(Review) Dharma’s Chariot by Sithuraj Ponraj

Dharma’s Chariot by Sithuraj Ponraj is a whole book for just one short story but narrated in different tongues. It’s a rare sight in Indonesian book publishing today (there used to be abundant in the past). But this is not from Indonesia. It’s from Singapore and got into my hands thanks to Pak @jasminssimon‘s generosity.

The story, originally written in Tamil, tells about a trader, the owner of a garment export-import company. On a fateful day, he and his partner find out a business has gone amiss, but later that day they come across an opportunity to turn the situation around to their company’s benefits, but with its dilemma.

Go read it for yourself to get the details. 😁

What I need to highlight is that the book gives a vibrant picture of Singapore’s diversity, not only through the four official languages the story is presented in (English, Tamil, Malay, Chinese), but also from the story itself. The migration narrative is here, so is a narrative about starting a business in a new land. But most importantly, it’s the connections between people of different ethnicities (in trade, friendship, marriage, etc.) that appear most vibrant in the book.

For me, it’s another step towards knowing the literature of our closest neighbor, which I know so little about.

Of course I only read the English and Malay versions.

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