• Thursday, February 29, 2024

Tabula Rasa By Jayanthi Sankar: Book Review

Tabula Rasa By Jayanthi Sankar: Book Review
on Oct 29, 2021
Tabula Rasa By Jayanthi Sankar: Book Review
Not only the lives of Kow Kia, George, and Che Sang, the men of yester years but also that of the contemporary men come alive in front of our eyes as we read the lives of Li Wei, Muthu, Adnan, and Suresh. Readers are sure to enjoy Tabula Rasa that attempts to analyse the psychology of men, written by a woman author. As every character, from kings to colonisers, natives to immigrants, men to women, tells their stories through the author, a reader is not just made a part of the entire experience but also transported through different eras, times, and emotions. Some books rejoice the readers, some leave us in tears, there are a few more that give us pangs of nostalgia, but only a very few make us doubt our own conscience. The socio-cultural mixture of the beautiful red dot is just a mere tip of the colossal iceberg of various mental, physical, psychological, and economic changes Singapore as a living entity has gone through over the centuries. The strength of the author in bringing that out is impressively commendable. The fiction is the right representation of Tabula Rasa, as every reader becomes the man sitting ashore, looking at the amazing land of Singapore, its ways, its means, its people, and most of all, its heart as it reflects all its glories on us. The backdrop of Singapore’s growth makes any reader rethink his or her ideas about rulers, the ruled, and the visionary. The fiction doesn’t offer any direct reply, subtly or overtly, about how far the price paid for development has been fair. Same with another question, whether the lasting impact for generations on the roles thrust on the downtrodden was man made or naturally inevitable? The narrative is postmodern, and with limited usage of words, the author has meticulously brought out developments in decades and even centuries in some chapters. Jayanthi Sankar has yet again experimented with newer ways of story-telling with this historical novel, bringing us a delightful reading of the history and origin of the fine island of Singapore from ancient to modern times. A must read to know what this little island has been and is about. The novel shatters some misconceptions around the world and prejudices that abound knowingly and unknowingly of its inhabitants, their origins and histories. It is a very intense and interesting account of various aspects of the fabric of its life, from its dockyards, the shipbuilding industries, the life of contractors, immigrant labourers, their psychological and practical life challenges, the attitudes, aspirations, dreams, successes and failures of the characters all interwoven in a colourful tapestry of visuals and sounds of past and present Singapore. To buy this book, click here

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