The stories by La.Sa.Ra., one of Tamil's best-known short fiction writers, are always about human emotions and relationships, and readers across the divides of country, race, or language will be able to read and relate to them. He, though apparently steeped in tradition, has also an amazing modernity in the way his characters behave. His locales and characters are, however, from a specific Indian area that make his writings become a showcase, a record as it were of a particular community of people, their lifestyles, conventions, and so on. Thus there is both specific as well as universal approach in them that can appeal to any reader anywhere. He is at his best when he describes the inner struggles, the mental debates between what is socially acceptable and what is not. Apeetha is the tale of a young, orphan boy brought up by his uncle and his innocent love for the daughter of the temple priest. Misunderstood and maligned, he runs away from home. Fortune smiles on him: he meets and helps a rich businessman at the latter's moment of crisis and, in due course, marries the businessman's daughter and becomes the owner of the business.
Economic prosperity is his only consolation, though. A visit to his hometown, and meeting with the daughter of his adolescent love causes a strong turmoil within him. He is caught between his attraction to the young girl who looks so much like his erstwhile love and the unconventional absurdity of his uncontrollable emotions.
Lalgudi Saptarishi Ramamirtham, popularly known as La.Sa.Ra., started writing when he was 16, initially in English and then in Tamil. La.Sa.Ra's formidable body of work which includes 300 short stores, six novellas and 10 collections of essays, has attracted many awards, including the Sahitya Academy award for his Chinta Nadi (Stream of Thought), a collection of autobiographical essays. The Tamil Nadu Government, considering the merit and value of his works, nationalized them. Padma Narayanan, a Chennai-based writer and translator, started writing short stories in Tamil at the age of 18. Her stories have been published in many leading Tamil magazines. Her many published translations have included the novels of La.Sa.Ra, Aadhavan, Indira Parthasarathy, Yuvan Chandrasekhar, Anuthama, and an anthology of short stories by A. Muttulingam (all from Tamil to English).
REMEMBERING MY FATHER LA.SA.RA BY L.R. SAPTHARISHI; TRANSLATOR'S NOTE; INTRODUCTION; APEETHA; ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND THE TRANSLATOR