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En Iniya Iyanthira by Sujatha Rangarajan
En Iniya Iyanthira was written in 1980 by Sujatha Rangarajan. It is a Tamil novel. While I always found myself reading old novels written in the before century, this book stands out. On a lazy Sunday morning, I happened to clean and re-arrange a small library that my mother set up for me when I was young. As I browsed through the collections, I found a stash of Tamil books my mother had saved. The most fascinating point was that she had collected story pages from fortnightly magazines which published series-wise stories. She bonded those pages into one single book.
The cover was dirty and damaged. However, the half-torn front page and its title intrigued me. Do you know why I said this 1980 novel is very different from all the other old books I have read? This is because it was written in the previous century but the plot is set up in the year 2021.
This makes the book all the more relevant. It stirred the curiosity in me to know what people in the 1980s thought the world in 2021 would look like. The whole story was still a fantasy ride to me, but our technological advancement might actually make the fantasy real.
The plot goes like this. In India, people were ruled by a dictator called Jiva. There was rather a strict policy in terms of population control. The government had the power and killed the elders to control the policy. Additionally, people were to get permission from the government to give birth. Moreover, every person was given a unique name with just two letters and had social security numbers as their identity. They were always tracked and all their details were managed by a Master computer under their social security number.
Doesn’t the plot background sound very interesting?
Nila and Sibi are a couple who just received permission to give birth to a baby boy. When they were enjoying this little moment, Ravi and his robot pet Jeano were allotted a home space at Nila’s residence by the Government. Confused by the contradicting orders, Sibi leaves to verify the allotment.
However, he never returns home. His social security number shows that he never existed. Now, only Nila, Ravi and the pet robot know that a person called Sibi existed. Their search makes them question their belief in Sibi’s existence.
Is Sibi a real person? If so, does Nila find him? Will Ravi and the robot help her? What role does this dictator Jiva have in their life?
The plot unveils the answers to these questions. The twists and turns in the plot line will definitely amaze you. Read and let me know your reading experience in the comments section below!
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