Kochi Books
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Title The Story That Must Not Be Told(HB)
Author Kavery Nambisan
Cover Price Rs.499.00
Our Price Rs.499.00
ISBN 9780670084531
  
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Description A poignant, unsettling and incisively thought-provoking new novel by critically acclaimed author Kavery Nambisan

'The poor will not go away. There are too many of them. Looking for work, for food, for a place to live, a place to shit. And what do people like you, the Vaibhav people, say? "Stop dirtying our neighbourhood." You will soon be asking the government to throw us out of here. Why? A Right to Shit card. That's what we need. The Right to Live You want the people here to accept kindness on your terms. You do it as a favour, an apology for being rich. Is it any wonder that the beggar who accepts your coin and touches it to his forehead has nothing but hatred for you?'

Simon Jesukumar, an ageing widower, aspires to do something worthwhile with what remains of his circumscribed, frustratingly blameless, cocooned middle-class life. His aspirations are stirred by his nagging guilt about the slum next door incongruously and deludedly named 'Sitara'. The welloff residents of his colony use the inhabitants of Sitara for menial jobs but ignore their real needs.

Simon's friendship with his errand boy Velu, and the strangely gifted Thatkan, propels him towards others from the slum Swamy, the schoolteacher who is also the butcher; 'Doctor' Prince who has no medical degree; the belt-buckle factory owner who employs children to melt brass for buckles; Tailorboy, who has thirteen fingertips to please women; the bizarre and inscrutable Baqua; and Nayagan the Leader, optimistically called 'Merciful Diamond', whose party bosses consider Sitara to be nothing more than a captive vote bank.

As the story plunges into the heart of the slum bringing the most unlikely individuals to the brink of collision Simon begins to understand that good intentions and small acts of kindness achieve little when faced with the problems of a stratum of humanity he knows next to nothing about.
Simon's dilemma is ours: how can, and how should, the rich (and the not-so-rich) help the poor?