The Drought Within

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Partridge Publishing, Aug 17, 2016 - Fiction - 210 pages
This story is about a farmer who commits suicide in a small village on the Maharashtra-Telangana border in India and the rehabilitation efforts carried out by two young enthusiastsa doctor called Pawan and an engineer called Mukeshalong with Padmayya, a farmer. The story opens with an old hard-working farmer called Venkatayya, who otherwise is a highly positive-thinking man, but he is driven into depression by the acts of his son and daughter-in-law, debts, and circumstances of a severe drought. As the story moves on to future, a troika of friends is gathered by destiny for a purpose. One of them is the grandson of Venkatayya. They find a godfather in the form of a retired military man named Captain Vijaysingh, who is a courageous, determined old man and who had lost his one arm while fighting terrorists on the border; also he has dedicated his entire life singly to rehabilitate this idle village. This troika and their guiding godfather fight against all odds and live up to their conscience and willpower; they propose to build a huge water reservoir in the barren land to overcome drought. They also plan an orphanage because huge suicide rates and liquor deaths have rendered many kids homeless in their village. Moreover, Padmayyas father too had died of liquor sold by the local liquor shop owner and the moneylender, Seth Karodimal, an heirless, stingy miser who owns the barren and much-needed land for building the reservoir. Seth Karodimal has no friends in this village; liquor and money are his only friends. The village sarpanch is a helpful man acting as a liaison to their needs. The troika constantly meets at a highway dhaba run by Javedbhai, who later becomes the chief cook of the orphanage. How they solve problems by themselves, how they change negativity in thinking minds into positivity and productivity, how they inspire one another from dystopia to utopia, and how they successfully take the village into a prosperous future form the rest of the story. This is a story about what can be done in extreme situations rather than what has happened or is happening. This story of human guilt, human bonds, human nature and its desires, and the power of positive thinking will keep the readers tied up with feelings of optimism and hope.
 

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Contents

Foreword
The Godfather
More Orphans and Disease
Evermounting Miseries
Road Map for Dreams
Padmayya Decides
Karodimals Penance
Restoring the School
Rains bring Green rewards
A New Beginning
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Ganesh Aithal is a school-going boy with myriad thoughts and was studying in tenth standard when this story was completed. He is a student of Saint Augustine English School in Parbhani, Maharashtra, India, which plays an important role in bringing up his character as a reader and writer in English. This young author was born in Parbhani and, from his young days, has always been a voracious reader. Ganesh, from a very young age, was accustomed to the process of ‘listening’ to stories from his mother, who untiringly narrated to him stories ranging from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. She read out to him historical happenings ranging from the valor of Great Shivaji to Swami Vivekananda, the wit of Mullah Naseeruddin, and the wisdom of Tenali Raman. As he grew up, he got illustrated comics as gifts, which set up his imagination. In his preteen years, narratives of Ruskin Bond became his favorite, and he loved to be with Bond’s characters, both human and those from the jungle. He loved super characters and appreciated the philosophy of using superpowers for the betterment of humanity and eradication of evil. He discovered R. K. Narayan’s eye of keeping all the events happening around Malgudi in many of his novels. Ganesh created a microcosm of himself, which can be seen in his stories. Stumbling on Sudha Murthy and Anushka Sharma’s books, he imagined as if some distant aunt of his was narrating to him her newly found stories. His maternal grandfather, retired Prof. Madhava Bhat, who himself is an ardent reader, recommended and introduced Mark Twain’s characters in his life. He read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn’s adventures with a twinkle in his eyes and narrated the funny lines and paragraphs to his mother, who listened with interest. His father Dr. Shiva Aithal and his friend and mentor Dr. Renukadas Deshpande, who are voracious readers and a great collector of books, introduced to him the writings and the fine characters of Arthur Conan Doyle. Mr. Nilesh Bandale—a good friend, a reputed translator, and a handwriting expert—gifted him his first ink pen and chiseled his brain, carving a niche and interest for cursive handwriting. This novel in its original state is a two-hundred-page book handwritten in cursive writing with an ink pen. Ganesh loves reading as much as he loves writing, and with constant encouragement from his possessed books and his countless thoughts, he correlates the present happenings around him. He loves to bring his feelings into life through characters and weaves them into ongoing situations. He has a knack of concluding his stories ethically, morally, and utopically without much preaching. Mostly, Ganesh writes light humour, and one day his father casually asked, “Can you write on a serious topic?” He instantly said, “Why not?” And he came up with a serious topic of drought, which reflects the present conditions and remedy of a farmer’s suicide in the region where he was born. Though all the characters and situations in this novel are fictitious and imaginary, they are nevertheless a collage of real life incidents experienced by him during reading and listening to real life incidents over the span of his growing years. His writings constantly prove to be an inspiration to the school-going students and their parents alike in this remote town of Parbhani.

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