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Laburnum For My Head

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  61 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Every May something extraordinary happens in the new cemetery of the sleepy little town's laburnum tree, with buttery yellow blossoms, flowers over the spot where Lentina is buried. A brave hunter, Imchanok, totters when the ghost of his prey haunts him, till he offers it a tuft of his hair as a prayer for forgiveness. Pokenmong, the servant boy, by dint of his wit, sells ...more
Paperback, 110 pages
Published November 2009 by Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd
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Seemita
Feb 17, 2016 Seemita rated it liked it
Getting home from an extended vacation translates into a current of exhilaration; ‘home sweet home’ uttering many, feel a certain sense of succulent energy run through them as they slump into couches long undone and waiting. The unkempt bed appears inviting and one does well to forget the fluffy hotel bedding just left behind. The home-made food seeps easy on the palate, almost cleansing all the toxic junk that had hijacked the vacation binge. And it feels like heaven to be back home. However, a ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
This Temsula Ao's second short story collection; I still haven't read the first ('These Hills Called Home'). Ao lives and teaches in Shilong, in the North-East of India, a part of the country that faces problems of endemic neglect by the centre and ongoing conflicts between the Army and Maoist rebels. It is also, from what I've gleaned from pictures and accounts by friends from those parts, a beautiful land of green hills and fertile valleys.

Ao's stories take us into the heart of this conflict-
...more
Sundeep Supertramp
There are so many highly acclaimed literary awards. Booker, Pulitzer, Orange, what-not. In fact, how many Booker winners and shortlisted have I read! I have read a few Indian literary awards too - like Shakti Bhatt First Book and Hindu Literary Prize - but I have left behind the father of them all - Sahitya Akademi Award! The official literary award of India. When I came across this book on some online book selling portal, I felt some kind of a patriotic urge to read the book. And so here I am ...more
Gaurav Moghe
Jan 08, 2016 Gaurav Moghe rated it really liked it
Books are meant to tell stories which are so far unheard of. They transport us to new places, new culture, and sometimes help us see the things that are ubiquitous yet go unnoticed. But the charm, or the soul, of the book does not lie in the stories of far away places. They are merely a tool wielded in different ways by different authors to tell a far deeper motive. The soul of the book lies in its emotional appeal, which is the ultimate motive of the author.

Emotions, unlike stories, are relata
...more
Chelsea Mcgill
Jul 07, 2015 Chelsea Mcgill rated it liked it
This is a book of short stories by the Padma Shri winner Temsula Ao, a retired English professor at the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong. In 2013, she was awarded the Sahitya Academy Award based on this collection of stories.

Because this is a diverse collection, encompassing many themes and writing styles, I will give a brief introduction to each.

"Laburnum for my head"
A woman loves the Laburnum flower, but has no success at cultivating them in her garden. She decides that it would be bett
...more
Poonam
Mar 30, 2014 Poonam rated it really liked it
I do not know why I kept putting off reading this slim book for more than 2 years. Today when I started, I was done in a seating.

This is Temsula Ao's second book. Stories are beautifully crafted in simple, lyrical language that it is imperative that you finish a story in a single sitting.

I loved the first two stories: a) the title story, The Laburnum for my head, about a women's desire to have beautiful laburnum grow in her land. b) 'Death of a Hunter' is beautifully crafted stories about inner
...more
Milan
Oct 29, 2015 Milan rated it really liked it
Temsula Ao is another strong voice from our North-East. The eight stories here show us a glimpse of Nagaland. The Naxal movement is the dominant theme of the stories. 'The Letter' shows the helplessness of the people caught in the crossfire of violence caused by the Indian government and the underground government. 'Sonny' shows the disillusionment with the Naxal movement. 'A Simple Question' shows the exasperation of the Naga people with the government.

The stories depict how adversely the insur
...more
Madhusmita
Nov 06, 2014 Madhusmita rated it really liked it
Laburnum for my Head is a collection of 8 short stories and as the blurb says, they range from the mythical to the modern. The book starts with these lines –

“Stories live in every heart; some get told, many remains unheard – stories about individual experiences mad universal by imagination; stories that are jokes, and sometimes prayers; and those that are not always a figment of the mind but are, at times, confessions.

Because stories live in every heart, some get told, like the ones on these pag
...more
Sneha Pati
Jul 22, 2015 Sneha Pati rated it really liked it
The book depicts plethora of complex human emotions very lucidly. Set mainly on the vibrant north east, the stories paint a picture of human conditions of the land while maintaining an universal appeal.

An easy to finish book with thoughts to linger on the reader's mind for a while and emotions to settle in his consciousness for much longer !


"There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book" - Josh Jameson
Chitrangi Kakoti
Aug 13, 2016 Chitrangi Kakoti rated it really liked it
Temsula Ao's collection of short stories transported me back to my childhood for Ao's narrative style is very similar to the folk tales that I have grown up reading; there is a certain enchanting simplicity and lyricism to her story that feels achingly familiar. Like I told one of my friends, the stories felt like home, like childhood.
Nirav
May 16, 2016 Nirav rated it really liked it
Three Woman, The Boy who sold an Airfield, Laburnum for my Head and Sonny are my favourite short stories. Though I didn't know much about the author I loved the way she portrayed the simple life of the North-East. Powerful yet thought provoking. Definitely picking up one more book by her in the near future!
Deepti
May 13, 2011 Deepti rated it liked it
The stories in this collection were better than the last one. There was more depth to the stories this time around. North Eastern India has a voice in Ao and these stories portray the harsh conditions of life in NE India,
Natasha Borah Khan
Mar 14, 2013 Natasha Borah Khan rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-favs
the book consists of 8 short stories, all of them with a unique plot.. 'death of a hunter' & 'sonny' are the ones i liked best.
Bodhi
Bodhi rated it really liked it
Aug 09, 2015
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Elika Assumi rated it liked it
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Priyanka Mukherjee
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hina
Oct 29, 2015 hina rated it it was amazing
lyrical...wonderfully written stories
Mukta
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Mar 25, 2012
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Temsula Ao was born in October 1945 at Jorhat, Assam. She received her B.A with Distinction from Fazl Ali College, Mokokchung, Nagaland. She received her M.A in English from Gauhati University, Assam. From Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (presently English and Foreign Languages University,) Hyderabad she received her Post Graduate Diploma in the Teaching of English and Ph.D from ...more
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