Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai (1912 to 1999) was a novelist and short story writer of Malayalam language. He is popularly known as Thakazhi, after his place of birth. Born in the village of Thakazhy, in Kuttanad, Alappuzha district of Kerala, he started to write stories when he was a schoolboy. His literary taste was nurtured by his high school headmaster Kainikkara Kumara Pillai who exposed him to Indian literature. He met Kesari A Balakrishna Pillai while pursuing his law studies in Tiruvanantapuram. He introduced Thakazhi to modern European literature and thought He focused on the oppressed classes as the subject of his works, which are known for their attention to historic detail. He has written several novels and over 600 short stories. His most famous works are Kayar (1978) and Chemmeen (1956; film adaptation, 1965). He was awarded India's highest literary award, the Jnanpith in 1984.
This week eighty percent of metro Manila was flooded by the co-arrival of a typhoon and a monsoon. I have experienced hurricanes and the rains of monsoons put them to shame. Any way I was looking over a collection of Indian short stories I have on my IPAD and I saw there was one called "The Flood" by a new to me writer, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, so I decided to read it. After another monsoon flood years ago I read and posted on a story by Emile Zola, also called "The Flood".
The flood in the story has to be partially tidal flooding. As the story opens we are on the third floor of a temple where hundreds of people have taken shelter. Everyone who has a boat has left,lots of people are on the roof of their house hoping to be rescued as the waters continue to rise. The story is focused on a family dog left behind by his family. We feel the bewilderment and terror of the poor dog as the waters rise. It is a very poignant story. Dog lovers will be very moved.
If you have a favorite Subcontinent short story, please tell us about it.