Bells are Ringing in Haridwar: Three Novellas is a translation of M Mukundan’s 1972 novel, Haridwaril Maninkal Muzhangunnu. Translated by Prema Jayakumar, the novel is published by Ratna Books.
The novel which was way ahead of its time was criticized for its glorification of drug usage and the way of life which was considered immoral. Though set in the heart of holiest town, Haridwar, the novel is plush with intricate details of the temple town and what draws people to the town. But the ‘Writer of Mayyazhi’ doesn’t forget to take the readers to the land his finer thoughts are nestled in. With The Naked Lord published in 1989 and Savitir’s Girdle published in 1992 added to the collection, the novellas offer the author’s introspection of human hypocrisies. Ramesh, Suja, Meetheledath Ravunni, Savithri and Kunjikrishnan Thampuran, all of them are the victims of the battle of righteousness and their natural instincts.
Rooted in reality the novel speaks of places and people, and lends a hand to step out of the frame to see the picture better. The translation releases it from the space it has been confined to helping the ideas and language transcends time and place and reaches a wider readership.