Roots is a narrative of roots of our culture and ethos. The memory of our roots is “like a shrine to us, where we find solace when we are in pain”. The stories included in this collection, use a first person narrative to explore the events “with the vitality of a confession”. These are marked by a love for nature and all living beings, empathy with weak and suffering, respect for traditions, pain of separation from or even destruction of, one’s roots, calm and dignified acceptance of one’s fate and continued struggle for survival. For some the suffering is so severe that death brings “a smile of relief from excruciating pain”. Rural India comes alive in the details of everyday life, cattle, birds, river, forest, wolves and jackals, spirits, snakes, songs, traditions, tales and beliefs. Though mostly rooted in ethos of India, the stories are universal in nature and portray characters from across the world. The tenacity of migrant workers across the world and their struggle against every possible adversity is yet another theme, which finds an expression in this collection. Most aptly, the collection ends in a story where the narrator comes to a realization that “a prose of a quiet determination is far more lyrical than the poetry of pity, which he had always penned”.
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