The Winnowing Waves

The Winnowing Waves



This is my first novel and I am pretty excited about it.

Reading has been a passion from as far back as I can remember, which goes back to the time that I had just started putting alphabets together to form words and I would try and make sense of the words I came across on any printed space or signboard on the streets.

As a child it was Enid Blyton who cast the spell and in my late teens,  the Mills and Boon series and authors like Hermina Black  and Barbara Cartland swayed my romantic heart. The community library just next to our house also provided us with a lot of books in my mother-tongue, malayalam.

As an adult, there was no particular genre that I preferred. I HAD to read, that was it.

In the job that I held for twenty five years in a Central Government Ministry , before  I took voluntary retirement , ten years prior to my superannuation date, there was a lot of writing that took place. May be it was my proclivity to write that made me use my  pen for the notings and draft letters submitted to the higher authorities on the files and  made me depend a lot less that one normally would , to dictate them to my stenographer and have them typed out.  But there was no scope for creativity in that milieu of presentation of hard facts and figures.

I was busy even after my retirement in matters that I had involved myself with , which again , had little to do with writing. But I had started a blog and later joined Facebook when i started putting up posts of this and that and pretty much everything that interested me or wanted to share.

It was only after I relocated from Delhi in North India , where I had spent close to thirty five years,  to Bangalore where my daughter was settled , to sign in for the role of doting grandmother,that the seed of an  idea of putting something together in the form of a book , was planted in my mind. I had  in fact straightaway written the first chapter of a novel, which i thought would effortlessly take off, considering that I could call upon my vocabulary without too much effort and because I imagined that there would be plenty of time to spare.

But my grandson became my only area of abiding interest till he started to go to school. By that time , the initial fervour had subsided and i would half-heartedly take up the chapters with huge gaps in between. It was only in the course of the last one year that I approached it with any amount of consistency and then too, by the time I had finished putting together around twenty five chapters, I was gripped by impatience to be done with it.

Thereafter for a few months, I tentatively explored the regular pubishing platforms , but was left feeling dejected, seeing how long and tiring the process would be and that too without any guarantee of success.

So I went the self-publishing way and the book has been available online for the last three months.

To most of my friends here, the background and culture in which the characters are set in will be totally strange. But may be, just may be , it will make for an interesting reading. The society  and places are all familiar to me from close at hand and hopefully, I have been able to add a touch of authenticity to the story. I will be delighted if you get a copy and read it. 

It is an attempt to capture the changing patterns in the intra-community and inter community relationships  that one has witnessed from my childhood up to the present time in my homestate, Kerala , a caostal state in the South of India.

In India the book  is available on the Notionpress online store , and Flipkart

For those outside India it is available on

Here is the link:


Here are the reviews:

Usha Pandit

Started reading my friend Nadira Cotticollan’s book ‘The Winnowing Waves’ on my flight to Bhopal from Delhi last evening. I’m telling you guys we have with us another celebrity Indian writer. Born to write. And a great story teller. She weaves the Malayali Muslim culture deftly and takes you into a gentle world. A book you won’t put down in a hurry.

I will do a full review when I’m finished reading.

Before that, buy the book on Amazon, Flipkart or Notion Press, and read it yourself, so that you can enjoy my review and add your insights.

Nadira take a bow. Keep writing and wait for that Pulitzer, it’s just round the bend. ❤️”




A review of the book from Ck Vinod

“The Winnowing Waves is a brilliant debut Novel by Nadira Cotticollan. A lovely tale exploring the human emotions and its fallibility at times. Though a strong chord of feminism binds the novel, the central characters benefit immensely from the idealism, forward thinking of their close male relatives. Even matters of faith have been inspected through the lenses of practicality. However, the narrative has not dithered to a discourse. Minute, myriad details have been exemplified adding to the vividness of description easily transporting the reader to the setting of the novel. You waft in joy, then anticipate, feel despondent then ecstatic. Different emotions yet a single realisation, a brilliant piece of literary genius. Kudos to Nadira Maam. Congratulations.

– C.K.Vinod


“From the word go,TWW is eminently readable. The plot weaves together the stories of ordinary people, whose hopes are nothing out of the ordinary but their lives entangle with the dictates of the past and turmoils of our times. They don’t succumb, but survive and in their own ways change the narrative. The WW works at many levels – it’s a chronicle of changing times, the breaking and the bonding, the brooding and the waiting, the questioning and the reconciling. It’s all threaded together with a finesse and control that one feels refreshed and elevated. Kudos to the author for a great debut novel.
Gangadharan Kulangarath


“Simple language and the complexities of simple folk….weaves a wonderful blanket of experiences ….fun to read…loved every minute of it nadirechi….kudos to your efforts…”
 -Preetha Mohan


“An epic story spanning generations, covering decades and encompassing the cultural diversity that is India. The author has captured the lives of three women from the south and two from the north. She has related in lyrical, flowing prose how destiny makes their paths cross. The characters are well etched and the pace languid. An impressive work of literary fiction.

I am told that the book is self published. Had Nadira Cotticollan been more patient and gone through the rites of passage of debutant authors, she would surely have found a publisher.”

“The Winnowing Waves” by Nadira Cotticollan tells the story of three girls who move out of their protected joint -family childhoods into the harsh realities of life.The plot is well- paced, and towards the end moves with a sense of urgency towards its denouement. The characters are convincing; even minor characters like Pyari and Laxmiamma are unforgettable. Themes range from the disintegration of the joint family to the plight of migrant workers to religious extremism and the true nature of faith.And of course the etenal question, “Why?”. . “Why does all this have to happen?” is a question frequently posed to Life, and the implied answer is wise and compassionate.
For a first novel, it is a remarkable achievement. Looking forward to more from the author and best wishes to her!”

– Shalini Rajah


Another review from Shri A.V.Moideen Kutty

“Just finished TWW. Wanted to savour the language and expression; hence it took a long time reading.
Brilliant work. Narration simple, yet embellished with essential details, verbal imageries and personal recollections. Characters well defined and evolved naturally. Early chapters evoked nostalgic memories. I felt like hovering around the scenes and characters.
I will get more copies for my daughters who want to read it on hearing about you publishing a book.
Congrats, Nadira”

– A.V.M.Kutty

4th June 2019


Renuka Nair writes about the book:

There is this book which has been recently published by Nadira Cotticollan titled “The Winnowing Waves”.Those of you who turn your noses up at the genre “fiction”…read this….dont miss this !! This book is a treat. The book has a profound effect on you.People when they are still reading it…as if on cue……start speaking….reflecting about their personal experiences….and those very same people…..after they finish reading the last page….just put the book down on their laps and fall silent…their silence speaking volumes.Like an awestruck child walking around a fair…. I walked around with the her and had the privilege of walking through a kerala muslim household . As I trudged along with her around the sarpakavu ……like a flash back in a movie…..i walked into my grandma’s home ….ah!!! How I loved itStashed between the pages of this book is your free ticket to Kerala… The author transports you to ‘nadu’ – which in malayalam parlance is native place in Kerala…. The fragrance of the burning ola( cocunut palm leaves) and flowering trees, the sound of the rain on the tiled roof of the homesteads….she serves all of it and you thirst for more & more.Here’s a book which is truly representative of the indomitable human spirit….the will to survive…. the protagonists don’t allow meloncholy and bitterness to rule …..they pick up the broken pieces & build it up from nought. And surprise surprise…it is the author’s debut novel.Impatiently waiting for more to come from Nadira Cotticollan….my desi Jane Austen.









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