For not having loved one s dead father enough, could one make amends by loving one s child more? Eighty-five and half paralysed, Shyamanand is on his deathbed when he goes missing. His apparent refusal to meet death in the expected way calm and accepting and lying down is a cause for great anguish to his son Jamun, who leads a life of quiet desperation, trying to balance feelings of despair and resignation since the suicide of his friend and neighbour Dr Mukherjee. After their father disappears, Jamun and his brother Burfi reconnect in their old home that builder Lobhesh Monga has his eyes on. In their quest to find out what happened to Shyamanand, they find a path out of desolation, even as TV executive Kasturi, Jamun s former lover and mother of his only child, is busy recycling the more melodramatic moments of Jamun s life for the blockbuster Hindi soap Cheers Zindagi. In powerful, austere prose shot through with black humour, Upamanyu Chatterjee has produced an intensely moving examination of family ties and the redemptive power of love, however imperfect, in the midst of death and degeneration.
Way to go
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