About the Book
M. A. Chacko, the author of the book Two Leaves and a Bud shares his rich insights into the lives of the Syrian Christian community of India. Three distinct stories weave their magic in this novel: The first, The Faithful Husband, stars Seby, a true Sunday Christian, who has acquired land from the Malabar Namboodiris and retain the land for his family, using any means.
The protagonist of the second book is a young Catholic boy from Kerala, who sets off for greener pastures to earn a living as a construction worker. Chacko fluently discusses the interplay of family, values, society, marriage, dowry, and property on the day-to-day life of the community.
The Holiday, the final book in this trilogy, is a day in the life of Raymond, who wanders through old haunts in Goa on his day off. With its leisurely pace and graceful style, The Holiday gently touches ethics, culture, politics, and religion in this multi-cultural tourist hotspots.
My Take on the Book
Don't get confused with the title of the book, this is not Mulk Raj Anand’s book with the similar title.
The book which I am going to review today is, Two Leaves and a Bud written by author M.A Chacko. This book shares the insights into the lives of the Syrian Christian community of India. The book is segregated into 3 different chapters and each gives you a different tale to read. First, it is ‘The Faithful Husband,' in this chapter, we are introduced to Seby who is an ambitious man, and a true Christian, he has an acquired land from the Malabar Namboodiris and contrives to retain the land for his family, by using any means. The faithful husband is a story of Seby and is based on the Syrian Catholic community, which remind a separate entity for centuries together. It dives into the story of large families needing more lands for livelihood, their love for hard work and the soil. Seby who is an ambitious man use his smartness and tries to expand the family tradition and keep his ideology of self above everything.
The second story of the book is titled, Two Leaves and a Bud: In this chapter, the author narrates the story of an artist and his hunt for art, for the sake of art itself. He is a mature artist who is charmed by the beauty of a rustic girl and choose her as his model. She encourages him by obeying his prerequisite. Later, the girl is engulfed by her picture on the canvas and goes into an imaginary work. In this chapter, the author put down thoughts on families, values, marriage, dowry, and society on the day to day life of the community.
The third story is called, ‘The Holiday’ which recounts the tale of a man named Raymond, it is a mundane affair mildly touching Goa. Raymond wanders through the haunts of Goa on his day off, it gives us a kaleidoscopic view of the tourist in the multi-cultured tourist spot of Goa.
As I have mentioned, this book is a mix of three different stories, although there is no connection with one another. I found the book a lil monotonous, and one might fail to understand where this story is leading to. However, you may want to continue reading it, since it talks about culture, value, and lives of the Syrian Christian community in India which is interesting to learn. By the way of the author's writing, I could tell that he is a serious writer, and is rich with his vocabulary skills. What I liked about the book is the unique way of narration by the author in three different ways. The first is all about relating to the past, the title of the second story is chosen as the title of the book which is much to do with love for art, a universal theme per se, and the third is all about an everyday affair which mildly touches the scenic location of Goa.
Of all the three stories, I loved the 2nd story, named after the title of the book, the story was elaborated precisely and had more of my attention as compared to the first and the last chapters. You may want to pick a copy of 'Two Leaves and a Bud' if you are curious to know the culture and system of the Syrian Christian community of India, or if you wish to explore Goa through the eye of Raymond. Or you may as well skip it if you don’t prefer a monotonous read or if you are more of a light reader, for that matter. Overall, this was my first read of 2019 and also my first book from the author, so I would say, I wasn’t that disappointed to finish it. It was a goodread for me!
Title: Two Leaves and a Bud
Author: M A Chacko
Pages: 320 pages
Publisher: The Write Place (2018)
My Ratings: 3.5/5