Poonachi by Perumal Murugan

Poonachi By Perumal Murugan

Author : Perumal Murugan

Published By : Westland Publishers

Pages: 180

Format: kindle e-book

Kindleandkompass Rating: 5/5

The Plot

“Once, in a village, there was a goat. No one knew where she was born. The birth of an ordinary life never leaves a trace, does it?”

Poonachi , Perumal Murugan

A black doe goat comes miraculously in the lives of an old couple in a village and she is looked after like their own kid. She is called Poonachi because of her appearance that is as tiny as a kitten. The story traces the life of Poonachi, from her baby days to her attaining maturity, love, pregnancy, motherhood and separation from her kids. The cast includes a few more goats, the old couple,a few villagers and the officers of the Regimen and the stranger ‘Bakasuran’ who hands over Poonachi to the old couple. Being a doe, she is saved from the horror of sacrifice , but she undergoes exploitation and becomes a victim to all the inequalities that are a routine for a human.

My take on the book

This book was the much celebrated book of Mr. Perumal Murugan, after his self imposed exile in 2015. In the preface he says he’s made a come back with the story of a goat, because they are the safest, compared to humans, cows or any other animal.

The plot is set in an unnamed village in Tamil Nadu, that is dry and arid and people depend on rain. Known for his rural life,the author brings the life of the miniature village right in front of your eyes. The story happens in a factious land. The socio- political situation is nothing new or different .The author carefully touches on the issues of a corrupt government which is being tough with the villagers ,when their survival becomes tough due to scanty rainfall

Speak softly, sir. The regime has ears on all sides.’
‘There’s an old saying that the regime is deaf.’
‘It’s deaf only when we speak about our problems. When we talk about the regime, its ears are quite sharp.”

At one point, Poonachi who comes as a miracle to the old couple’s live, becomes a curse over the course of time and exploited for human needs.Being a high milk yielding and fertile breed,the old couple force upon her pregnancy ,birthing of 7 kids and the draining experiencing of motherhood. Amidst all the miseries and victimization, Poonachi encounters love with “Poovan” the buck when she goes on a pilgrimage twice in her life. However, the moments of joy are too short and snatched away from her right in front of her eyes.

Can you call it a living without looking at anything, but the ground ?The trees, the moons, the stars , the daylight – Unless we look up, how can we see the sky ?

When every book blogger and instagrammer went raving about this book , I wondered what could there be so interesting about the life of a goat. But the author explores the needs of human survival, inevitable birth, separation and death, enveloping the life of a little goat. With a few goat herds, a handful of human characters and a magical narration, this one is a page turner.

And this happens to be my favorite quote from the book:

No matter how much you give this heart, it will never be enough

Save this book to your pintrest board!

Here are few other book suggestions that maybe interesting to you:

  1. Eating Wasps
  2. The Queen of Jasmine Country
  3. The girl in room number 105

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