Ants Among Elephants by Sujatha Gidla
Reading this book has given an insight into my friends' and neighbours' lives, the evolving nature of their environment which was well hidden from the experiences I've had throughout my childhood and adult life until now. Thanks to Sujatha Gidla and her beautifully presented book 'Ants Among Elephants', we can see the whole picture and not the contorted version of truth that was passed on amongst certain castes with a clear intent to undermine the views of a major set of the society we are living with. The events presented in the book reminded me of my grandfather's stories, who worked as a lecturer in various schools, which would end abrubtly leaving the people in it stranded within the listener's imagination without any moral at the end to them as I'd been used to in the various children's storybooks but the stories were all the more captivating. The author too kept me in the web of events that is her family's life beautifully knit one after another and it is hard to keep this book away for too long while reading it.
I'd always wondered what the beautiful caligraphy on the walls spelling out the letters 'CPI', 'SFI' in the streets of Hyderabad with distinct flags next to them stood for. They had been political organisations was all that was known and these intricately painted walls were their passion to their organisations. It seemed to my naive youger self that it was a waste to have so many political parties actively competing for the same positions; as almost all of the contests were won by the major political parties. But now it is clear to me and to whomsoever would read this book that the major political parties have been inadequate in solving the problems and have not only created but also perpetuated a few more.
Ants Among Elephants has been a gut wrenching read and there were several instances where it has been an answer to curious loose-ends that lingered as distinct memories but more so painful is to read through the experiences of people. This book and its author have been a compass to my values and will be to the young of India as it describes the true history of the country.