Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar (ratheesh) wrote,
Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar
ratheesh

Alpha

I noticed the Malayalam novel Alpha during a visit to DC Books last week. This novel is written by TD Ramakrishnan, the author of Francis Ittykkora, which I had enjoyed reading. I bought this book hoping to find some bizarre and intriguing theme and narrative in it, similar to Francis Ittykkora. The novel didn't disappoint me in that aspect, though it is a work of much lesser scale and scope compared to the author's more famous work.

Alpha tells the story of an experiment undertaken by a professor and scientist of Anthropology. The professor believes that human brain has evolved so much that, even if we remove all information and apparatus currently available to humanity, within 25 years the human brain will be able to help Man regain or invent whatever is required to lead a comfortable life. Further, he feels that the various restrictions imposed by today's society is only hindering the proper channelization of the powers of human mind. To prove his hypothesis, the professor along with 12 volunteers decide to live for 25 years in a remote uninhabited island around 1000Km deep in the sea, renouncing everything that is representative of human civilization, including their clothes! One key rule of the experiment is that the participants wont even use any language known to them before, and let new languages and symbols evolve as and when required. Another rule is that they are not supposed to pass any guidance or conventional wisdom to children that are going to be born to them. The professor gives instructions to his colleague in India to visit the island 25 years later, to witness the results of the experiment.

Similar to Ittykkora, Alpha too is a book for the mind, and reading it is more of an intellectual exercise. The basic theme of the experiment itself looks too foolish that not even scientists of absurd science fiction novels would want to spend 25 years on such a task, the results of which would be very obvious to any reader. So, the entire story is built to convey some of author's observations and comments regarding the workings of human mind, the basic instincts driving us, and the evolution of social structures. It didn't bore me much; didn't entertain me much either.
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