Vempalli Gangadhar is a researcher, poet and writer from Andhra Pradesh. In 2011, he was awarded the ‘Sahitya Akademi’s Yuva Puraskar’ for his short-story collection “Molakala Punnami”. This award-winning book is a collection of 13 short-stories.
Molakala Punnami, this inspiring collection of stories of Vempalli Gangadhar delineating its characters from a rural background, speaks in earthy tones through the voices of those who depend on land and the vagaries of nature giving either misery or bounty. The stories are full of pathos of the deprived, both economically and emotionally. They have a distinct quality, which separates them from the run-of-the mill stories.
The title story 'Molakala Punnami', is powerful with an unexpected ending. So also are stories such as 'Moodu Padunla Vaana', 'Poola Chetulu', 'Mynam Bommalu', 'Sreeman Doravaariki' which penetrate into the subtle realities beneath the superficial realities of life. Gangadhar's handling of the characters has a depth which will haunt the reader long after one has finished reading the stories. He sometimes comes across as a poet when he derives inspiration directly from nature, and within the framework of the story, spills his poetry in prose form.