There is neither a structure nor a texture to this blog. The subject matter can be anything and everything under the sky that I feel about at any given point that I happen to sit and blog rambling about everything in general. My thoughts and views are basically influenced by what I read, hear, gather, and ponder... if there is any copyright violation which I have not duly acknowledged, kindly let me know.

My world comprises of LO the little one, OA the other adult at home, kiddo the brother :)

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Sep 30, 2011

Amma - Maxim Gorky - Translated by Krovvidi Linga Raju

I bought Mother, English one a long ago but could not read it and then I dont even know where it is currently. I lost some books in the flash floods back in 2000 in Hyderabad, a lot of books were given away when I moved to US after wedding :(((... sob, sob, sob.. and a lot more when the brother was moving from India to Canada and now to Norway for good!!! and now am back to building a library from scratch but now I know when I want to get rid of them for whatever reason, where they are supposed to go, to the local govt. library.

Well, for the little history here, OA (other adult, the abbr. flicked from the famous Madmomma) has started his personal library collection and there are quite a few Telugu books with him, so each time he visits, I get a few of them along with the BL books :), so while he plays with the kid, I make the most of the time reading them out.

I am neither a hardcore communist nor an extremist of any kind though I have many wild and violent ideas myself and usually refrain reading too much of rebel books thanks to my already notorious rebel nature. So this is the first of a kind read for me. I am very much impressed by the way the author narrates the life and times during the revolutionary times in Russia, it is a very good read, gives us an insight of lives of those revolutionaries, how they are born, what they had to face, what happened to them. This book deals with the transition of a mother or one such revolutionary Pavel from a very soft and easily scared mouse of a woman to a fearless revolutionary herself. The most touching narration with attention to details. The book is actually based on real life incidents of May Day march in 1902 at Sarmavo and subsequent trials of the members involved.

I am intrigued as to the reason why the author chose Nilovna, the mother as a protoganist and not Pavel to bring about more fervor but then again this angle of the story from the eyes of a mother or a woman who is illiterate, had lived a meek life with a wife-beating husband husband of whom the entire neighborhood was scared of. The way her life changes, every little subtle and strong emotion is portrayed just left me awe struck.. there is complete justification to the characters and the way they feel. The fight against exploitation, the dream of working class to get their bare minimum rights, not be oppressed, to come out of the clutches of burgeois system, raises their voice against the rich blood-sucking management. This novel not just involves the working class but also the farmers who were not as active but still they were part of the socialist movement.

The story begins after the death of the husband dies, leaving the son and the mother alone. The son first gets into his drunken father footsteps but gradually gets out of it and becomes a part of a socialist group, brings forbidden books to his house and then gradually his like-minded socialist activist friends keep trickling in the house and the discussions, their meetings and everything takes place with the mother in the house which greatly influence the mother. The son keeps the mother abreast of what he is doing. The mother is initially really scared but then gradually listening to the friends and being there at the gatherings musters up courage and the how she becomes a part of it all, becomes a messenger herself distributing the forbidden leaflets to the activists spread across the place in various hidings in various disguises. Various characters you come across in the novel, the friend Androi, or khokhol an Ukranian with whom the mother forms a bond and who eventually comes down to stay with the mother and son, how both of them get arrested in the May Day march, the subtle love angle of Sasha and Pavel which is never really expressed just understood, the way people take the cause to their heart, the way the spies are tackled, everything takes you into another world... The trial that involves them and the ending finally how the mother gets caught when she tries to distribute a suitcase-ful of leaflets of the forbidden trial and the way the ending is left hanging really touched me to the core! Not even an ocean of blood can drown the truth! her words as she chokes on her blood as she is beaten badly at the end shows her undying spirit! Her journey from a timid woman to an admirer of brave people to being admired by many for her heroic deeds is explained in an awesome manner and I feel it all kind of gives credibility to the movement as such in the eyes of the reader without being overtly dramatic.

There are certain points or observations that I liked very much in the book... the fact that the people living in worst of hardships are actually the kindest to the fellow humanbeings.

"Jesus Keerthi kosam praanalarpinche manushule lekapote, prabhuve undevaadu kaademo".. how very true, this one sentence to be brings about what actual communism is.. it is not arguing about being Godless or whatever, it just gives a lot more importance to the man or the people who make the "God" him.

Basically, I loved all the inner feelings of the mother, the thought process that makes her what she becomes eventually.

A book that I really enjoyed reading despite of being a translation! A book worth reading!


Anonymous said...

Ee book nenu 7th lo vundagaa maa ammaki giftgaa icchaanu "Ammaku Prematho Amma" ani raasi (Peddi cheppindile alaa rayamani)...
Appudu chadivithe emee ardham kaaledu, UK vacchaaka chadivaanu mallee...chaalaa nacchesindi naaku..

Srividya said...

Hey this is my favorite book.It was in my grandfathers library.I have read it many times. Love the way mother gets transformed.

Sree said...

@Keerthi, you are really lucky to belong to a family of progressive thinkers..

Yeah, it is a lovely read.

Sree said...

True Vidya, the power of circumstances you are put into, I guess things rub on you automatically and without realizing we unleash our full potential.

Viisshnu said...

Hi Sree, this is a nice blog and I like your Article. Maxim Gorky is my favorite author. I am looking for his books. Naa Baaltaseva and Naa Vishwavidyalu. Cant find them online. I tried calling Visalandhra also but no help. Can you suggest me where I can find these books? please reply me on my email

Thank you very much.

For Evil Eyes on LO