Maria, Just Maria – Sandhya Mary


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Following the death of her grandfather, Maria has stopped speaking – not because she can’t, but because she doesn’t want to.

Now in a psychiatric hospital, as she begins the process of ‘reconnecting with reality’, Maria recalls her journey of being ‘just Maria’ – a girl born into a Syrian Christian family in Kerala, whose companions were a grandfather who took her along to wander around the village and its toddy shops, a great-aunt with dementia who challenged Maria’s position as the youngest in the family, a dog with a penchant for philosophy, various long-dead family members including a great-grandmother with a knack for prophecies, a patron saint who insisted on interfering in people’s affairs, and Karthav Eesho Mishiha with whom Maria has regular conversations.

Sandhya Mary’s novel Maria, Just Maria – masterfully translated by the award-winning Jayasree Kalathil – is an insightful and humorous take on ideas like normal-abnormal, natural-human, love-hate, etc. that define contemporary society, and the exuberant and moving story of a woman trying to find her place in this world.


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