Rendering eighteen stories of Akbar Kakkattil into English is a project that enables a major writer of Malayalam to transcend boundaries and engage with international audience.At the heart of these stories is a faith in the inherent worth and potential of the village folk, school teachers, and children.Their essence made of the realities of rural life seasoned with humour call up our human sympathies.These widely acclaimed stories depict everyday life with a writing flair that grips us. In fact Akbar extols that the quality and meaning of one's life is mainly derived from the day to day activities.
Neither thoughts nor words, neither sympathy nor sharing is love. It is a state of existence where self is not. Love is a divine light, an action all embracing, reaching the farthest end healing ignorance and sufferings.
Many scholars forget ... that our enjoyment of the great works of literature depends more upon the depth of our sympathy than upon our understanding. ... very few of their laborious explanations stick in the memory. The mind drops them as a branch drops its overripe fruit.
(Helen Keller (1880-1968), U.S. author. The Story of My Life, ch. 20 (1905).
Keller was rendered deaf and blind at the age of nineteen months. But in 1904, she had graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College.)
Children learn to care by experiencing good care. They come to know the blessings of gentleness, or sympathy, of patience and kindness, of support and backing first through the way in which they themselves are treated.
(James L. Hymes, Jr. (20th century), U.S. child psychologist and author. Teaching the Child Under Six, ch. 3 (1968).)
Perhaps nothing is so depressing an index of the inhumanity of the male-supremacist mentality as the fact that the more genial human traits are assigned to the underclass: affection, response to sympathy, kindness, cheerfulness.
(Kate Millet (b. 1934), U.S. feminist, author. Sexual Politics, ch. 4 (1970).
Of a table of character traits assignable to male and female roles.)