Santosh Avvannavar is one of those few authors who write with a mission, a focus, to make people aware of different social issues. Not only that, he tries to find out simple solutions to those issues. Mostly, such writings carrying social messages are prone to be a tedious and repetitive recital, but Santosh successfully makes it an enjoyable read every time. I’ve reviewed his previous publications and have been surprised to see his artistry in this. His readers never feel like being preached.
This time, Santosh Avvannavar has joined hands with Meena R Chandawarkar, the Vice-Chancellor of Karnataka State Women’s University, to come up with his latest book Umbilical Cord: A cord that remains, always, in many ways…
The umbilical cord is a cord-like structure containing blood vessels that connect the foetus with the placenta, the connection between the mother and the unborn child. It is the supportive supply link necessary for the existence of the foetus. Soon after the baby sees the light of the world, the cord is cut. But there remain numerous invisible, intangible, cords with which we are tied throughout our life knowingly or unknowingly. Thus, the phrase umbilical cord has been used in the book as a metaphor to all those instincts of human nature which come naturally. The emotions and feelings which are inseparable parts of human life and society as a whole. The book is a compilation of 40 short stories or ‘cords’ each having a particular message instilled in it. In author’s own words, “the endeavour of this book is to help bring in discipline and humility in order to live in harmony.”
A Few Words About The Stories
The stories are short and precise. There is no place for character building as it is not possible in such a short span. But the characters are quite common to us and one can easily relate to them. There are parents who can not think beyond engineering as a suitable profession for their only child and eventually ruin his future, we find such characters in one of the stories. The partition of India broke many a relation and made an eternal distance between hearts which were once close to each other. We find such a story in “cord #2”.
‘Sometimes even the most neglected things can impact decisions’– Santosh says at the beginning of ”cord #4″ and indeed he has woven the story in line with this statement. Sometimes, a so-called commercial film like Shahrukh Khan’s Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna can have a deep and positive influence on a person’s mind, surprising but true.
“Cord #10” titled In Between Us is a perfect short story with a wonderful ending. I especially loved this one for the ending. When a penitent person is relieved from the punishment he deserves, the repentance and contrition become the ultimate punishment for the lifetime.
The author has shown an impeccable sense of humour in the story “Short Cut Methods To Success”. Truly, in our country, presently these are the easiest and most authentic way to success. The most efficient example could be the new hoax of Radhe Maa!
This book has something for everyone. This is a wonderful attempt to bring social awareness to issues like female foeticide, child marriage, AIDS, and even the concepts of live-in relationship and house husbands in India.
Finally, I would like to share a few lines from the book regarding social activism. The opinion might sound of some old school and banal, but I find it quite contemporary and true to the core.
“I do not have any qualms about the young generation, but I do feel a gap between social activism then and now – and that gap is the essence of touch. In our times, we enjoyed ‘being there done that’ attitude, whereas, today, social media does half of the work.”
I recommend it for all and I hope it will make the readers pause and ponder.
From my side, It’s 4.5/5
The book is set to release on tomorrow, 15th August 2015