Fiction Book in English
The year is 1985. A brilliant young girl, full of promise, has just begun classes at her local college. Rema is excited about this new phase in her life, when all hell breaks loose. She begins to be harassed by a young man from the law college, during the bus journeys from home to college and back. Her confidence is shattered, her sense of self destroyed. Although things take a turn for the better when she makes a new friend in college, her troubles are far from over. Eventually, she gets married to a young lawyer but her marriage is a trap from which there is no escape. To make matters worse, one day the man who abused her when she was in college re-enters her life. He leaves no chance to subject her to further abuse and violence. Rema is at a loss about how to deal with this impossible situation. What will Rema do? How will she turn the situation around? How will she face the demon who has taken it upon himself to take away everything she holds dear?
This is the moving and uplifting story of a woman who refuses to let the hostile conditions of her life bring her down. She fights through everything to emerge stronger and better. Unfortunately, she has to take extreme measures to fight her abuser. This is an important commentary on women’s place in contemporary Indian society and the conditions of their existence.
Rema’s story brings with it a slice of life in Calicut, a city located in north Kerala.
To watch the book trailer video click
About the Author
Dr. K. N. Raghavan completed his MBBS from Calicut Medical College in 1988. It was while he was still a graduate student that he joined the Indian Revenue Service (Customs and CentralExcise) in 1990. Dr. K. N. Raghavan has held key posts in field formations of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. He has also served on deputation to the Government of Kerala, besides serving a tenure in the High Commission of India, at Singapore. He was the Commissioner of Customs at Kochi from 20112- till 2017. He has also been the Principal Commissioner of Central GST in Mumbai from 2017- to 2019. Presently, he is working as Executive Director of the Rubber Board of India at Kottayam.
Dr Raghavan was accredited as an umpire with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 1991. He has umpired two One Day International matches (one on field and one as third umpire), and was a reserve umpire in three matches. He has umpired numerous Duleep, Deodhar and Ranji Trophy matches, besides matches in other BCCI tournaments. He also holds a record for being the first umpire in the world to uphold the appeal for ‘“Timed Out’” in first class cricket, in the world. (this was replaced after South Africa was readmitted into international cricket).
His book, “Dividing Lines: Contours of India- China Conflict,” won critical acclaim as one of the best researched book on the topic of the Sino-Indian war of 1962. He is also the author of “World Cup Chronicle” and Vanishing Shangri La: History of Tibet and Dalai Lamas in the Twentieth Century.” He is a long distance runner and, he regularly takes parts in marathon.
Dr. Raghavan is married to Dr. Ranjini, a consultant ENT surgeon, who specialises in surgery for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
Salini Nair –
The author takes us to a wonderful journey which witnesses the transformation of an ordinary girl into a doughty young woman “Rema”. The physical and mental torture a girl has been facing in her adolescent stage is narrated in a touching manner which make the readers realize the helplessness and pain faced by her. Even though Rema is taking extreme step to eradicate the obstruction which happens to be a reason for worry in her happy life, she is depicted by the author as a typical woman who cares her family the foremost , who undertakes all her duties as a daughter, sister, wife , daughter-in-law and a mother in a distinguished way.
The potential of a woman is unknown and unpredictable. The story reminds us all that if there is no one to protect you, rise yourself to a position where you can protect yourself. Nothing is impossible. Rema is an inspiration to the young girls the way she manages to obtain a social position through hard work , perseverance and dedication.
It is unbelievable that the story is not written by a woman. The emotional feelings , pain of humiliation and mental struggles of a female is expressed very truly by the author. Congratulations and a big thanks to Dr.K.N.Raghavan Sir for delivering such a powerful theme to the readers especially in the present era.
A Slice of Calicut Halwa is really worth reading.
Sreeja Jay –
“A Slice of Calicut Halwa”… A Novel by ‘Dr.K.N.Raghavan’
‘A Slice of Calicut Halwa’ is the author’s first move in fiction, after his books ‘World Cup Chronicle’, ‘Dividing Lines’, ‘Vanishing Shangri La’. This is the first book, I read in 2020 and I thought it’s right on the mark. Here the author tells the story of a strong woman, Rema who raised up in a middle-class family at Calicut, Kerala. In eleven unforgettable sections, the book traces her life; from the ‘darker child’ among the ‘white siblings’; to her struggles in the adolescent age; financial issues of her family; and then to her improved and respectful status as a doctor. Later the second half of the novel going through strange difficulties in her married life and how she bravely fights with fate…
Some of my favorite quotes from this book…
“Books are better companions than friends and relatives..”
