Author: Usha K R
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143029398
‘Usha K.R. is a miniaturist, and she shares the miniaturist’s fierce love of technical virtuosity and minute attention to detail.’—Namita Gokhale
Her familiar existence disrupted after her father’s death, Nagaratna is forced to move from her village to the semi-squalid environs of Vitthala Colony in the city of Bangalore, where her brother lives. A former village that has been engulfed by the expanding metropolis, Vitthala Colony retains some of the ‘primitive’ characteristics of a south Indian village. It is the bastion of the lesser tradition, for here live Plague-amma, the goddess who was created when an epidemic of plague swept the land, and Nallikai Swami, a no-nonsense swami named after the four gooseberry trees in his compound.
Trapped in this world with people whom she sees as leading truncated lives, people with thickened sensibilities and no hope, Nagaratna yearns for ‘something uncluttered and noble and fulfilling’. And then a job in an exclusive ashram school allows her to glimpse a world where the human state of grace has been restored, a school emblematic of the restraint and good taste inculcated by a more sophisticated awareness . . . Nagaratna is transfigured by the life it offers and the people she meets, and most importantly, by the love she believes she has found.
Set in southern India, shifting between Bangalore and a fictional French protectorate on the western coast where the ashram is located, The Chosen tells the compelling story of a young woman torn between who she is and who she wants to be.