READING AND LEADING
By Sarah Bhagat(01/09/2020 00:30IST)
Reading is for the soul, for the soul to discover the undiscovered.
As I write this, I don’t mean to erase the difference between any genre of literature. The sole objective is to learn how revolutionizing every genre of literature can be. We live in a world surrounded by literary marvels, ranging right from the archaic words of Austen and Shakespeare to the spell-bounding magic of J.K Rowling and the master himself, Tolstoy. Indian authors including Arundhati Roy, AmitavGhosh, Ruskin Bond and Vikram Seth have always intrigued us by their writings. But what about those unheard voices of Indian literature?
The mainstream Indian literature has received the deserved appreciation but there remains the tribal literature that is not-so-mainstream yet deserves respect. In the North-eastern state of Mizoram, rises the art of songs and folklore and an interesting feature of Mizo literature is the exquisite source of the songs, plays and folklore. The oldest composer of these songs is Hmuaki who was also a significant figure who lived in ancient times. This makes ‘MIZO SONGS AND FOLKTALES’, edited by - LaltluanglianaKhiangte a must-read. Then comes oral histories and tribal versions of The Mahabharata as covered in the book- ‘Painted Words: An Anthology of Tribal Literature’, edited by G. N. Devy. This book not only covers tribal life but also is a ride that triggers every emotion inside of the reader.
Indian literature is an art in its purest form and having read a few tribal histories, I believe every genre should be a part of the spotlight and must be recognized. I was once reading a tribal story of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a part of the academic curriculum and it struck me why nonmainstream Indian literature is a treat for the readers not just because of the cultural diversity we get to read about but also, because their determination to keep the spirit high is perfectly described in what they write.