Challenging the Cosmopolitanism and Resilience of the Port city of Kochi through N.S Madhavan’s novel Litanies of Dutch Battery
Keywords:Port-City, Maritime Consciousness, Trans-Oceanic Encounters, Kochi
Maritime India has been exposed to transformations both in terms of political and social processes due to the exchange of commodities, men and material. The main focus of the current essay is on the port- city of Kochi, and the consequent encounters in the Indian Ocean for black gold (pepper) in the past, which have helped in shaping a cosmopolitanism that we see today. The paper probes into the formation of a community-based ‘world view’ and reclamations of a historic past in the imagination of indigenous people through fictional narratives as against the popular Eurocentric viewpoint.
Drawing on the regional fictional narratives of writers like N.S Madhavan and historic research available in the area, it is argued that these encounters have resulted in the creation of a unique maritime consciousness, glocalization and incorporation of a fabric of inclusivity in the social realm, which has bestowed upon the locals of the littoral an ability to perforate seamlessly into alien cultures and accommodate to the changes the trans-ocean encounters brought forth. The paper also brings forth various modes of indigenous re-constructions, which have contributed in interrogating and tracing the historic past as embedded in memory and public opinion.
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