`Odipponavan’ means (male) who ran away! It is a novel written for children, by my late father K.Navasothy, published back in 1968 in Sri Lanka. It has been used as part of reading lists in Tamil Schools a long time ago, in a land far far away. The story is the sad and troubled life of a boy, and the end is tearful.
I remember reading it when I was a small boy. I don’t remember what I said to my father afterwards. I wonder what he expected? Writers have a funny habit- they like to know what someone thought of their writing. And for a man who wrote a novel about a boy (long before he had a son), and for that to be read by his son a decade later- the comments I could have given must have been the most important one ever! And I have yet to give mine! And I will, when I have read the novel again.
But life has already mirrored fiction, and I am aware – that I have been the boy who has been running away.. from so many things – family, friends, culture, native land, and even religion! As I now live through (astrology says so) my mid-life years (crisis of all sorts), and burn my self out with my own creative fires- night after night, trying to finish so much of my own writing (fiction & non-fiction), I look back at my father’s children’s novel `Odipponavan’ and am startled. Startled by the agonies of friendships & loyalties of the boy in the book that at times reflect in my own life. I have no doubt reflected my father’s own inner turmoils are in there somewhere too, for no Writers write without putting their own heart in their works!
Perhaps now, I do begin to understand my late father Navasothy..and his life as an Author, Artist, Public Speaker, Radio Personality and all around Cultural Servant to Tamil. Like him, I seem to be living that kind of life..
I shall write more about his other works, in due course..
——————A word on my 100th blog—————–
For almost a week or so, I waited and wondered…about the 100th post. What type of blog entry can take such a special mile stone? And then it struck me – it will be about my father, the late K.Navasothy. More specifically it is about his works.. the books he had written and magazines he had published.
Well, it is easier to make a decision, but harder to follow it through – (as you can see from my 99th post `Broken Vows to my father’). In this case, the difficulty was in tracking own the actual books – as we have a rare copy or so, and even then some are just photocopies.. originals are somewhere in Sri Lanka, or lost for ever! Then came the difficulty of working out publication details and translating the Tamil into English – a task I could have without thought 20 years ago, but now requires remembering and even checking Tamil-English Dictionary (for exact grammatical meaning etc). Now that I have begun, I hope the path will aid me, as I walk upon it.
other related posts (on my father, my arty & writing)