Island's End by Padma Venkatraman

By Padma Venkatraman

From the acclaimed writer of mountain climbing the steps comes a desirable tale set on a distant island untouched via time. Uido is ecstatic approximately turning into her tribe's non secular chief, yet her new place brings her older brother's jealousy and her most sensible friend's distrust. And looming above those problems are the hot visits of strangers from the mainland who've little regard for nature or the spirits, and tempt the tribe individuals with presents, making them fascinated with glossy existence. whilst Uido's little brother falls deathly sick, she needs to go the sea and search their aid. Having now obvious such a lot of new issues, will Uido have the energy to think in herself and the previous methods? and may her humans belief her to steer them to defense while a catastrophic tsunami threatens? Uido needs to conquer everyone's doubts, together with her personal, if she is to maintain her humans secure and look after the spirituality that has outlined them. Drawing on firsthand event from her travels to the Andaman Islands, Padma Venkatraman was once encouraged to put in writing this tale after assembly natives who survived the 2004 tsunami and feature been in a position to look after their specified lifestyle. Uido's transformation from a tender woman to tribal chief will contact either your center and brain.

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Example text

Natalang tells me funny stories, and listening to her cheerful voice, I keep from worrying about the oko-jumu life and the strangers. A little after midday, we make our way to the pool near the village to fill Natalang’s bucket. She dips her finger into the water. ” she shrieks, but she jumps in, startling a nearby frog that leaps away croaking rrrrrgup, rrrrrgup. I wade in after her. ” she whispers, pointing at something behind me. I whirl around. “What? ” She laughs. ” I shake my head at my own foolishness.

Ngig choronga-lanta! ” Together, the three men shove their canoe into the waves. Their oars slap the water as they row across the reef toward their metal boat and climb back on. We hear a faint growl again. But as their boat moves away from our island, the noise quickly fades. I can hardly believe how fast they go—faster than ten strong men paddling a canoe with all their might. “We must warn the others,” I tell Tawai. But neither he nor I can take our eyes off the strangers’ boat. We stand ankle-deep in water, watching until the boat shrinks to the size of a coconut and the blue waves throw it out of sight.

But this evening I am impatient to hear Lah-ame’s story about the strangers and I hardly listen to him lead us in prayer to thank the spirits for the fire and the food. The women roast the meat and fish and make a stew from crabs and turtles. Natalang chatters with them while the stew bubbles and fills the air with cooking smells. I am quieter than ever, waiting for the meal to be over. Finally, the food is ready—but it seems to take forever for everyone to finish eating. After all the food is eaten, we wipe our hands with clay and sit cross-legged around the fire, picking our teeth clean with fish bones.

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