How colourful can a crow’s life be?
Hearing the name ‘crow’, what comes to our minds is nothing more than a black, ugly bird flying around trash cans and piles of garbage, looking for food and crowing loudly. That is how we see them. But how do they see us, humans?
Kakiyan is all about crows, narrated by a crow who carries the same name. The second child of wise Mama Alice and Stanley Crow, brother to Rodney and Lucille, Kakiyan is a ‘different’ crow from the others in his clan. Instead of merely exploring the world as a crow, he decides to tell us about it: how he and his family live, and how a crow sees the world.
The story opens up with his revolutionary thought of being a writer, which leads the readers to his life story. Born in Jacaranda Condominium, a crow apartment complex in the middle of a city, Kakiyan becomes the perfect fit to tell us all about being a crow. Among the regular hungry crows we see on the street, there are experts who know where to find the best food. The flying experts teach little kako kids how to fly, guard crows protect the condominium from intruders, and judge crows make sure the laws are not broken.
The day of a crow is not black and white as most of us think. It is full of colours, fun and joy. But with the ‘Great Ones,’ it is not always easy. They think they have control over every single creature on the earth. Kakiyan’s mother, Mama Alice, teaches the kids about how cruel, insane and arrogant these Great Ones are, who walk below the Kakos. How these crows see the Great Ones is more than enough to make the ‘Great Ones’ ashamed about themselves and what they do to the world. The tragic fates some of Kakiyan’s non-Kako friends face show how cruel the Great Ones can be for most trivial reasons.
“Remember children! They are not great, not by any means. They only think they are great.”
‘Kakiyan’ is such a miraculously penned piece of work that portrays the values of life: respecting each other’s freedom, enjoying little things of life and living in the moment. Kakiyan and the crows around him show the readers that the world can be good or evil, and what should be done is embracing the good. Undoubtedly, reading this story of a crow is like watching an elaborate piece of animation, which does not let us look at the Kakos the way we are used to. The happiness, sadness, romance, humour and adventure in this book makes it such a pleasant reading, even for beginners in English reading.
If there’s art, there must be an artist. The man who penned this amazing story of a crow is none other than our much loved, award-winning author of ‘Sam’s Story’, Captain Elmo Jayawardena. After watching and observing crows who wandered around, a never-seen world above our heads was created by Captain Elmo, for which he received a State Literary Award.
‘Kakiyan’ is a well-written story of a life well-lived by a Kako, who brings undeniable life lessons for us the Great Ones. It helps us see and experience what we have not seen. After seeing the world from a Kako’s eye, I can tell one thing for sure: a crow definitely knows more than you and me.