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Between Lives

Between Lives

K S Maniam
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Right in the middle of a buzzing Malaysian city is a magnificent forest, now a piece of prime real estate and the perfect setting for a swanky theme park. The trouble, however, is Sellamma, the old woman who owns the forest land, and refuses to budge. Sumitra, who works for the Social Reconstruction Department, is given the challenging task of convincing the old lady to move into a welfare home. A great believer in her people skills and a focused professional, Sumitra is used to tackling all kind of cases. But, somehow, Sellamma eludes her manoeuvres. Instead, Sumitra finds herself falling under the spell of the lazy afternoons she spends with the old woman and her dog, listening to stories by the gushing river. Bewitched by the hidden sounds of the forest that punctuate the ageless woman’s narrative, she begins to reflect on her life and choices. On her death, Sellamma leaves Sumitra with yet another choice by bequeathing the land to her. Set in a mesmerizing landscape, and illuminating the eternal struggle between the old and the new, Between Lives reveals to us a journey of self-reflection and the hope of recovering what is lost forever to humanity.

Imprint: India Penguin

Published: Jun/2011

ISBN:

Length : Pages

MRP : ₹9.99

Between Lives

K S Maniam

Right in the middle of a buzzing Malaysian city is a magnificent forest, now a piece of prime real estate and the perfect setting for a swanky theme park. The trouble, however, is Sellamma, the old woman who owns the forest land, and refuses to budge. Sumitra, who works for the Social Reconstruction Department, is given the challenging task of convincing the old lady to move into a welfare home. A great believer in her people skills and a focused professional, Sumitra is used to tackling all kind of cases. But, somehow, Sellamma eludes her manoeuvres. Instead, Sumitra finds herself falling under the spell of the lazy afternoons she spends with the old woman and her dog, listening to stories by the gushing river. Bewitched by the hidden sounds of the forest that punctuate the ageless woman’s narrative, she begins to reflect on her life and choices. On her death, Sellamma leaves Sumitra with yet another choice by bequeathing the land to her. Set in a mesmerizing landscape, and illuminating the eternal struggle between the old and the new, Between Lives reveals to us a journey of self-reflection and the hope of recovering what is lost forever to humanity.

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K S Maniam

K.S. Maniam, born 1942, has been writing from his early teens. His stories have appeared in numerous journals around the world. His first novel, The Return, was published in 1981 and the second, In a Far Country, in 1993. He won the first prize for The Loved Flaw: Stories from Malaysia in The New Straits Times-McDonald short-story contest (1987) and for Haunting the Tiger: Contemporary Stories from Malaysia in The New Straits Times-Shell contest (1990). He is the inaugural recipient of the Raja Rao Award (New Delhi, September 2000), for his outstanding contribution to the literature of the South Asian diaspora. He has been lecturer (1980-85) and associate professor (1986-97) in the English Department, University of Malaya, in Kuala Lumpur. He lives with his wife, son and daughter in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, and devotes his time fully to writing.