In the current times when pulp fiction is in vogue “The Nomad Learns Morality” comes as a whiff of fresh air - invigorating and relaxing at the same time. The learned author, Mr. Tomichan Matheikal, leaves the readers of his work awed by his absolutely new outlook of the stories we all know since childhood..the anecdotes in Hindu and Christian scriptures and classical legends about great warriors, heroes and Royalty, philosophers, scientists and holy men in about first half of this book.
Mr. Matheikal’s approach to the subject is remarkably rational and unbiased. He reaches in those obscure corners of the psyche of his characters where a conventional reader of scriptures would not dare to tread. In spite of his revolutionary foresight his treatment of the characters and the portrayal of their depth is so vividly wonderful that you would not feel hurt even if you don’t agree with his viewpoint.
In most of the places the final outcome is barely suggestive, in others it has been left to you to decide and in still others you wish you could have more to be able to reach a conclusion. This, I guess, is due to his mellowness of consideration of others’ opinions, for he from his side hasn’t left a loose end which might have confused the reader. When he throws light on an incident or a protagonist with the radicals which all may not find agreeable his manner is mild to the extent of becoming delicate!
These stories in their new avatar will definitely leave you aghast by their ingrained logic and common sense which we have rather been blind to see, leave alone appreciate till now. The twist at the end will stun you in many. The process of understanding will depend on a reader’s individual mental and psychological development..some may agree, some may not, and some might not build an opinion at all. There will also be quite a good number, like me, who will fall head over heels in love with them, mesmerized by the charm of the writer’s approach and his manner. Since most of us have a deep rooted conditioning about matters pertaining to ‘religion’(?) I would suggest that you read the stories as mature adults, objectively, impartially and unbiased. These are best read when we are open to receive. You will deprive yourself of the excitement and delight these stories lead you to, if you try to interpret them with rigid mindsets..so open up and let the elixir of enlightenment
and bliss bathe you!
I’d rather have the conservatives read the book too to broaden up their horizons, and to at least have a different taste of the otherwise dull and routine. Agreement with the author, a sagacious philosopher, is not necessary but enrichment of ideas is. The stories not only provoke you to think afresh but also are a constant supply of fulfilling nourishment.
Although it has not been made into a separate section, but in about second half of the book we meet commonplace people, girls and boys next door. The particular incidents in their lives narrated in the stories will amaze you with their simplicity and profundity of emotions woven together seamlessly. The author mocks, jeers and even ridicules the characters at places but the mellowness of his expression leaves no allowance for any controversies whatsoever. Here again his insight into the depth of their hearts and minds is wonderfully remarkable.
Brevity is the essence of this awesome work. The language is crisp ant curt. The extraneous details have been done away with and the reader cannot find an excuse to take a breath while reading, their deep interest is maintained throughout. I can imagine what a mammoth task the writer must have gone through editing and re-editing his own drafts. I read almost each story three times: the first reading to delight, the second to savour and the third to reach ecstasy.
I have resisted the temptation of quoting from the book and deliberately so, in the interest of the readers..or the real beauty of those words would have been marred without their context perhaps, that is why. Mr. Matheikal’s observations and suggestions are solitaires of wisdom best fitted in their gold encasements.