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Jazz by Toni Morrison

Joe falls in love with a girl young enough to be his daughter.  He is an ordinary middle aged  black salesman of beauty products living with his wife. And when he sees this girl , Dorcas dancing with another boy, he shoots her.

Joe's wife Violet never wanted a child. But now it is too late. So she sleeps with a doll and lives in her own world. After she hears about this girl her husband murdered, she goes to the funeral and stabs the dead girl in the coffin. And is chased out of the church.

Now the couple live in the house like zombies. They go and stare at the photo of the dead girl in the middle of the night. 

Police do not arrest Joe as no one had complained against him. The murdered girl is an orphan and her only relative is her aunt who herself is working class black widow. She had always tried to protect the girl Dorcas from vicious white men. She never imagined that mild speaking Joe who used to come to her house to sell his products would spoil her niece and then murder her. The little girl who witnessed both her parents die in a street violence, had to die such a horrible death.

Violet starts visiting different people and collecting information about the girl. When she finds about this aunt, she visits this aunt many times.

Joe has his own ghosts from the past. He does not know who his parents are but suspects a mentally deranged woman who lives in the woods is his mother. 

It takes another girl, Dorcas's friend, to convince the couple that Dorcas was not worth all this mourning. She tells them how Dorcas would use people for her own benefits. And also on the day she was shot, she just declined the offer to take her to hospital. So she was responsible for her own death.

Toni Morrison's books will touch your heart and stay there for a long time. 

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Someshwara shataka

ಚರಿಪಾರಣ್ಯದ ಪಕ್ಷಿಗೊಂದು ತರು ಗೊಡ್ಢಾಗಲ್ ಫಲಂ ಈವಿದಾ
ಮರಗಳ್ ಪುಟ್ಟವೆ ಪುಷ್ಪವೊಂದು ಬಳಲಲ್  ಭ್ರಂಗಕ್ಕೆ ಪೂವಿಲ್ಲವೆ
ನಿರತಂ ಸತ್ಕವಿಗೋರ್ವ ಗರ್ವಿದಂ ನೃಪ ತಾಂ ಲೋಭಿಯಾಗಲ್ ನಿಜಂ
ಧರೆಯೊಳ್ ದಾತರು ಪುಟ್ಟರೆ ಹರ ಹರಾ ಶ್ರೀ ಚೆನ್ನ ಸೋಮೇಶ್ವರ

Will a bird in the wild go hungry just because one fruit tree dries up? If one flower withers, will not the bee get any flowers? If one haughty king is miserly, will there be no patrons (of poetry) on this earth?


ಕೆಲವಂ ಬಲ್ಲವರಿಂದ ಕಲ್ತು ಕೆಲವಂ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಂಗಳೋದುತಂ
ಕೆಲವಂ ಮಾಳ್ಪವರಿಂದ ಕಂಡು ಕೆಲವಂ ಸುಜ್ಙಾನದಿಂ  ನೋಡುತಂ
ಕೆಲವಂ ಸಜ್ಜನಸಂಗದಿಂದಲರಿಯಲ್ ಸರ್ವಜ್ಞನಪ್ಪಂ ನರಂ
ಪಲವಂ ಪಳ್ಳ ಸಮುದ್ರವೈ ಹಾರ ಹರಾ ಶ್ರೀ ಚೆನ್ನ ಸೋಮೇಶ್ವರ

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