Like any brilliant book, Sebastian and Sons is a treasure trove of stories.
Stories of the resilient human spirit!
The protagonists of these stories are the ‘Mridangam Makers’, a celebrated percussion instrument. These master craftsmen bring together so many elements amalgamated by the pure body sweat. They awaken the ‘divine sound’ that reveals itself only to a few. Amidst these lyrical moments of mastery, T.M. Krishna sensitises you further; uncomfortably but not without hope!
The existential dichotomy of the low caste craftsmen is the thread binding this book which dives deep into the intricacies of the instrument making. Although you cringe how the mridangam makers are constantly and unforgivingly reminded of ‘who they are’, you are also left in awe to discover how these very gifted, supremely intelligent and highly wise artists, through just their craft affirm to us, and more importantly to themselves, ‘who they actually are’.
Then there is a cattle, oblivious to its ‘holy’ status adding to this conflict of human identity!