The Cursed Treasure, written by newbie Malayali writer Anu Pillai and published by Notion Press, is a gripping narration of a Malayali business family, that spans from 1880 to 2020 – a period in time that is hardly ever touched upon in the realm of fiction. Unlike the longer fiction stories, the author ended the compelling story in just 100 pages.
Pillai was born in a small village called Haripad at his maternal grandfather’s house. His paternal grandfather was one of the pioneers in processing In-Shell cashew and exporting Cashew Kernels from India more than a century ago. He inadvertently stumbled into his role as a third-generation entrepreneur. Growing up he had the good fortune of hearing the legends and personalities associated with the cashew business from its inception. As most of these stories emanated from family retainers a sense of exaggeration was a certain ingredient. This hoary past motivated the author to pen a book on these lines.
“I am a third generation scion of a family that played a pivotal role in pioneering the processing and exports of Cashew from India. So, with the help old family stories heard from family retainers I was able to work backwards and dream up this story. It was a challenge for me to come up with ‘The Cursed Treasure’ as there is a very little literature in English on Kerala especially for the period covered. The language is decent and crisp. The story covers a period from 1880 – 2020. A period of 140 years with a special focus 20 years of each century i.e 19th, 20th and 21st said an elated Pillai about the book.
The author has also used some colloquial phrases in Malayalam to give authenticity to the storyline. This book transcends from generation to generation and century to century seamlessly depicting the progress of a family from Punalur to Kollam and to Madras. The descendents are forced by destiny to return from Madras to Kollam via Thiruvananthapuram.
“I feel that only if somebody reads the book, they will understand the true essence of what I am saying. It will take less than two hours for a dedicated reader,” he added. The author’s interests other than cricket and reading are mainly in the areas of Cashew and Renewable Energy in business