Pune health officer writes a fascinating novel retelling the discovery of cholera with a twist

The genre of medical literature has few classic novels in it. Such original novels are very few in Marathi. A government medical officer from Pune has written a Marathi novel named ‘Anakhi Ek Swalpviram (Another Tiny Comma)

It is an engaging novella dealing with the discovery of modes of transmission of cholera in Marathi. Also, the biography of John Snow, one of the fathers of modern epidemiology, is written in an entirely interesting form.

For the first time, the story of a medical discovery is being told in Marathi in such a fascinating way. Dr Pradeep Awate, Head of Maharashtra Epidemiology Department, who is the author of the book was transferred to Solapur in 2009 when there was a big upsurge of cholera case in the district.

aankhi-ek-swalpviram-front

“Solapur saw many deaths during that time period and it was a major public health concern. During this time, I read Dr John Snow who first discovered the cause behind cholera in London. His enthusiasm for public health-related concerns and his work fascinated me a lot. I then thought that this is something Marathi literature lacks. If young students are made aware about it they would make a good service for society,” said Dr Awate.

“During the time when young doctors are looking at medicine just as their profession, this book will give them insights on how even public health is a fascinating subject,” he added.

It was difficult for Snow to convince everybody at that time about the real cause behind cholera.

Awate elaborated, “We think that we are very intelligent, but we as human beings, also take time in acknowledging the logical things. This book will also give you an idea that public interest is an important thing.”

Though it is mainly written for children anyone having child-like inquisitive nature will enjoy reading it.

This is the biography of John Snow written in an entirely interesting form. Shantanu and Sanghmitra – a brother & sister duo accidentally visit a cholera outbreak hit Solapur city with their doctor dad and this school-going inquisitive duo takes an active part in cholera outbreak investigation. The story unfolds brilliantly with the on-going outbreak and reaches back like a time machine to London of 1850.

61c4fdc6-9afe-4a70-b8c8-1bbe4e612454

This genre is new to Marathi literature. For the first time, the story of a medical discovery is being told in Marathi in such a fascinating way.

Dr Pradip Awate, state Surveillance Officer of Maharashtra and a senior health officer from the Public health department is also an acclaimed writer, poet, and lyricist of Marathi. His three anthologies of Marathi poetry, two collections of stories for children and other books won accolades from Marathi readers.

This is his seventh book in Marathi literature. His story ‘Footprints’ is also included in the high school textbook for standard X in Maharashtra.