We request the readers of Global Paravar to revisit our article “N.R Rajaratnam – From Kilakkarai to Edinburgh” April 2012, where in we referred to Joe D’Cruz, Korkai – a voluminous novel.
Joe D’Cruz has now won the much acclaimed “Sahitya Academy Award” and would be honoured in Delhi with a handsome award of one lakh rupees and a copper parchment. The Global Paravar feels extremely happy about the singular achievement of the son of our soil, and feels very proud of him.
In fact, we did feel when we read the novel longtime back that it would merit an award of this kind.
Please note what we wrote then:-
“Korkai is not only a novel but also a chronicle of the times. We must appreciate Joe, for his deep study, extensive research, versatile scholarship and graphic portrayal of the times, he presents in the novel”
We also expressed a desire that one should read this novel to have a glimpse of the trends of the time and rise and fall of the community in the last century.
We expressed further, our desire that the faculties in colleges and universities should strive to include Korkai in the syllabus under Neithal Ilakkiyam. In fact more than once, I expressed to Joe, to present his novel for the scrutiny of universities. Now that, Sahitya Academy has honoured him, it would be easy for faculties in universities and colleges to include the novel in their syllabus. The reason for my advocacy of this novel, into the syllabus in colleges and universities is not to give material benefits for Joe but to imbue, in the minds of innumerable readers and students, the culture of costal people, who alas! languish, under very severe pressure these days. The last few pages of Korkai have good lessons for the community and many a time, I requested Joe, if I could translate those pages and upload them in Global Paravar. He willingly subscribed to it, but reconsidering I demurred, for I felt the book must be read in totality and in original by all and not in translation and in bits and fragments.
Seeing our review in “Global Paravar” Joe, who, then not known to me, wrote “Good Day and thanks for your review about the novel Korkai. This is the first recognition to receive from the community. I read this article with tears. Thanks and Regards . R.N Joe D’Cruz.”
Joe, now says that he has compiled materials for another novel. This time on merchant shipping. We look forward to it.
We are happy – once again we say – that he has enriched the cultural fabric of our community by his novel. Let us praise him from roof tops and conduct “vasagar vattams”, wherever possible and read his novels.