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Baromaas: Twelve Enduring Months, a Sahitya Akademi Award winning novel of 2004, presents a gripping tale of a farmer’s family in contemporary India. Its realism is so convincing, content so genuine and near perfect, form so aesthetically pleasing that it could become one of the best regional novels in World Literature. A representative tale of Indian farming that depends on the erratic rain-god on the one hand and the expectancy of high market returns on the other—both of which rarely come to the farmer’s aid—the tale develops a point of no return.
Deeply rooted in the Vidarbha soil, Sadanand Deshmukh, a regional novelist of repute in Marathi, captures the tragedy of the honest, god-fearing but hard working Tanpure family so faithfully that it could even be compared to the poignancy and realism of the Joads in John Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize winning American regional novel The Grapes of Wrath. The tragic inevitability of the plot, its down-to-earth characters and its near perfect realism helps reach the novel to a pinnacle of artistic achievement.