Wednesday 12 July 2017

Short Notes And Study Material Of The Talking Plow

PonkunnamVarkey (1910-2004) was an important figure among the progressive writers of Kerala. His first news collection "Thirumulkazhcha" awarded him a prize from the government of Madras in 1939. 
Summary Of The Talking Plow By Ponkunnam Varkey

He was secretary of Purogamana Sahithya Sangatana. He was one of the founders of Sahithya Pravarthaka Sahakarana Sangham. He was honored by Ezuthachan Puraskaram, the highest literary prize instituted by the Kerala government.
"THE TALKING PLOW" is a translation of "Sabdikkunna Kalappa" by Varkey. He tells the story of Ouseph, a poor farmer and Kannan, his ox. For the poor farmer, Kannan is a member of the family. The attraction of social forces and the new ways of exploitation have not spared Ouseph. He had to mortgage his paddy rice and sell his beef to find the dowry and expenses for his daughter's marriage. The unexpected rendezvous of Ouseph with Kannan among the beasts marked of slaughter, kept outside the municipal building, shocked him. He takes Kannan home to be scolded by his wife and daughter. The poor animal died at the bottom of the night because he could not bear to see the family hurt Ouseph

Ouseph, the poor farmer loved his ox, Kannan so much that he would forget everything else. The other farmers, therefore, called him "angry." Kannan was a real ox. Everyone was amazed at his prowess and his stature. Ouseph and Kannan were able to understand each other's language and thoughts. 

Ouseph would never use the whip or throw his voice on Kannan. He spoke to Kannan as if it were a friend. Kannan did not need any incentive in the field. He knew how and when Should be done. He understood everything that was said to him. Once plowing is complete, he would be allowed to graze freely. But he would never touch bananas or young coconut seedlings. 

As soon as plowing has finished, Kannan's body washed. He did not like to be washed, but he would yield as he loved so much his master. Ouseph would gently feed Kannan with a handful of green grass and some banana skins. He would love Kannan affectionately and the ox would start licking The dry sweat of his master's body.

Kannan has always insisted that Ouseph be at the plow. He would forget the pain and the work by listening to the "alap" (music without words or phrases) sung by Ouseph. One day when Ouseph was in bed due to the fever, Pachan, another farmer accompanied Kannan to the plow and began singing an "alap". But Kannan recorded his protest by giving a severe kick on the man's right leg. Kannan had worked for Ouseph for twelve years without rest. But Ouseph could not get anything out of it. The attraction of social forces and the new ways of exploitation under a decadent feudal system did not spare Ouseph. The unfortunate farmer had to mortgage
His rice field to find the dowry for the marriage of his daughter, katrikutti. He was also forced to sell the oxen, including Kannan for honoring the wedding expenses.

Ouseph was not present at the time of the sale of Kannan. He left the scene with tears. Kannan hated the departure of the premises. He looked around to see if his master was there. Ouseph stood under the flank of the archipelago, who wiped his tears silently. When Ouseph came upon his bad days, the other farmers suggested him to try his fortune in Malabar. But his travels Malabar have been postponed every day. He wanted to sell the small lot that was left at a reasonable price. Moreover, he would like to see the small face of the baby that would be born to his daughter in a short time.
After Ouseph had lost his field, his plow, his cob in the form of a canvas, lay in the stable. Looking at him, he wanted him to be on the plow again. He wanted a pair of oxen like Kannan and some land. Ouseph's wife, Mariya, accused her of failing to fulfill the parental duty of sending her daughter to her husband's house with new clothes. Her mother-in-law and her sister-in-law had begun to tease her. But Ouseph had no money. Luck came in the form of a chitty that his wife Maria had succeeded in
Go in. With the money Maria gave her.

Ouseph went to the city to buy his daughter's new fabrics. The sight he saw outside the municipal building was a big shock to him. He met his Kannan with other oxen that had been tagged for slaughter. The poor beasts have told him of the poverty of man's kindness towards living beings. He bought Kannan with the money intended to buy new clothes for his daughter. He took Kannan home. Maria and Katri who were waiting impatiently for Ouseph's return from the market were grieved to see him come back empty-handed followed by Kannan. Katri accused him of having deceived him. Ouseph tried to console her and told her that for
He, Kannan had been a member of his family. But all his excuses have fallen on the deaf ears of mother and daughter. They started teasing him. Where her own family did not understand it, the poor beast succeeded. He died at the death of the night because he
Could not bear to see the family hurt Ouseph. At the end, we see the plow on top of Kannan's body and above the broken heart of Ouseph.


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