Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, popularly known as "Rajaji" or "C.R." was a great patriot, astute politician, incisive thinker, great visionary and one of the greatest statesmen of all time. He was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, hailed as conscious-keeper of the Mahatma. As an ardent freedom-fighter, as Chief Minister of Madras, as Governor of West Bengal, as Home Minister of India and as the first Indian Governor-General of India, he rendered yeoman service to the nation and left an indelible impress on our contemporary life.
Rajaji was closely associated with Kulapati Munshiji and he was among the distinguished founder-members of the Bhavan. The Bhavan had the privilege of publishing 18 books (see page ii) by him so far, the copyright of which he gifted to the Bhavan.
All of Rajaji's works, especially on Marcus Aurelius, the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads are popular. In Ramayana and Mahabharata, he has displayed his inimitable flair for story-telling and applying the moral of stories to the needs of modern times.
Rajaji wrote not only in English but also in chaste Tamil, his mother-tongue. He was at his best as a short-story writer. The present book is a translation of some of his stories which open the window into the unsophisticated South Indian homes and ways of life. The reader will be fascinated by their gentle humour and unobtrusive didactic motif.
Rajaji passed away in 1972 at the age of 94.
Most of these stories were written by Rajaji in Tamil at various times between 1925 and now and appeared in leading Tamil Journals. Some of these were translated and published in 1945 by the Hindustan Time under the title 'The Fatal Cart and Other Stories.'
The first sixteen stories published in this volume were translated into English by Rajaji son, C.R. Ramaswami who died eighteen years ago, and the rest by Prof. P. Sankaranarayanan, excepting Nos. 29, 35, 36 and 37. Which were written in English by the distinguished author himself. To them all I tender my thanks.
Translation is a difficult and delicate task and generally the transmutation is form gold into lead. However, I believe, there is enough gold left in this volume because of the innate excellence of the original. Rajaji is indeed a born and inimitable story-teller.
These pieces, most of them, were written long ago in Tamil for Tamil readers, not for sophisticated critics who have learnt to admire English fiction. When I read them in English, I do not feel sorry I wrote them (the originals). Most of these stories were written not by an author aspiring to be an author but for furthering the public causes in which he was involved. Some highbrows maintain that stories should be stories and not propaganda. These pieces, most of them, had a purpose but I claim that purpose is inevitable and good. I wrote them for the causes I held dear but I held fast to the skirts of Mother Truth even when writing stories. I have heard it said that one can't write good fiction unless one sticks to said to truth. On the whole I believe these stories will do no harm and may do some good.
Readers going through the many pieces in this collection relating to "untouchables" should remember that these were written at the commencement of the movement for removal of untouchability and uplift of Harijans vigorously started thirty years ago. The position is greatly altered now; only older people may understand what is told in this book about untouchability in those days. Others may take it all as exaggeration for making up a story.
|Foreword by Dr. K.M. Munshi||viii|
|Preface to the New Edition||ix|
|3.||The Fatal Cart||22|
|4.||The Jasmine Flowers||47|
|6.||A Story around Astrology||75|
|11.||An Election Story||115|
|12.||The Gods Arrive||124|
|13.||The Innocent Child||128|
|16.||Jagadisa Sastri's Dream||143|
|18.||The Awakening of Rajulu Chettiar||160|
|19.||The Wish of the Cocoanut Tree||163|
|20.||Inter-Marriage - Old Style||166|
|21.||Natesa Aiyar's Folly||170|
|22.||I want Cash||174|
|23.||Research in Advaita||179|
|24.||Judge Jayarama Aiyar's Penance||185|
|26.||The Devotee with the Spade||196|
|27.||The Conversion of Minister Sitaramaiyar||201|
|29.||Uttara Kanda - Revised||209|
|30.||A Drop of Poison||214|
|31.||The Killing of Vali||219|
|32.||Guilt Wiped Off||227|
|33.||The "Milk Ocean"||230|
|34.||The Picture in the Puja Room||233|
|35.||The Tree Speaks||239|
|36.||Hats and Sarees||243|
|37.||A Pair of Sandals||248|
Item Code: IDE135 Author: Chakravarti Rajagopalachari Cover: Paperback Edition: 2009 Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan ISBN: 9788172764302 Language: English Size: 7.2"X 4.7" Pages: 263 Other Details: Weight of Book 207 gms