It has often been stated that the most difficult task an author
can undertake is the writing of a purely contemporary novel; for
detachment as well as narrative skill is required. It is rewarding
to find the necessary expertise in Timeri Murari's The Marriage…an
ingenious Romeo and Juliet type of story set in the Midlands.
It is to Murari's credit that he appreciates the shortcomings
of his own nationals as surely those of the indigenous workers
and it is this impartiality that makes The Marriage an important
social document'. CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, London.
-The tragedy is in the contrast
between the Indian islanders and the native ones, between a closed
primitive mentality and an environment that rejects them. THE
SUNDAY STATESMAN, Calcutta.
-Mr Murari is able to present the blossoming of love between Leela
and Roger with great tenderness and grace. Furthermore, the homesickness
and love for India is woven through the story so skilfully that
India's presence is overpowering, and England seems unreal and
ghostly. Immigration, a self-exile of sorts, and the particular
types of corruption, human limitations, and blindness which follows,
are crucial problems for many of us. I would recommend The Marriage
because it deals with themes and ideas which are worth reading
about and discussing, and because it's a good story, well told.
WORLD LITERATURE WRITTEN IN ENGLISH.
-Back to Enoch country,
and The Marriage, where the extremes of Enver Carim are heavily
muffled and prejudice is conducted far more decently. Unlike Carim,
Timeri Murari approaches his subject with painstaking fidelity
to the grey realities of life. The novel is set in an Indian community
in the industrial Midlands and is more concerned with the problems
and compromises of integration than with the apocalypse of breakdown.
Two stories are inter- woven to create a sense of the personal
and social tensions between immigrants and indigenes: Tekchand,
the leader of the Indian community, is trying to arouse his fellow
workers to take official action against an extortion racket, run
by Indians and whites, by which new workers are forced to 'buy'
their jobs, while Roger, a young Englishman, hopes to establish
a relation- ship with Leela, Tekchand's daughter.
In both stories, the Indian characters find themselves in conflict
with their racial roles and instincts. Murari patiently evokes
the realities of trade unions, work and the tangled threads of
prejudice and fear, and even though Roger is not much more than
a pleasant nonentity as a character, he also manages to establish
the boy's affair with Leela surprisingly well. The two stories
merge in a clever and plausible climax, as a result of which Tekchand
is blackmailed into dropping his case against the racketeers,
and Leela is forced to leave Roger in order to play her role as
the submissive daughter. In the respective failures of Tekchand
and his daughter, the novel acknowledges the obstinate strength
of racial identities. It is convincing because of the author's
sincerity and sympathy in dealing with all the main characters.