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“Mala” by K S Maniam


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Socio-cultural representation of Indian Society in the short story “Mala” by K S Maniam

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“Mala” by K S Maniam

  1. 1.  “Mala” is one of the most representative short stories of Indian Society and Culture by Indian Malaysian writer KS Maniam. The story of a simple village girl becomes the central focus of the author to show the way and belief of the Indian People. The story has become of a great research for finding out the cultural and social picturesque of tradition and norms of India. Like other Indian English writers KS Maniam also has projected the story to show the true picture of Indian society. Such as: language, dress, praying, feast and festivals, customs, marriage systems, patriarchal attitudes towards women, conspiracy, education, class conflicts, traditional belief on the way of life.
  2. 2.  Subramaniam Krishnan popularly known as K. S. Maniam, is an Indian Malaysian Short story Writer, Playwright and novelist.  He was born in 1942  He lives with his wife, son and daughter in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, and devotes his time fully to writing.  K. S. Maniam has been writing from his early teens. His stories have appeared in numerous journals around the world.  He has been lecturer (1980–85) and Associate Professor (1986–97) in the English Department, University of Malaya, in Kuala Lumpur.  South Asian English Writer  A keen observer of Indian Society
  3. 3.  He is the inaugural recipient of the Raja Rao Award (New Delhi, September 2000), for his outstanding contribution to the literature of the South Asian Diaspora.  He enriched the writing of English by the Indian  Depicted the true picture of Indian society  His artistic representation contributed a lot in developing Indian English Literature  Make a clear record for the Asian English Literature  K S Maniam College of Education, India  He is also Honored by other different award like he receives the first prize for The Loved Flaw: Stories from Malaysia in The New Straits Times– McDonald short-story contest (1987) and for Haunting the Tiger: Contemporary Stories from Malaysia in The New Straits Times–Shell contest (1990).
  4. 4.  Novels  The Return (London: Skoob, 1981, 1993)  In A Far Country (1993)  Between Lives (2003)  Plays  The Cord (1983)  The Sandpit: Womensis (1990)  Short stories  The Eagles (1976)  Removal in Pasir Panjang (1981)  The Pelanduk (1981)  The Third Child (1981)  The Dream of Vasantha (1981)  Project: Graft Man (1983)  We Make It To The Capital (1984)  The Aborting (1986)  Encounters (1989)  Parablames (1989)  Plot (1989)  Haunting the Tiger (1990)  Sensuous Horizons: The Stories & The Plays (1994)  In Flight (written 1993, published 1995)  Arriving ...and other stories (1995)  Faced Out (2004)  Guardian Knot
  5. 5.  Mala is a story about a simple, ethnic Indian girl, Mala which her real name is Malati. Mala get her name from her neighbor because she was a lazy girl.  Mala is taken from Malay words which is “Malas” means lazy. The word Mala also can be interpreted in different ways. It may be consider as an ornament for decorating if we take the word from Indian Bengali word MALA  She’s from a small town and her father wants her to get married and find bridegroom for her. But, she was falling in love with her friend’s brother, Sanker.  When all her neighbor talked much about her bad attitude, she decide to accepted an offer of marriage from Sanker who lived in Kuala Lumpur, it is because she attracted by a hope of greater freedom, but found with time that despite some improvements she'd replaced one form of servitude with another.  She likes to have child but Sanker just want to have more money. Besides that, in Kuala Lumpur she becomes another person when Sanker change her.  She lost her own identity because of her husband.
  6. 6.  Mala, the protagonist of the story  Sanker , husband and lover of Mala  Lucy, a Chinese woman living in the shared apartment with Sanker  Susi, Sanker’s Sister and a friend of Mala  Her Parents  Her Two Brothers  Her neighboring woman  Lucy’s Baby
  7. 7.  Marriage  Subservient to their way of life  Conspiracy of a neighboring women .  Stereotype Parents  A negative attitude of society to girls  Her seeking for independence  Education for girls and boys  Self-employed  Class conflicts
  8. 8.  Objectifying women through different ways  Negative approach towards girls and women  Rituals and customs  Feast and Festivals  Love at first sight  Everything is justified through male gaze  Patriarchal Attitude to Female  Traditional way of life and culture  Purity in Sexual activities
  9. 9.  To summarize the above discussion we can say that “Mala” is certainly a wonderful short story of KS Maniam where one can easily find the different aspects of Indian people as well as the socio-cultural representation of Indian Society. So, this story has a great importance in world literature to get the universal idea of South Asian English Literature.