T=Tamil Nadu of Poonachi

For T, I want to talk about Tamil Nadu from a book called Poonachi. This is state which I have seen quite closely because of various visits in different parts of the state. Most of these visits were official. Only a few personal visits have been to Tamil Nadu. Poonachi is a book which I read very recently. I got this book as a part of the Prime program and wanted to see what is so special about the book. The book did not disappoint me as it explained the life of female goat from its birth to its death.

The setting in this book is not very strong, but it is inherent in the story itself with some fantastical elements weaved in. The story starts with a pondering of rain, wherein the narrator observes that people crib when it rains too much, and they complain when it doesn’t rain as well. This is a true enough sentence, but with my travels and my friends, I have learned this is quite commonly spoken dialogue in Tamil. The story moves further and explains a sunset that the narrator sees while the goats are moving around and frolicking nearby. Then he is given the gift of a very feeble goat called Poonachi, whose story this is.

The description of setting is mostly limited to parts and pieces afterwards, but still, the story carries in it the aroma of the south India in it. The words like dhooyi, ayah etc. roots the story in southern part of India, while the people’s taunts about dark colour and puny shape are like social commentary.

As I said, the story veers in a bit of political foreplay by showing a regime which likes to number the goats and is made out to be quite oppressive. But despite the non-matching of these political situations, the story does transport you in Tamil Nadu. And for a moment, you wonder whether you want to live as a woman in one of the interior villages of Tamil Nadu or not.