B Sandhya, Additional Director General of Police, known for her literary works, is the editor of the story collection.

A Malayalam book cover in which four shadows walk hand in hand on the front cover and a womans face appears in the back
Features Books Saturday, September 19, 2020 - 17:14

Khaki kupayathinullil oru kavi hridyamundu, oru kalakaranundu, oru gayakanundu. Inside the khaki uniform, is a poet, an artist, a singer. Sub Inspector K Rajendran, a character played by Sreenivasan, says these words before breaking into the famous ‘Pavizhamalli’ song in the 1986 movie Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam. Now, in real life, 20 police personnel, much like Rajendran, have poured out their ‘kavi hridyam’ into stories, which have been packed into a book aptly titled Salute.

B Sandhya, Additional Director General of Police, known for her literary works, is the editor of the story collection, having also added one of her own — Vembanadinte Vilapam —  to it.

The idea for the book came from GV Rakesh of GV Books, the publisher of Salute. “It is always the famous writers that publishers call when they think of story collections. I know there are many in the police force who are also excellent writers. So I spoke to Sandhya madam about this idea, to get policemen and women to write stories. She was very pleased with it and asked me to go ahead. So, we invited stories from police personnel and got 58 entries,” Rakesh says.

The editorial board of GV Books chose 28 of the entries which were sent to Sandhya for a final selection. She chose 20 of the best.

“Police personnel have good observation skills. They need it in their daily lives. So when they do creative work, you can see how their observation skills come to play. George Orwell, the great novelist, was also a noted police official. Worldover, many police officials have become renowned writers. In Kerala too, we have good writers in the police force. Some of them have now written stories for this collection that GV Books has brought out. Such a collection must be a first of its kind from Kerala,” Sandhya says.

Rakesh says that some of the stories in the book are investigative ones, the kind you might expect a police official to write. There are other stories too, of different genres, he adds. Among the 20 people who wrote, there are two policewomen including Sandhya. The other is KK Premalatha who wrote a story called Ashanthiparvam.

“There are stories from the newest recruit in the police force to the ADGP,” says Rakesh.

The book is expected to be released in October.

Also read: The 'painkili' genre in Malayalam literature and how it captured the hearts of lakhs

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