The Punjab Governor and Administrator UT Chandigarh V.P. Singh Badnore today unveiled the book titled "Tamarind Ache" authored by Srushti Dhoke published by the Rupa Publications at Punjab Raj Bhawan.
Complementing the young author, an 18 year old Srushti, coming up with her first published book, the Governor said that Tamarind Tree would make an interesting reading as it has very clearly depicted the contrast of the village and urban life. The proximity and emotional ties amongst people are more in villages than in Cities, observed Sh. Badnore.
According to the Author, Tamarind Ache is a story that has been fictionalized out of several real life events that she came across. Her grandparents lived in a village in Maharashtra, and she visited them with her family every year. They used to tell her stories about the village, stories out of their own lives, and stories about other people around them. Her parents, too, narrated her several stories about their childhood and the circumstances that they had to face to get to where they are now.
Before penning down her memoirs, the writer also conducted a survey of three villages, where she personally interacted with 60 farmers and their families and talked about their lives and livelihoods. All of these stories combined, along with her research, made her feel that rural life in Maharashtra needed to be documented in the way that the people actually live there.
In the book, Srushti also talked about the issues such as blue bulls ruining farmers’ crops, the high rates of interest that farmers have to face, the poor conditions many schools are in, teachers in schools being more interested in politics, girls being taken out of school and married early, the lack of money people face to treat medical conditions, children going to school not for studying but more for the midday meal, etc. These issues are glued together by the story of a family of four—Shiva, Yashoda, Kavita and Raghu—that spans across generations, and rather than just reducing people living in villages to the issues that they face, it gives them a face, names, emotions, values, struggles.
Tamarind Ache is a story that is not real, but it very well could be. “Tamarind Ache brings alive the charm of old-fashioned love and longing,” in the words of Mr. Ruskin Bond, along with childish fun, emotional loss, and the harsh ground realities.
Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included, Mr. J.M.Balamurugan, Principal Secretary to Governor, Mr. Hardeep Singh Dhillon, Law & Order Punjab, Mr. D.K. Tiwari, Mr. Rakesh Verma, Mr. RN. Dhoke ADGP Security and Mr. Khushwant Singh Information Commissioner, Punjab besides other senior officers from Punjab Government.