A book that will surely take you back in the deep comforting shades of the mango tree, making you relive the days when kindness was an important way of life living, One Summer in Poleru by Nanda Kishore Rajanala is a literary fiction created with just about the right amount of emotion, old world feeling, as well as culture depicted through it, that will leave you satiated enough and yet yearning for more, thanks to its simplicity and innocence.
सरफरोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है,
देखना है जोर कितना बाजुए कातिल में है ।
Often, in life bravery and sheer courage are what lead us to the right path. It is important to be fearless and go on about your pursuits to achieve what you want to. Once you value the greater good, the rest shall automatically fall in place.
Yes, that is something I have always felt. It is extremely essential to have the right calling in life and more importantly to follow it as well. To stand up for the right and to ensure that it is done is the done thing. Alongwith wisdom, it is also pivotal to have the courage to be able to execute the wisdom.
One Summer in Poleru, by Nanda Kishore Rajanala, is not only fiction but also a revolutionary read. To begin with, I must compliment how this story made me revisit the small lanes and those Indian jujube orchards of my village which I had been kind of missing for so long. There was this rural, old-world feel to the backdrop of the story. I could virtually feel the smell of the jasmine flowers, the ruffle of those rugged winds, the drift of sweet grass and so many other sweet nothings. On a personal note I could actually see my Ma aka my Nani in my mind’s eye, cajoling me with the savouries she used to pamper me with, the umami smells of her pickles as they dried away in the courtyard during summers. Those endless trips to the jujube tree to aim and pluck yet another one and devour its tangerine sweetness. After so long has such a story met me which tends to speak so much even through the most trivial of details which enamour the characters and how. Yes, I could virtually sense the humble village school, since the quagmire Renu and countless others alongside her, felt when this school was destined to be demolished by the authorities. A gurukul in true capacity, it sure as depicted was an icon of the rich history of the villages in the kingdom in the past. Yes, it was relatable -the protests Renu and her friends undertook, the political upheavals and the connections that somehow threaten to thwart the peace and calm of the little village of Poleru.
Renu, the main protagonist, a student of the 7th std, the story being told from her point of view-I must compliment Nanda firstly on how he has managed to capture the undiluted true essence of the village through this one. Renu, who alongwith her friends Shweta, Lakshmi, Mary and more take it upon themselves, to fulfil the task of saving the school from being demolished, the entire aspect of their protest, from it becoming public, to even a part of an illegal land racket, to it dabbling even in political murder, the whole manner in which they manage to save it from being destroyed forms the crux of the plot. Renu, because of her ever-curious nature, manages to get to the bottom of it, creating a revolution along the way to salvage it. Honesty, genuineness, sincerity, grit and many other such fearless emotions lead Renu and her friends on the path to successfully saving Poleru from an evil fate.
All characters, be it Renu’s friends Shweta, Lakshmi and Mary or even Inspector Prasad’s character, each and every one of them was well sketched, sinking into the depth of the plot, immersing the tale of the quaint little village into a different hue altogether. One might say that this is a simple predictable enough story but the intricate detailing of each and every instance was done in a manner so as to take the main plot towards an ideal conclusion.
I also liked how Buffalo Garu whom Renu turns towards in times of confusion gives her the wisdom to gather courage and act in a manner so as to be believing in her own self. You know that is what makes the title, a clear winner for me. The ability when even imaginary characters like the buffalo tend to give so much wisdom of the ages in a manner of a takeaway to its readers. Even on a literary level, this one is an excellent piece, with the kind of references it creates at each and every juncture in the story.
Related: Book Review of Booker Prize Shortlisted Small Things Like These—a Labyrinthine of Emotions and Courage
As far as the writing style is concerned this one is a clear winner as it manages to tick on the right boxes with great grammar, vocab and style. A great read if you want to pick up a piece which also has the flavour of a brilliant piece of literature to it. Not to forget the nostalgia it gives throughout.
One Summer in Poleru
So, hope you guys liked my book review of One Summer in Poleru by Nanda Kishore Rajanala.
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