Om Story of an Era Told Without Ill-will
The author, M K K Nayar's impressionable childhood, schooling and university years began in early 1920s - the most turbulent period of India's independence struggle. Aftergraduating in 1940 and spending two years in Travancore Civil Service, M K K Nayar joined the Ordnance Department of British India in Hyderabad. During this phase of his career, he risked his life more than once to bring nefarious going-ons in the princely state of Hyderabad to the attention of national leaders like Sardar Vallabhai Patel and defuse conspiracies that were jeopardizing India's national interests. In 1948, M K K Nayar joinedthe IAS and was involved prominently in India's national development - notably in building the Bhilai Steel Plant and fertilizer plants that also seeded several other industries in the Cochin Industrial Belt, and by propagating modern agriculture throughout South India. His friendship and intimacy with national leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, illustrious civil servants like V P Menon, industrialists like J R D Tata and innumerable opinion-leaders all over India gave him a ringside view of and insider information on some the most important and interesting episodes of Indian history until mid 1970s. !Destiny took him to Kerala in 1959 to head India's pioneer fertilizer company, The Fertilisers And Chemicals Travancore Ltd (FACT) which he developed into a multifaceted organization that grew over twenty-fold during the decade of his tenure in it. This period that ended in 1971 also found him raising Kathakali, one of the most stylized forms of mime dance-drama from a destitute existence on the fringes of Kerala's social milieu to the forefront of international recognition. Success in everything he did even outside of his vocation, from resolving political imbroglios to promoting art and literature, took him to the forefront of life in Kerala and the national capital. Jealousies it aroused resulted in court cases being instituted against him on frivolous charges and they took 12 years for him to be fully exonerated. In that time, India lost the services of one of its ablest go-getters during what should have been his peak years. !Between June 1986 until his premature passing away in September 1987, he penned a series of articles about his life nd times. It was serialized under the title of Aarodum Paribhavamillathe, Oru Kalaghattathinte Katha in the popular Malayalam weekly, Kala Kaumudi. It was later published as a book which became a big hit with Malayali readers and is printed and published even now. !M K K Nayar emphasizes that this was not an autobiography but an attempt to share without bitterness or ill-will some of his experiences and the joy, pain and terrible sadness they brought him. The renowned historian, author and academician, M G S Narayan says that M K K Nayar's 'memoirs did not get the due recognition it deserved" and acknowledges it as a "historical chronicle of pre and post independent India". !The book has been translated into English by Gopakumar M Nair, who was an executive of FACT during a part of M K K Nayar's tenure there. Though Gopakumar is a popular amateur writer from his college days in IIT Madras, this translation named The Story of an Era, Told Without Ill-will is his first book.