PLOT: 5/5 CHARACTERS: 5/5 WRITING STYLE: 5/5 CLIMAX: 5/5 ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 5/5 GENRE: Fiction, Speculative Fiction TRIGGER WARNING: None TRANSLATOR: N Kalyan Raman
For an animal lover like me, Poonachi was an easy pick. The author mentions in his foreword why he chose a goat, and you cannot deny his reasoning. The beautiful cover and lauding reviews only increased my interest.
Poonachi is a black female goat, handed over by an unknown person to an old man. She is said to be the seventh goat in her litter which is quite rare and exceptional. The mystery man who hands it over to the old man believes she is special. The old man takes Poonachi to his home where he already has other goats. He isn’t particularly rich.
The rest of the story is about Poonachi growing up with the poor old couple amidst her other goat friends, exploring the world around whenever possible, and later, having her own babies. The author narrates her struggles to keep up with other goats and ultimately live life at man’s mercy.
Throughout the book, I was often reminded of Animal Farm by George Orwell that I read more than a decade ago. These books not only talk about the struggles of animals but have a lot of social commentary in between. Through Poonachi, the author gives us a glimpse of rural life. They live from rain to rain, scared and subjugated to the powerful people, not having any facilities whatsoever.
Poonachi is undoubtedly loved by her family but she is often helpless. She has to follow what they decide for her. She doesn’t enjoy it always. When extremely distraught, all she can do is cry and move on. This could be what females of our species in similar predicament do as well.
Poonachi is loved by the couple and provided with the best of resources. Soon, she realizes that their lives are at the behest of humans. She often gets angry about being controlled by humans. Later, she resigns to fate and prepares herself for the impending hardships.
The old couple is extremely endearing, hardworking, and strong. They treat their goats like their own children and Poonachi with a special affinity. They try their best to keep all the goats and raise them responsibly. But when tragedy strikes, they have to make sacrifices.
The story is told from a goat’s point of view, i.e., in the third person. The English is simple and so is the theme; beginners can easily go for it. The author sees and portrays the world through Poonachi’s eyes, and in this, he does a great job.
You like out-of-the-world genres like fantasy, magical realism, and speculative fiction.
You want to read a completely different style of storytelling.
You like books written from an animal’s point of view.
You are looking to read works of Indian authors from different states (translated works).
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Poonachi using the link below.
Also, check out the other book by the author.