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About the Books

This book is a biographical tale based on the life of my beloved mother, Gowri – her trials and tribulations, her joys and sorrows, the events that she shared with her children and those vividly recalled by her family. It is a story that reflects the grit of an immigrant Indian woman, widowed at a young age, who brought up seven children all born in a new land, the Malay Peninsula, where her progeny now extend to three generations. Save for some individuals to whom pseudonyms have been applied, the names have been left intact.

Gowri’s biography spans the history of her adopted country, from pre-independence to the late 1990s. Thus it captures significant moments of this period. Gowri was a Malayalee, originating from Kerala, a state situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of south-western India. The casual reader will find Malayalee traditions sprinkled in abundance throughout the book – the same traditions Gowri’s descendants inherited and which contribute to the rich multicultural fabric of the Malaysian society they live in today. Gowri’s motherly joys and woes in bringing up her brood of children in the early years add as much to her story as the challenges of single parenting that she subsequently faced.

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My decision to embark on this book-length work about my mother’s life is intensely personal. She is the finest woman I have ever known, brimming with admirable qualities. The book depicts her gentle transformation from the daughter of a conservative aristocratic Nair household in Kerala to a more liberated woman. I want this book to convey core parts of my mother’s personality. She was a strict mother of seven children with somewhat traditional core values of how individuals within a family and children in general should behave. I want to share her pride in bringing up her children, with myself being the eldest, as true citizens of the country she had come to love; her ability to love unconditionally; her boundless benevolence; and above all, her inspirational positive attitude drawn from her unflinching faith in the Divine

“I’ve had a lot of obstacles in life, but God was always there with me,” she would often say by way of encouraging her family and others to shed their negativity. These are the facets that made Gowri who she was. I believe they have universal relevance for all.

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The just-released Malayalam translation of GOWRI
Available for readers in Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East.
Published by Chris Publications (imprint from Saikatham Books), Kerala (India);
ISBN 9789390815203; soft-cover, 391 pages