Brief Takes: My Father`s Garden by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar
And once in a rarish while, along comes a book, the contents of which are seamlessly compatible with its jacket pic.
Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar`s MY FATHER`S GARDEN (Speaking Tiger Books) is one such book.
The reader`s eye is caught and held first by the sumptuous illustration on the cover. And once they start to read the first of the three interconnected stories, it doesn`t take long for them to realise that the stark, straightforward, absolutely free-of-flourishes style is in direct counterpoint to that cover pic. But and here`s the thing, they complete and complement each other beautifully.
The narrator, a Santali doctor, tells us of life in small-town India with its everyday kindnesses and cruelties, its routine trials and joys, of the political and sexual specifics that infuse his life, colour his experiences, sets his weltanschauung.
Is it a one-word summary you want? Here it is, then: searing.