Book Review: 'Kaalam' by M.T. Vasudevan Nair

As I had said here... Am a  proud matrilineal nair woman !!! While this did set me apart from many of my peers, I really never appreciated the dynamics of it... All I knew was tht a few generations back in a typical Nair family the father never played active role in upbringing his children instead it was the maama(moms bros!)! While I hv heard a few snide comments on this abt 'Crafty Nair Women'(N I take a bow for it :-P)~~ I never knew enuf to what this setup translated to for this is never a topic thats come up for a discussion in my family circle (Well guess they had graver topics to worry abt!)

Haaa now b4 u ask me if this post wasnt supposed to be an book review ~~ Lemme dig in n introduce you to the book 'Kaalam' by M.T. Vasudevan Nair ~~ Haa but ofcourse the fraud mallu I am, I read an English translation of it by Gita KrishnanKutty ~~ A gr8 shes done with the book!
So as you must hv guessed the book revolves around the 'matrilineal Sambandham' system ~~ N heres a brief decko of the system  ~~ The lady continues to stay at her home(her mothers place if u prefer) post marriage while husband keeps paying her on-n-off visit(While this aint written anywhere how many of you would waana guess the 'Days-of-the-month' the husband will come visiting :-P) So but obviously the men-in-House would be the girls brothers and so their significance n so the matrineal system too!

Now while this is jus a decko am sure theres more to it... From the hear-say what I know is this is followed to avoid the wealth n property from being partioned ~~ While I am still to understand the chemistry of how matrilineal system prevents partition n such I can vouch with some level of accuracy that while today matrilineal system ot not the wealth does gets partioned but the rate may still be a degree lessser ~ Possibly to do with the closer bonds that a sister - sister as compared to a sister - SIL (N who are you kidding if u say tht the shots at a home is not called by the women!) or possibly cause this prevents a man from floundering all his wealth on his family(read wife n children) at cost of others  as well the key stakeholders here are the women( C'mon the chances of women floundering off wealth is much lesser!)

Ok now the above para was a digression from the book!  The story in 'Kaalam' revolves around the the family dynamics of a not-so-well-to-do Nair Families n the downfall of Namboodiris......   A book tht gives u a insight into the fibre of kerala society..... A nice good read!

This BTW is the 2nd book I finished  in keeping with the south asian book challenge ~~ A review of the first one coming up soon!

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