Roots is a narrative of roots of our culture and ethos. The memory of our roots is “like a shrine to us, where we find solace when we are in pain”. The stories included in this collection, use a first person narrative to explore the events “with the vitality of a confession”. These are marked by a love for nature and all living beings, empathy with weak and suffering, respect for traditions, pain of separation from or even destruction of, one’s roots, calm and dignified acceptance of one’s fate and continued struggle for survival. For some the suffering is so severe that death brings “a smile of relief from excruciating pain”. Rural India comes alive in the details of everyday life, cattle, birds, river, forest, wolves and jackals, spirits, snakes, songs, traditions, tales and beliefs. Though mostly rooted in ethos of India, the stories are universal in nature and portray characters from across the world. The tenacity of migrant workers across the world and their struggle against every possible adversity is yet another theme, which finds an expression in this collection. Most aptly, the collection ends in a story where the narrator comes to a realization that “a prose of a quiet determination is far more lyrical than the poetry of pity, which he had always penned”.
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About the author
Dr. Dinesh Srivastava Born in village Awar, Pratap Garh, Uttar Pradesh, 1952. Early education at village school and neighbouring city of Pratap Garh. Shifted to Allahabad in 1964 and obtained B. Sc. from University of Allahabad in 1970. Selected into Training School of Department of Atomic Energy in 1970 and joined Bhabha Atomic Research Centre as Scientific Officer in 1971. Ph. D. (1979) from University of Bombay. Moved to Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre at Kolkata in 1979, from where he retired as a Director and Distinguished Scientist in 2016. Held visiting positions of one to two years in Germany, USA and Canada and for shorter durations at Cape Town etc. At present Visiting Professor at Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany and Raja Ramanna Fellow of Department of Atomic Energy.