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The Toss of a Lemon

Writer: Padma Vishwanathan
Publisher: Tranquebar Press

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rsiwebadmin Sep 27, 2009
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You would be forgiven for saying to yourself, “Not another big fat saga of food and religion and tradition and caste out of South India.” You would be forgiven for saying, “Any more about the monkey gods and the god men who walk through the village disturbing the peace and I’m going to scream.” Even if you have had enough of big, fat Indian sagas, give Padma Vishwanathan a chance. The Toss of a Lemon begins back in the day, with a young Brahmin who has a problem in his astrological chart. He has a weak section which indicates he might die young but the parents of Sivakami decide that he’s a risk worth taking because he is also a village healer. And so Sivakami marries him and gives birth to a daughter and a son. The son’s horoscope however is Oedipal; he has come into the world at the precise moment at which he will cause that weak section to get stronger. In other words, he will kill his father. The son and daughter grow up and of course, they break their poor mother’s heart. But it’s all in a good cause and the easy writing that never calls attention to itself, takes you with it, forces you to turn pages, makes you want to find out what will happen next. Maybe there’s room for another big, fat Indian novel.

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