In the middle of creativity
Shiela Gujral

Thatís OK, Tammanna & Other Reveries
by Dr J. Bhagyalakshmi.
Alok Parva Prakashan. Page 176.

It is amazing how J. Bhagyalakshmi, a highly competent professional, could cover a huge field of creative literature with perfect ease and captivate the minds of the readers. So far, I was only aware of the moral and humanitarian aspects of her writings. I had read a very few of her books and seldom any Ďmiddlesí.

Thatís OK, Tammanna and Other Reveries, a collection of middles earlier published in various newspapers, is a new revelation to me. "It is a marvel of brevity, admirable for its elegant style and composition." The humour and wit distilled through dialogue has a long lasting fragrance, which lingers around you. Her brief narrations convey a warm relationship between story and the day-to-day reality of our lives.

Inducting Seetu as the central figure depicting life-long observations of Bhagyalakshmi adds special charm to the narration. Environment, traffic woes of Delhi, power cut, water shortage and satire on politicians and administrators are all interlinked with her middles written during the long span of more than a decade. The dates are not mentioned. It is difficult to guess if the description in each middle is the forecast of a social scientist or the observation of day-to-day happenings. Both ways, it is equally interesting.

While the writer has done a good job, the publisher has disappointed the readers. Unnecessarily, some blank pages are left in between where as the start and the fag end both clamour for one blank page each. The choice of the title of this book is equally disappointing. One could select half a dozen better titles from this collection.

In spite of such handicaps, the book is not only worth reading but deserves a niche in the personal library of the reader.