“Strange are the ways of God…”
[Sreeja Jay ]
Zorba Books –
Thank you for the detailed review, we hope you will share the same on socialmedia too.
This is a great book. It has the potential to be a script to a good movie of the likes of Drishyam.
Book is very descriptive, gripping and is very touchy at times.
Adv. Parvathy S Krishnan –
In last three years , i haven’t read any books within two days of it’s purchase. Since Saturday I’m trying to write this to you.
A slice of Calicut Halwa is indeed a delicious piece of sweet, added to the readers arena. A very few authors have exhibited the courage of writing the plights of wonamhood without a viel. Even though Indian Authors as well as Indo – anglian many times potrayed such plights through historical and mythical characters like Draupadi or Jhansi Rani etc. The life of a real life self made woman has been beautifully potrayed, right from the childhood of the protoganist Rema. The book have discussed and introspected all the facades relationships in real life; ecspecially that of a father-daughter and secondly between, the mother/ motherly figures and a girl child (Rema with her own mother and Rema with Dr. Devi). Your good self has pointed the heriditary lacunas of our native mothers and mothers in law in up ringing children, like the bias regarding gender and physical attributes even between siblings,or that of covering up the mistakes of sons and bombarding the trivial omissions of daughters or daughters in law.
The hard and traumatized life of a student pursuing a professional course is depicted so truly that, I could relate it to my 5yr LL.B. course in national law school and the real life struggles .of myself , when i had to convince my husband (comparatively less) and in law’s to get back to my career after 5th month of delivery. The reality that “perks which professionals enjoy is fruit of their hard work” are worth their hardships. The description of the hard work of the protoganist motivates the readers (ecspecially women folk) to a great extend.
Another golden measure of the book is that, the author valiantly discussed about the sexual perversions and the cause, they way a patriarchal (originally matrilineal society) society tenders it. Through the protoganist the author, evidently says marriage is not the panecea for sexual perversions.
And finally the crucial ending, which indicates that woman have in them a mother goddess or mother nature, who silently tolerate all atrocities played on her. But once it reaches threshhold the she can hit back like a catastrophe and wipe the evil out.
It is great inspiring story for the entire women folk, a catalyst to move afront amid all the odds they face. Thanking you whole heartedly for this slice of Halwa that is booster dose for all girls and goddesses out here.
Zorba Books –
Thankyou Ms Parvathy for the heartfelt review of the book. Do share the review with your contacts too.
I was at first attracted by the name of the main character which had resemblance to my name.Going through the book, I felt what the girls of that age had to face in those years. Nicely narrated. …Even though fiction, I felt it as a thriller.. worth reading….
Got attracted by the resemblance with the name of lead female character. Very good narration. Thrilling fiction. Really nice…
OM KUMAR –
Ever since I came to Calicut way back in 1970 I was enthralled by the variety and throb of its life. From Feroke to West Hill .The Feroke bridge the gate way to the city with its high rise Tile factory chimneys, the KALLAYI river with logs of wood, the palayam junction with its small alleys where you got mouthwatering Biriyanis ,METTAYI THERUV with halva stalls, the small Indian Coffee` house perched on the first floor with antique staircase, small petty shops where you could get a nip of arrack on the sly, soothsayers, homosexuals ,prostitutes ,you name it and you can experience it, that’s Calicut for me
When I Got ‘A slice of Calicut Halwa ‘ by Dr K N Raghavan ,my boss I was hoping to find all these , but he chose to tread a different path from his earlier sojourns
From the first sentence of the prologue where the dead man’s eyes pleads for forgiveness to the last sentence “ My task was over “ it was indeed a race from page to page. Some books are like that and this is one .. Each slice had its own share of surprises, as Rema slowly evolves from her childhood into one of the most reputed doctor of the city
In her pursuit of her goal she bears he ignominy of being sexually harassed on her way to college where her co passengers and public turn their head to avoid confronting a local powerful eave teaser and molester. Let down by even her brother she keeps on her pursuit of her aim to become a doctor and when she ultimately achieves it fate steps. She is married to a sexually pervert person and irony is that her husband is a friend of her old bully, bisexual and eave teaser who just starts from where he left years ago
With none to help she evolves a plan to eliminate him .Being a doctor and a victim she uses her guile to take revenge. Society always forgets the victims and it is the perpetrators who get away in the judicial process. .victimology is a science which deals with the agony and helplessness of the victims and also makes them prone to get justice in their own ways. . .The author himself a doctor knows that the brains response for reward also governs revenge. . How a human mind evolves in its instinct for survival is seen at its best in “ A SLICE OF CALICUT HALWA”