By K.S Maniam
"The pelanduk", as the title of the story, refers to a golden deer which has magical powers and can change colors constantly. The story of pelanduk was once told by a deviational Hindu philosophy named Govindasamy. In the story, a woman called Sita was allured by the golden deer, which was, in reality, transformed by a man. Sita's husband and his brother were also deceived by the deer's grace and form. The pelanduk here symbolizes allure and deceit. It indicates something that is unrealistic to some extent.
In Govindasamy's mind, the pelanduk possesses great magic that man has to discover which will take him out of the dream. Kaliamma, the goddess of violent revelation, represents the duration of destruction. During the duration of destruction, man has to solve the riddle of existence: are we a dream or are we real? Among the four goddesses: Saraswathi, Letchumi, Parvathi and Kaliamma, Govindasamy shows greatest reverence and respect to Kaliamma. And he also strongly believes it is the age of Kaliamma. Until one day, Govindasamy claimed that: "Today we'll become aware of a way out. There must rise up from among us someone to serve the cause of kaliamma." (page91) Among the settlement inhabitants, Arokian, becomes the chosen one. As Govindasamy took note of the scene when Arokian was present at a puja for Kaliamma, the garland slipped from the goddess's neck. And Govindasamy believes that it was Kaliamma who made Arokian barren significantly.
Arokian is the husband of the childless Kali. He discovered the interest of hunting only after ten years of barren marriage. The settlement used to take him for a mild-tempered man. But later when Arokian becomes the one to kill the deer, the settlement fed him with confidence. Arokian withdrew into himself completely.
Arokian has a partner at work called Pandian who comes from an estate in the remote hinterland at the age of twenty. When the young man first came to the settlement, he was embarrassed and helpless. He floundered so much and only could have meals from other families. To work together with Arokian as a garbage collector, Pandian is diligent , but in the settlement he is still clumsy. The gloom and pessimism of the settlement makes Pandian feel oppressive and despairing .The repeated story and Govindasamy's philosophy soon wearied Pandian. On the other hand, the image of the golden, magical deer is deeply...