Any resemblance is accidental and unintentional

Banker-turned-novelist Sarita Mandanna‘s debut novel Tiger Hills has been received, reviewed and written about with the kind of unquestioning glee that has erased the difference between journalism and public relations.

The latest issue of Tehelka gingerly broaches Mandanna’s possible source of inspiration, surgeon-cum-writer Kavery Nambisan‘s 1996 novel The Scent of Pepper, without mentioning the P-word.

Chapter 12, Kavery Nambisan: Boju danced “matching his intricate footwork with the other dancers; in ever-decreasing circles, he moved to the beat of drums, striking his cane cluster with its tiny bells… the Pariakali, in which the opponents strike each other with canes, but never above the waist. The sport at times is used to settle feuds between the villages…”

Chapter 17, Sarita Mandanna: Machu danced “moving in intricate, ever-decreasing circles to the steady beat of the drums… the bells at the ends jingled softly as the canes swooped and fell… the paria kali… had been tamed now into a game contested during Puthari and used occasionally by the village elders as a means of settling disputes: each contestant… was allowed to strike his opponent only below the shins.”

Read the full article: Hunting the spoor of tiger hills

Also read: A small step for Robin Utthappa, a giant leap for…