Magazine article New Internationalist

[The Hero's Walk]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[The Hero's Walk]

Article excerpt

* * * * = VERY GOOD

by Anita Rau Badami (Bloomsbury, ISBN o 7475 5303 3)

[Graph Not Transcribed]

On the balcony of a crumbling house in the dusty south Indian town of Toturpuram sits Sripathi Rao. He could have been a doctor or journalist but he failed to grasp his chances and instead he is an ageing and dissatisfied copywriter. Sripathi is busily writing letters to the newspapers, his one solace in a household composed of his scheming mother, melancholy unmarried sister and a wife and son for whom he feels little affection. His beloved daughter Maya has, as he sees it, betrayed him by marrying a Westerner and moving to Canada. He has not spoken to her for years and his life is a bitter and sterile compound of self-righteous loneliness.

A tragedy shatters this uneasy stasis; a phone call from Vancouver informs Sripathi that Maya and her husband have died in a car crash and he is named as the guardian of Maya's seven-year-old daughter Nandana, the granddaughter he has never met. …

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