Author: Manohar Shyam Joshi
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Ira Pande
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143068396
A thin, short man with illusions of grandeur, Khashtivallabh Pant, Dubbul MA, is a school teacher in a remote Kumaoni village, where he is mockingly referred to as T’ta Professor. A great admirer of the Englishman’s attire, T’ta is also deeply in awe of the white man’s language. He always carries a notebook to jot down English words that he hears for the first time, acknowledging a word as acceptable only after he has consulted his Oxford Dictionary. His vanity makes him a terrific target for lampooning and the narrator in this novel, a writer who never manages to finish the stories he sets out to write, is determined to produce a ‘biting satire’, and wastes no time finding out more about T’ta’s life.
When T’ta starts to tell his tale, what begins as an innocent idyll turns quickly into an erotic and scatological romp, and T’ta turns from a ridiculous comic character into a pathetic pervert. As the story unravels, the multiple narratives reveal a complex figure, comic and tragic by turns, and the novel changes gear and darkens into a gothic bleakness of unimaginable dimensions.
Hilarious and disturbing … I have never read anything like it … Joshi is a genius’
“Translated brilliantly by Ira Pande, this gem of a book will soon establish itself as a classic’
- The Statesman
‘[An] excellent translation’
- Urvashi Butalia, Outlook
‘This translation will re-invent Manohar Shyam Joshi for a generation not acquainted with the genius’
- Mail Today
‘’This bittersweet tale of a chimerical character is revealingly quirky’
- Time Out
‘Ira Pande has done a remarkable translation. She has retained the authenticity of the original voice, while retelling the story as a good English novel’.
- Deccan Herald
‘A true classic to which Ira Pande’s translation does justice’