The women of the Alappat gram panchayat published a compilation of 23 poems, that speak of death, dreams and hopes.

Tsunami may have washed away their homes but these Kerala women still have great poetic spirit
news #WomenPower Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 15:57

Twenty-three-year-old Bindu Hari remembers the December of 2004 for two reasons. It was the Christmas season and she didn’t have to attend school. But it was also the time when the waves took away her home.

Bindu, a resident of Alappat panchayat in Kerala’s Kollam district, is among the many people who lost their homes when tsunami struck on December 26, 2004. She was 12-years-old then.

The whole of Bindu’s neighbourhood was rehabilitated at 4km away from where their homes once stood. 

More than a decade later, Bindu penned down her longing to be back home, the one that was washed away by the waves. “Madakkayathra”, which roughly translates to the “Return Journey” was Bindu’s contribution to the Malayalam anthology “Pakalilekku Thurakkunna Jaalakam” (The Window that Opens to Daylight). 

The first literary attempt by women of the Alappat gram panchayat, the volume contains 23 poems, that speak of death, dreams and hopes.

Speaking to The News Minute, 35-year-old Cibi Boni says that a couple of months ago, writer Arun Kallissery, a native of Alappat, who spoke about the lack of women writers from the village. 

"Alappat is a small place, hardly 17 kilometers in length. There are quite a number of famous male authors from our place, but no one has heard about a woman writer. When Arun proposed the idea, we were eager to take it up," Cibi, who is also the panchayat member, explains. 

In a matter of a month's time, 23 women writers – as young as 15 and as old as 65 – contributed to the anthology. The book, that was edited by Arun, was released on Saturday. 

As for Arun, he wants no credit. "This is their story. This is about them, the women writers of Alappat," Arun says. 

The group is enthusiastic about the prospects of writing more. "In closed circles, we knew about each other's talents, but it was largely hidden from the public. Now that we have come forward to achieve this, there is no looking back," says Cibi. 


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