish and dainty despite being large because of the huge front courtyard with a bottlebrush tree as a gatekeeper. The hall had a huge fire place and it never occurred to any of us to ask ,why should we have a fire place in a house in a town in central India which is at the border of Gujrat and has almost desert like climate.
    We had hundreds of books of olden times. I read Arabian night in Marathi in my holidays , of all loose pages which were crisp like papad and coloured like coffee stained yellow papers.The book was preserved in white cotton cloth. I am sure all my cousins read this book and I was the last one to be handed over the inheritance. We had many old magzines in the house.
    Now that I walked down the memory lane, I suddenly realized that it was a life full of magic with a dash of royal touch and generous feel of living inside a museum.

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  25. Village

    I was a regular DU student then. And like all regular DU students, I had lost connect with my town roots, growing into a pakka Delhite. Going home was more of a forced-task than self-wish. ‘Old school, narrow minded town people’ was one reason for this attitude and the long 5 hour journey another. A part of this journey was easy though. Continuing on Grand Trunk Road from Delhi to Karnal, one never realized when one city passed and another came. They were all busy towns with multistoried buildings constructed on both sides of wide concrete roads. Only when one took a detour from Karnal towards my home town and left the easy moving, high speed traffic on GT road, the real ordeal began. Wide cement road turned to dusty, narrow, potholed tar road. Trucks, tractors and bullock carts replaced well maintained fancy cars. Huge buildings were now vast fields in which one could hardly see a soul or two. This one and a half hour long part of the journey would never end easily.
    One such time, I and my friend decided to take our car. And lo, the car broke down, yes in the same non-highway part of the trip. We got out of the car and looked around. Nobody was in sight, only cows and a few stray dogs. They looked at us and we looked at them in equal amusement. We had little hope of finding a mechanic. But standing there would not have repaired the car too. My friend said he would go and look out for help and that I should wait here in the car. I obliged but not for long.
    My curiosity won over good sense. I got out of the car and walked towards the nearest field. Fresh air brought the scent of wet earth with it. It was dusty but not polluted. And that was a forgotten thing of the past. Living in an overcrowded city, I had forgotten what being alone was. The feeling overwhelmed me. I reached the freshly irrigated field. I think it was wheat they had planted which would be ready for harvest in another 2-3 weeks. The crop was long and green. I wished to walk in it. It was muddy because of the water. I took off my expensive shoes, kept them on the dry path, folded my jeans up and stepped on the wet earth. Something loosened inside me. I had a rush and I ran. I ran till I started panting. And when I stopped, I felt guilty to have forgotten this nature’s gift, this land, this air and my roots. I started walking and reached a tubewell. The water was clean and cold. I washed my face and sat down on tubewell’s edge, the sound of gushing water soothing me. I was lost in my thoughts when I heard my friend’s voice. I realized he must be worried about me. I rushed back and saw his panicked face. I should not have laughed but I did. He feigned anger on hearing my tale but ultimately smiled. We walked back to the car, I was still barefoot.
    He told me a villager had helped him find the mechanic and that he is on his way. The car was made, we went home but the memory of that day remained. I always roll my windows down while going through that stretch of road. This is an experience only a village can give you.

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  26. Krb saurabh says:

    ongrats! once again. As per promise made, I had shared book launch everywhere along with candid reviews. I’ve even made personal recommendation to close literati friend to grab the copy. Their response after reading first thirty pages was astonishing. No one believed that The Pupettears of palem genre is mystery. Like me, most of them said that this book reminds them of their vacation days that they had spend in villages, doing all sort of funny acts through out the day.
    A super close friend of mine Anurag, said to me that this book will have same impact over its readers like song ” O pardesh ko janne wale” by Pankaj Udas, which had urged several NRI’s to return to India. Every one will visit their village back after reading- to recall their child days. It took several minutes for me to make him sure that: this is a mystery novel- not child stories. He was convinced after I told him that I had read this whole book. He is keen to write you back, as soon as he recieved his copy of the novel.

    Hope and warm wishes to you and TPP to be a national bestseller.

    My Version of my Village “Pinjour”.

    My Village “Pinjour”is much similar to most of the villages across India including Palem. The stuff that discern it from rest is that it is situated in Bihar- where roads have more pits than concrete, which make it unfit for most mode of transportation except TamTam(Horse cart). During childhood it was my fantasy travelling on TamTam. I used to match my sound with taps of horse feet.
    I did all those things that were not asked to do. According to villagers, I was the most notorious child
    I’m going to share an incident that I’ve so far shared with everyone known to me.

    On every Sunday, whole of my village gathered at my place to watch “Sri Krishna” by Ramanand Sagar. Since my house had only color television set in entire village, as well as one of most spacious houses. As per my grand mother Television set came in dowry, along with my mother.

    By 8 o’clock in morning, cult of Shiva started to gather at my place and take their respective position. Their was a sitting arrangement, children sit in front row followed by elders behind them. Women and girls watched from rooms adjacent to verandah- where tv set was usually kept.
    Dadaje(grand father) was only person who sat on a chair. I used to sit in his lap and that feeling of superiority is unmatched. No one came without bathing, or having food because they thought this will make Krishna angry and he will come out of television to punish them.Every one sang title track of Sri Krishna along with tv speakers, and even raised their hands in air chanting “Jai Sri Krishna” in harmony whenever lord Krishna killed a devil. At the end of show, Dada je distributed tulsi water as the token of Krishna’s gift.

    Every Sunday people keep on coming until a mass robbery broke out in more than 5 houses. My Villagers concluded that some thing wrong is done and they are punished by Krishna. Those who were wise stop watching Srti krishna from next sunday while rest keep on visiting, so that They are not saved from any hard punishment further.
    And, then on one sunday theif was caught in middle of sri Krishna. He had also stolen a pair of slippers in robbery, which were identified by Surendra Uncle and on asking whose slippers it is-theif Raghvendra raised his head. My Grand father decided that Gita told than “One Who commits sins must be punished, he was badly beaten in front of the whole village as well as asked to sweep village roads for a whole year..

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  27. Reblogged this on The Wandering Quill.

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  1. […] Book Launch and Giveaway: The Puppeteers of Palem. […]

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