After reading the award-winning ആടുജീവിതം, I had come to another work by Benyamin with high hopes. I must confess that I was sorely disappointed. These stories are all written in the romantic tradition, which was the norm in Malayalam literature until Modernism took flower through the gifted pens of writers like Vijayan,O.V., Padmarajan and Sethu. Romanticism, which was all very well in its day, suddenly seemed to wilt in the harsh glare of the Modernistic eye. Now, even in this Post-Modern age, a return to the sweet sorrows of that bygone age is impossible (at least for me). Hence the failure of this collection to impress.
Benyamin is not a great wordsmith: the main attraction of ആടുജീവിതം was its simple language without embellishments. However, without a poignant story to tell, such a narrative style falls flat. And in the case of this particular book, the large number of typos and misspellings did not help either.
The positive thing is: these are the writings from the author's formative years. He has come a long way since then. Let's hope for more novels of the calibre of ആടുജീവിതം in future.