Author: Randhir Khare
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8172233353
A collection of short stories in three parts, this book abounds in oddballs characters, misfits who seem to ;live on the very edge of community existence, unfettered by social, cultural, and historical boundaries, and oblivious of the inexorable cruelty of historical circumstance.
In the first section, 'Living with Sarah', an Iranian refugee carries his cross of hurt, loss and displacement in search of his magnificent obsession, Sarah, a drug addict; Rabindranath Tagore's house beside the river Hooghly becomes the setting of a haunting story of marital discord; while the blue hills of the Nilgris, are home to a riotous array of Raj leftovers. Out of the back streets of Calcutta, emerge portraits of the 'The Ladies of Calcutta', Annie, who trusts dogs more than man, beautiful Ramona, who guards her secret life from her lover.Poignant, yet full of power, these stories form a fitting prelude to the final section of the book, 'Notebook of a Footsoldier', in which Christopher Alexander, ex-convict, lover and hater of women, gypsy gun-runner and boozard puts down fragments from his memory in tattered notebooks in a desperate attempt to redeem himself from his past. On the run from an underworld gang, he frantically tries to complete his story.