Sannyay Kyinu by Lynn Khar

Sannyay Kyinu by Lynn Khar

“Sannyay Kyinu” literally means spring water but it was too exhausting while reading the book and when I finished the book, I was totally spent. The story gives a totally different form of sensation from its title. It’s not an elixir you’ll get if you’re someone who guesses the story by its title.

Centering the character ‘Kyinu’ who lives in a dead-end street named ’Sannyay’, the writer told a vehemently dejected story of lower class people living in the street. Kyinu used to sell water with a trolley cart but one day, he was wrongfully assaulted by a group of people during a riot in his town. After that he had troubled getting a job due to his illness. As suggested by his abusive wife, he pretended as a lunatic and beg around his town for money. As he exits Sannyay Street, his behaviour and footsteps changes into a practised manners of a crazy person. Everyday, he has to beg around town and give whatever money he received for the household as well as for his wife’s gambling.

There are other people in his street with variety of background stories and the stories of these people’s struggle for their living interlaced with Kyinu’s. It is gut wrenching to read how the unfavourable fate casted upon them repeatedly. Knowing such lives exist in real life is equally painful and hard to continue reading. A few laughters added by the writer in their daily nuisance is like a rare breeze. It was desponding to continue reading about the deteriorating health of Kyinu and hassles of the people in his street.

In his previous book, Dead Pond, Lynn Khar wrote a similarly doleful story about the struggling life of a group of friends. In my personal opinion, his writing is a lot more cohesive in this book. Succinct, yet very vehement. He showcased the lives of lower class people through multiple characters. With his vivid narration, each character evokes different emotions.

When life continuously strikes with challenging disasters, a marriage initiated with love and compassion becomes a hellish landscape. It’s frightening how life can wane a once true love.


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