Author: Anoop Verma
ISBN/UPC (if available): 818857550X
Anirudh Shukla is seven when he flees his village with Jungali Baba, a trident-carry, ash-smeared Naga Sadhu. The ascetic and the boy march through villages, towns and cities, fields, jungles and riverbanks till they reach Rishikesh, where they live on the banks of Ganga.
Six years with the Naga Sadhu and it dawns on Anirudh that an ascetic way of life is not for him. He leaves Rishikesh and goes to Bombay, where he meets Jyotsna. They fall in love and marry. The melodious routine of their lives is disrupted when they witness an accident.
The scion of an illustrious family is behind the accident. Anirudh is offered a large sum for giving a false deposition. Lured by the prospect of attaining financial security, he accepts the money. But fate allows him only a short time to enjoy the ill-gotten wealth.
There is an event of shattering consequences, one thing leads to another, circumstances go beyond Anirudh’s control. He regresses into an increasingly claustrophobic world of self-obsession and becomes a prisoner of his own conscience. In a sad denouement he picks up knife to seek justice.
ANIRUDH SUKLA accompanies a Naga Sadhu to Rishikesh. But desires fierce as physical hunger make him descend the hills and go to Bombay.
JYOTSNA was born in a Bombay slum, but years for a better life.
JUNGALI BABA sacrifices his comfortable life in Bombay, departs for Himalayas in a quest that is answered, though not in the way he hoped.
THE THREE OF THEM interact in a story unraveling its myriad threads in the backdrop of a culture on the threshold of modernization, yet so primitive.