Author: Upamanyu Chatterjee
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0670058629
Between the ages of eighteen and thirty-seven, when he died, Bhola had just eight sexual partners, four women and four males. When he reviewed his life, it pleased him that he had maintained a balance between genders in his choice of lovers.
Of course, it was ridiculous that he should at the age of thirty-seven be lightheadedly embarrassed about how few were the people he had slept with. Then he reminded himself that that was nothing new, that he had always felt ridiculous, not to worry.’
Weight Loss, Upamanyu Chatterjee’s fourth novel, is only tangentially about losing weight. And though the hero dies tragically young, it is, fundamentally, comic.
Bhola, innocent and unremarkable, but for his near crippling obsession with sex and running, fears taking on the burden of emotional commitment and goes through life falling in love with all kinds of inappropriate people. At school, he lusts indiscriminately after his teachers, of both sexes, and is attracted to eunuchs. While in college, far from home, he has vaguely demeaning affairs with his landlady and with a vegetable vendor-cum-nurse and her husband. Later, he marries (a woman who sings with a voice of liquid gold), fathers a daughter (‘a warm, living thing’) and suspects he is close to balance and beauty. Then his past catches up with him.
Upamanyu Chatterjee’s genius for black humour and the absurd has never been more compelling than in this unforgettable portrait of a lost life.
Lips Thick with Repose
Tie Me Down
The Calm Centre