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Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Last Song of Savio de Souza

‘If Savio sings, the angels will flutter their wings’. Such was the confidence that Silvy had in her brother Savio’s voice.
Set in the magical about to be drowned tip of Kerala, the lifetime of Savio is woven around the religious triumvirate of the Church, the Mosque and the Temple. The saga of his life draws the readers into various parallel story lines for instance, the dilemma of the Christian priest at the growing popularity of the Sufi and his curiosity as to how they can magically cure the incurable.
Savio was the son of Simon the school bus driver who had promised his daughter Silvy to the church. While Silvy is a bright star, Savio’s future depends upon his passing his school exam. He has been selected to play for the local team on the condition that he passes his school. Savio is also gifted with a beautiful voice.
While Savio struggles to pass exams and be part of the team Silvy joins the school to teach and eventually joins the nunnery.
Simon is plagued with guilt at being unable to come to terms with the situation yet carries on doing his duty. By virtue of being the school driver, he meets Silvy on and off and Silvy ensures that Savio sings for the choir, thereby giving her the chance to catch up with her home.
As time passes, Silvy moves to Vatican and Savio manages to pass his exams and he and his group of friends gain success in sports.
The point of no return come when Savio takes a decision to move out of his home to a faraway place. There lies the tsunami- both the metaphorical and the physical one.
The story while simply written is not easy to keep track of. It is slow and heart wrenching and an eye opener for many of us who are not fully aware of the plight of the girls who are forced to become a nun. Not just physically but also emotionally and socially. With time they manage to cut the umbilical cord with their family and they immerse themselves into the propagation of their faith.
But is the process that simple?

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