On KUSUMABALE, Helen Dwyer , Chairperson Irish Writers’ Union

[ಹೆಲೆನ್ ಡ್ವೈರ್, ಐರಿಶ್ ಬರಹಗಾರರ ಒಕ್ಕೂಟದ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರು ಮತ್ತು ಕವಿ ಮಹಾದೇವರ ಕುಸುಮಬಾಲೆ ಕುರಿತು ನೀಡಿದ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ]

I very much enjoyed reading this lyrical, poetic work which flows so smoothly one wants to read on and on. I was sorry when I came to the end of the story. I found the prose to be charmingly imaginative in a manner reminiscent of tales from Irish folklore.

The clever use of personification literally brings this tale to life. The bedstead speaks to us of her days of pampering and days of neglect, reminding us of parallels in everyone’s life, the good times and bad times that we all enjoy or endure.

The writer paints pictures for us with phrases rich in evocative imagery: ‘The room became an ear’, ‘His eyes opened as wide as the village’, ‘Eery filled love into her piety’.

There are delightful flashes of humour, ‘… a nose so big it could sniff out scents from the past’.

I will not forget the beauty of passages such as, ‘It being near midnight and water and stone melting away’, as well as, ‘A ring so pretty you could kiss it with your eyes’.

Both in light-hearted and in serious passages I sense an unworldly quality which elevates this work to the mythical, mystical, archetypal genre.

On reading this story I felt I had been given the privilege of an insight into Indian village life, which differs very little from Irish village life. The same characters raise their heads and have their say in India as in Ireland.

It was a pleasure to read this tale and I would love to see it as a play performed on stage. The author’s rich use of language enables me to visualise the setting and the many intriguing characters. Thanks to the author’s skilful exposition I feel I have met each character face to face.