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Author: Tabish Khair
Publisher: Picador India
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0330419218
Written with exceptional poise and beguiling simplicity, The Bus Stopped is an enthralling and entertaining portrayal of a distinct part of India and its people.Step on board the bus, take a seat, if there’s one free. Settle yourself down, make yourself as comfortable as you can and gaze-surreptitiously, of course-at the others around you. Try to imagine their stories, their reasons for being on board this particular bus on this particular day at this particular time; let your mind’s eye create pictures of where their journeys began and the places that their travels will ultimately take them.As the bus starts, wait and watch and listen, greedily gleaning what clues you can from snatches of conversation, from the cut of clothes, from body language and luggage and appearances. Conjure tales of a very angry bus driver, abandoned by his wife and going nowhere in his career; a sanctimonious conductor; a hijra-or eunuch-a remnant of India’s Muslim days; a nervous, half-Indian businessman clutching a briefcase full of cash; a right-wing Hindu matriarch; a young boy returning to his village after robbing his employer.Remind yourself of how incredible it is: the bus full of passengers, driver, conductor-and you-brought together only because you are all traveling on the same bus, in the same direction, on the same day. And then, as the bus stops, and you-all-witness a tragic event, discover how lives can be changed and futures gained or lost; how some stories end while others are yet to unfold.Just before he turns the ignition key, again and again coaxing the old engine to start, he puts the whistle to his mouth and give a short sharp blow on it. A sound that cuts across the dawn, the field and the houses like a bird in flight.TABISH KHAIR was born in India in 1966. He currently lives in Denmark where he works for the Department of English at the University of Aarhus as an associate professor. He has written widely for papers and literary magazines in India, the UK, America, Denmark and South Africa, and has won numerous awards for his poetry.