by Sneha Subramanian Kanta
In ordinary, mundane lives; we all need a sense of connect to keep us sane. Perhaps that was why literature came into creation itself. Books, and their peculiar smell when old and new enchant the soul to carry on life’s activities. These romanticizations hold true especially for books we love to love. Reviewing a book of a close writer associate; is, apart from being a great pleasure, excellent opportunity to learn a thing or two about life. When I think of Vimala Ramu, having known her personally…I instantaneously connect with memories of my visits to Bengaluru; most during my childhood. Her writing concentrates mostly of her experiences in the city, in her house, other places, India and abroad.
“The editor could not comprehend my problem. With no free technical help (read KIDS) at hand, it was totally a trial and error situation for me. I tried and tried again like the legendary King Bruce. Finally I hit upon the solution in…, where else but the bathroom! ‘Eureka’ I said running out, minimally clad, and switched on the computer. I went to the e-mag site; right clicked the ‘link’. Hey, presto!...”
Her previous offerings Dew Drops, Wind Chimes and Rainsong (not necessarily in that order) have been great attempts at enthralling audiences with her grace and wit of charm. With Colors, that tradition is kept intact. Her child like manner and at the end; a sudden reinforcement of her being elder is a delightful pattern that one observes in her writing. Most trivial issues are given an interesting, humorous, unabashed disposition – that is Vimala Ramu for you. Unapologetic at critics, she marches ahead; tongue-in-cheek, laughing silently; knowing well that her faithful audiences await week after week for her articles, which has now been put into a book ‘Colors’.
'Colors' has a tighter editing than her previous three books; and is value for entertainment. Her constant comparisons to characters from epics, giving them larger than life propositions at what may appear the most comic, normal situation is her penchant.
If there isn’t any term ‘intellectual humor’ as yet, one should engrave it for Vimala Ramu. She reminds one of Jayanta Mahapatra’s statements, in which he said he started writing at an age when others would actually dispose away their written matter.
“I could very well imagine what he must have told his wife, the chef – non – pareil. “Do you know what I saw today when I went to deliver breakfast to Ramus? Here I was, struggling to hand over the hot upma a little earlier than usual when I caught the old couple enjoying Poori and Palya!””
Her unabashed use of the terms ‘old’ and thinking from the shoes of another person is an interesting trait, literally. They say that one should read books for the sheer charm that it brings. Great literature need not be tragic always - - there can be respite from the trivialities of life as well. That’s what Vimala Ramu’s writing does to you!
The last anecdote giving a detailed description of her travels around India is a must read. Here is awaiting another book from her…from critics as well as her ardent readers.
Go ahead and drench yourself with the many ‘Colors’ Vimala Ramu has in store for you. It is an exhilarating, engrossing, enriching, efflorescent and entertaining book. Vimala scores again!