Sujatha in the preface of Eppothum Penn says that much of what he wrote about women in this book was by reading Simone De Beauvoir‘s The Second Sex. De Beauvoir’s famous book deals in depth about the women from biology to history and civics of women. Not only it holds you spellbound but also it’s insights are straight from a woman herself. De Beauvoir details with sheer skill as to how a woman isn’t born but she is made.
If you fit the analogy of a woman as described by De Beauvoir into a tamil girl, what happens ? Sujatha’s Eppothum Penn. This marvelously written book not only provide depths into the species called woman but also makes you live through the life of a woman as you read through it. Eppothum Penn was written as series for a women’s monthly Mangayar Malar. And Sujatha accepts that there are continuity issues when writing a montly series. Still, the crux of the story remains intact and the pace is kept till the final full stop.
Eppothum Penn is one of Sujatha’s finest novels. While there are other sensitive issues which Sujatha has dealt in his novels, Eppothum Penn represents the top of the them. The Woman. And whats so special about being a woman ? Nothing. Just about Nothing. But if you follow the life of Chinnu from the time she gets formed in her mother’s womb, you would agree with Sujatha as to why a woman is a little bit of magic. EP has one of the devastating continuity issues unlike many other Sujatha’s novels. The growth of Chinnu from being a kid to a thavani clad girl is pretty fast paced. And if you are the one to finish the book in a single breath, this is one book that needs such a treatment.
From a unbelivably voyeuristic start to the absolute ending this book will make you sit up and re-think all your notions about a woman. And even if you are those cold-hearted types, you just couldn’t resist the single drop of tear rolling down as Sujatha enables us through the mind of a woman. All this and more without hype and any unnecessary comparisons of a woman to the embodiment of shakti. Sujatha Rocks !!