Re: Multiple Perspectives in Telugu Short Story

Ramakrishna Sanka (
22 Sep 1997 13:53 CDT

namastE !

(please bear with my ramblings ... I have just put down what all passed 
through my mind on reading the few posts on this topic)

This discussion about presenting multiple PoVs in a single story 
(Is it possible in a short story ... a novel seems of a more suitable
length) reminds me of the tamil movie "anda naaL" (meaning 'That Day').
It is a murder mystery in which the director (or may be the writer) uses
the technique of narrating the circumstances of the murder through various
characters, to create and maintain the suspiciousness of the various 
characters. In the climax I believe he reconciles the various narrations
to present what actually happened thus solving the mystery.
In this instance it is a deliberate attempt on part of the writer to obfuscate 
the readers !

This exercise of presenting various PoVs appears to me akin to the practise 
of debate where a team is required to speak both for and against a topic. 
And in difficulty it is almost like trying to play (to win) on both sides 
in a game of chess.

I think an author sometimes challenges himself to present different sides to
a story objectively just to prove that he can do it. After all "Ekam sat, vipra@h
bahudhaa vadanti" ! Or it may be that he wants to provoke thought in the reader
presenting him with various solutions and letting him ponder and decide.
He then chooses the characters and incidents that allow for such an exercise
and proceeds to present the various PoVs. He may then leave the reader to figure
out or state his own convictions (through some character, may be) of what is 
right and what is not.

This approach of describing a set of incidents through various PoVs is different
from what (Jagdish Bisa indicates) was used in Buchibabu's story. In that technique
it is very likely that the PoVs of the various characters, are dealing with
entirely different issues obviating the need to present or resolve any conflict.

Since the world is not all black and white, any story with realistic characters
must of need portray differing PoVs.