Books by P.Raja

“I think in the language of silence. I am sure you too do. My thoughts find a vehicle to reach you. Whether I think in English or in Tamil depends very much upon the letters of request I receive from editors of newspapers and journals. My books are only those flowers of mine collected for a shapely vase.”

KOZHI GRANDPA’S CHICKENS (1997)

Kozhi Grandpa's Chickens (1997)

(Busy Bee Books. 88, Poincare Street,
Olandai-Keerapalayam, Pondicherry-605 004.
Pages:143,
Price: Rs.75

The thirteen stories included in this volume – some of them were broadcast over the AIR, and the others appeared in well-known magazines and newspapers – are varied in their themes, technique and the effect they produce on the reader. From amidst the variety of themes and their treatment in these stories, one point stands out. That is, Raja has excelled himself in the technique of narration…

Comments

The thirteen stories included in this volume – some of them were broadcast over the AIR, and the others appeared in well-known magazines and newspapers – are varied in their themes, technique and the effect they produce on the reader…

…From amidst the variety of themes and their treatment in these stories, one point stands out. That is, Raja has excelled himself in the technique of narration…

…These stories have sprouted from the same soil – Pondicherry – as we live on. The characters are not vague extra-terrestrials. The situations are not exotic ones; they are all taken from the life that goes on around us. But these ordinary characters and situations become extra-ordinary and exotic in the hands of P. Raja – the Midas’ Touch or Raja’s Touch. For those who love short stories, Kozhi Grandpa’s Chickens is a feast to enjoy.

(Prof. Lalitha Nair in Indian Book chronicle)

In all these stories, P. Raja reveals himself as a good storyteller. No two stories use the same technique and this is something laudable. Though entertainment is his forte, one can always dig for more meaning in his stories, as in his poems. Was it Graham Greene who classified his fiction as entertainers and serious ones? But here is P. Raja who can blend both in his stories. And the result is gripping.

(Dr. K.V.Raghupathi in Sri Aurobindo’s Action)

The breadth and variety of these 13 tales provide an enjoyable reading experience. The author’s achievement here is that there is a plurality of voices in these tales. Nowhere does he take a fixed stance, nowhere does he thrust his world-view on the reader, nowhere is he palpably present. If, while reading a story, you feel convinced that it is the author’s own voice, his personal conviction that is speaking, the author unsettles you without fail by taking a different stance and assuming a new pose in the next one. Kozhi Grandpa’s chickens, a pot-pourri of tales, deserves a place in the bookshelves containing the best short story collections in English. Read it for enjoyment, read it for the author’s technical skill, read it for its smooth flow of dialogue or descriptive narration, or read it for the English language in Indian idiom that has been the forte of writers like R.K.Narayan. Read it any way and you will be delighted.

(Dr. P. Ramaswamy in Mother India)

In Kozhi Grandpa’s Chickens the tile story itself brings a charming whiff of the rustic breeze…Satire and sympathy make Raja’s stories memorable.

(Manoj Das in The Statesman)