Veterinary Surgeon's fascinating story
- K.S. Sivakumaran -
Lanka born Australian, Dr Noel S Natesan has written a fascinating book in
Thamil which is a novel feature in Thamil Writing at large. Its novelty lies in
the fact that it tells about his personal experiences in Australia as he treats
animals. His treatment of presentation in terms of understanding the animal
behaviour and the compassionate attention he pays to those living beings is all
the more worthy to read. Natesan is a born story teller of the contemporary
kind. Even his fiction titled Vannathikulam depicted realistically his escapade
during the 1971 insurrection in Lanka. The book had a lyrical quality of a
beautiful romance between a Thamlian and a Sinhala girl. That novel was more
than a love story. I am yet to read his second novel titled Unayae Maiyal Kondu.
The present book is titled Vaalum Suvadukal meaning Living Vestige. The
book is printed and published by Mithra Arts & Creations Pvt Ltd, 32/9 Arcot
Road, Kodambakkam, Chennai- 600 024. The publisher Dr Pon Anura is also a Lankan
now running a firm in Chennai, Thamilnadu. Dr Noel S Natesan can be contacted by
He has dedicated this book to Dr Alan Lawther.
The book has a foreword written by a respected Marxist critic in Thamilnadu,
Gnani (S.Palanisamy). It adds value to Natesan's book. There are 20 chapters in
this 136 page book, which has some photographs of animals and birds.
The writer reminds us that Dr James Herriot published a book during WW 11
detailing his experiences as a Vet. His experiences were depicted in small
screen under the title All Great and Small. Dr N S Natesan also claims that 65 %
of the Vets all around the world are women suggesting perhaps that the feminine
gender is naturally kind to all. Having undergone terrible experiences in Lanka
during the ethnic strife he gave expression to basic human rights and that led
him to preserve the rights of the animals as well, he says.
The pieces collected in the book were earlier published in an Australian Thamil
journal called Uthayam.
It's very difficult for me to retell what he has written in the book because it
is creative writing plus anecdotes of his role as a vet Down Under. However, I
shall give you a piece of information that the writer gives us.
I have not been to Australia where my second son Anantharam lives. I wish to
visit him in Melbourne sooner or later, but reading pages 122 and 123 of the
book, I feel that I must postpone going to Melbourne. This is because I have an
asthmatic problem. Natesan says:
"Asthma and allergy are like Siamese twins in Australia The Aussie papers
describe Melbourne as the Capital of Asthma."
Other chapters are also equally interesting as the writer couples his treatment
of the animals with memorable remembrances of his life both in Lanka and
Readers in Thamil will enjoy this book.