Saturday, 16 May 2015

My Thoughts On A Book - 'Thayyal Machine' (Sewing Machine)

There are two books that I read some weeks back and have been wanting to write about. Have only found time now though. There is a regional library at two bus-stops away from the place I board to head home. On days when I stay late enough to complete Maghrib prayers at the office, and AZ also has to work late, I venture into this library.

It has been ages... oh my... even years since I last read a Tamil book. In fact, the last I read were a couple of fiction novels when I was doing Tamil Literature for 'A' Levels.

Not that I avoided reading them. Well, there's really no excuse for only reading English now.

Therefore, picking up the first book - 'Thayyal Machine', translated as 'Sewing Machine' felt somewhat like a good start. The fact that it was written by an Indian Muslim female author made my decision pretty easy. Mrs Noorjahan Sulaiman - the authour - her photo on the back cover quickly resonated with me too. The kind of personality and profile from the community whom my Mother can most probably relate to as a 'friend I know' when she attends a wedding - kinda type.

So, by now, it is obvious was really looking forward to read the compilation of stories. They were bundled to tell the stories of the kampong yesteryears. Pretty much something that my parents always boast about - the struggles, simplicity and friendships they still cherish.

Her stories were of simple people, and their domestic challenges in that time frame. All were of family bonds, and had inter-generational content. She had dedicated these to the people of the 'kampung days'. It wasn't a very thick book, and I completed reading in less than five bus rides back home (I don't usually read on the way to work, cos half of the time, I just gaze at what's going on around me and am already planning which project to tackle first - and oh yes, of course, strategically thinking of how best to stride quickly to office - as I am always not on time.)

I actually expected a little more from the book - about the daily nuances of life of that era, something stronger about the inter-racial bonds then, of community bonding, sharing, caring and things like that. 

But then again, she probably had a different purpose with the book. And by the way, they were all stories of real people that she has met and interacted with.

Apparently, her first published book is of an Islamic poetry genre. Will look that one up the next time, In-Shaa-Allah.

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