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Sanchita Karma and Other Tales of Ethics and Choice from India – By K. V. Dominic

Sanchita Karma and Other Tales of Ethics and Choice from India
By K. V. Dominic
Foreword by Dr. Ramesh K. Srivastava
Modern History Press
Ann Arbor, MI
Sanchita Karma and Other Tales of Ethics and Choice from India
Copyright (c) 2018 by K.V. Dominic. All Rights Reserved
Published by
Modern History Press
5145 Pontiac Trail
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
www.ModernHistoryPress.com
info@ModernHistoryPress.com
Tollfree 888-761-6268 (USA/Can)
Fax 734-663-6861
Distributed by Ingram (USA/CAN/AU), Betram’s Books (UK/EU)
Dedicated to
My dear wife Anne, Daughter Rose Ann,
&
Son Joe George

Contents
Foreword ……………………………………………………………….. iii
Preface ……………………………………………………………………. v
Man and Nature …………………………………………………………. 1
1 – The Twins …………………………………………………………. 1
2 – World Environment Day ……………………………………… 7
3 – Is Human Life More Precious than an Animal’s? ……. 11
Government & Corruption …………………………………………. 17
4 – The Best Government Servant ……………………………… 17
5 – Joseph’s Maiden Vote for Parliament …………………… 25
The Educational System ……………………………………………… 31
6 – School Entrance Festival …………………………………….. 31
7 – Mother Tongue Impact ………………………………………. 37
8 – I am Unwanted …………………………………………………. 43
The Fates …………………………………………………………………. 45
9 – Our Dear Bhai ………………………………………………….. 45
10 – Twisted Course of Destiny ………………………………… 51
11 – Puppets in the Hands of God …………………………….. 59
12 – Burn Your Horoscope! …………………………………….. 65
13 – Ammu’s Birthday …………………………………………….. 69
Crime and Karma ……………………………………………………… 73
14 – Sanchita Karma ………………………………………………. 73
15 – Who is Responsible? ………………………………………… 77
16 – Matthews, the Real Christian ……………………………. 83
The Value of Compassion …………………………………………… 90
17 – Multicultural Harmony ……………………………………. 90
18 – A Good Samaritan …………………………………………… 97
19 – An Email from Senthil Kumar …………………………. 101
20 – Selvan’s House ………………………………………………. 105
Commentary and Criticism ……………………………………….. 111
Review by Patricia Prime ……………………………………….. 113
Review by Chandramoni Narayanaswamy ……………….. 116
Review by Radhamani Sarma …………………………………. 125
Review by Sulakshna Sharma …………………………………. 128
About the Author …………………………………………………. 131

Foreword
A creative writer is a sensitive being whose imagination gets stirred even by minor vibrations from within or without, but is jolted into action when the wellbeing of a large section of society is at stake. Prof. K. V. Dominic’s poems and short stories are the concretization of these creative impulses. While his annoyance over minor social problems finds spontaneous articulation in his poems, major universal issues such as corruption and bribery, superstition, political and religious exploitation, unemployment and underemployment, exploitation of nature and animals, among other things, find elaborate expression in his short stories. Kerala has the highest literacy rate in the country and its biggest problem is the unemployment and underemployment of educated youth. The problem has been highlighted in three short stories: “Who is Responsible?” “The Best Government Servant,” and “Twisted Course of Destiny.” Anwar, in the first story, has to work in Oman, leaving behind his ailing parents and newly-married bride at home. As a result of his absence from home, a litany of tragedy ensues. Krishnan, in the second story, though underemployed, refuses to accept the widely-prevalent practice of taking bribes and is transferred to a remote place. He takes the high road and his temerity leads to a surprising solution. In “Twisted Course of Destiny,” Rajiv with M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees gets a peon’s job and has to work under much less qualified senior colleagues.
Religious and political exploitation, along with the evils of superstition, find good representation in some of his stories. “Burn Your Horoscope” is a powerful story highlighting gullible and credulous persons who remain closed-minded against logic. It takes many years to counter such a toxic prophecy. In “Joseph’s Maiden Vote for Parliament,” the protagonist refuses to vote when he finds all the candidates undesirable and corrupt. Matthews, the Real Christian” depicts the tragic death of a person who was Christian in words and deeds. The writer’s concern for nature and animals finds expression in three stories, which are reminiscent of Vishnu Sarma’s Panchatantra and Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. They are really close cousins of fables and tales, in which various animals and objects of nature communicate iv Sanchita Karma and Other Tales with one another as would human beings. In the same tradition, Krishnan and Stephen in “Sanchita Karma” have respectively been painted all white and all black. While the former is a lover of birds, animals and plants, the latter hates them and as such kills seven cats. Due to his past accumulated deeds, he has to be reborn as mouse in the next life. The two kittens in “The Twins” are contrasted with human beings. They remain clean and give pleasure to all the members of the
family. In “World Environment Day,” Katturaja is a modified and transformed version of the notorious gangster Veerappan who roamed all over the forest, killing tuskers and cutting sandalwood trees. Under the influence of nature, Katturaja is so much transformed that he becomes a great preserver of nature. A very thin line divides pure literature and literature-with-a-purpose, and that line has become nearly invisible in these stories. This is due largely to the writer’s intensely-felt anguish over social ills as also due to his overwhelming concern to rectify these social distortions by giving them an overtly-visible representation. K. V. Dominic’s Sanchita Karma and Other Tales of Ethics and Choice from India is undoubtedly a laudable effort in making these stories a powerful instrument for eradication of prevalent evils in the country. Dr. Ramesh K. Srivastava
Novelist & critic, former professor of English, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India Preface With immense happiness I present my esteemed readers this second collection of my short stories. The twenty stories in this book have been written over a period of ten years. My first short story, “The Twins,” was composed in 2008 and the last, “I am Unwanted,” just a week ago. It was much easier for me to find themes for my poems, while an outline for a story came to my mind once in a blue moon. Being a social critic, I can easily vent my anger and emotion over social evils and issues instantly through poetry. Almost all the stories in the collection have been published through my own edited journals, as well as through international journals, both print and online. The story “Who is Responsible?” won great acclaim and appreciation when it was published in the online journal Muse India (issue 30, March-April 2010). It was the leading story of a number called for and selected by the special story editor. In my stories, I have used several themes and focussed on many issues which are universal and at the same time frequently occurring in my own State, Kerala.
The themes include loneliness and the problems of old age, thirst for love, sexual desires, robbery and murder, terrorism, humanism and compassion,
corruption and bribery in government offices, honesty and duty consciousness, fair judgement, cruel destiny, superstitions and exploitations in the name of religion, fight against superstitions, politics and political exploitation, Christian spirit versus Christian practice, miseries of the poor and the marginalised, indifference and cruelty to the poor, cruelty to animals and punishment for it, problems of the educational system, problems of unemployment, beauty of the natural world, love and compassion to animals, exploitation of forests, conversion and conservation, religious fanaticism and multicultural harmony, the impact of the mother tongue in education, sexism and women empowerment etc. I wish all my esteemed readers an interesting and enlightening voyage through my book!
Dr. K. V. Dominic