Books

Book on Car Nicobar relooks at tsunami

KOCHI: Candles on Waves, a novel by painter S.N. Sreeprakash, is an obituary for Car Nicobar that was reduced to mangled remains by the giant tsunami waves.

The book will be released by Kerala Sahitya Akademi president Vaisakhan at the akademi’s Changampuzha hall on Wednesday, reports The Hindu.

Candles on Waves is a journey of redemption, hope, love, and perseverance. It is about how a community survived the fury of mother nature and rediscovered themselves. “Even the linnets were roaming in search of a place to settle. It is about the time and space gone with the waves.”

Born at Karunagapally in Kollam, S.N. Sreeprakash, a painter by passion, reached the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to work at the Amalgamated Statistical Cadre attached to the Department of Tourism under the Andaman & Nicobar administration.

“Car Nicobar has a special place in my life,” says Sreeprakash. “We spent the beautiful days of our lives. I and my wife Jayasree spent our honeymoon there.”

“I visited most of the places of the Nicobar group of islands three days after the tragedy. The novel was inspired from a series of paintings done in December 2004 and in January 2005 in the aftermath of the tsunami. But paintings were not enough to extinguish the anguish in my heart. The scenes of disaster persistently flashed through my mind. Nightmares continued. Thus on the advice of my wife, I decided to put down those thoughts and images into words.”

With lavish accompaniment of his paintings, the novel gives a visual experience for the readers.

One can visualise the simple lives of the Nicobarese, who spend their time playing, fishing, roaming around in shade, and feeding pigs.

But unexpectedly, crazy giant waves lashed the islands on that dreadful day. They lost everything. Their dreams were shattered, lives snatched away.

“I am dedicating the work to the Nicobarese, who emerged from the disaster. Dedicated to the colours washed away by the waves.”

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