Author: Keki N Daruwalla
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8171679617
A House in Ranikhet contains sixteen stories, including a cluster of stories around a group of characters in Ranikhet. The locales are far-flung, both in space and time.
A House in Ranikhet is Keki N Daruwalla’s third volume of short stories after Sword and Abyss (1979) and The Minister for Permanent Unrest (1996), which included a novella set in Latin America. While his first volume contained considerable experimental fiction, his novella dealt with the corruption endemic in power, and some later stories touched upon theological intricacies and the unraveling of myth.
His characters are vulnerable people, sometimes overwhelmed by circumstance. His concerns are centered on how dream and fable, myth and memory, forge a reality of their own and make people act and stumble in the way they do. Be it paintings, dreams or crimes, Daruwalla is interested in what lies behind the façade. Some stores, like the Chronicles of Julio Esteban, dealing with Portuguese missionaries, are more parable than fiction.
He has two stories on Alexander’s invasion of India which show how well honed his sense of history is and how thorough his research. In vibrant prose charged with energy, he brings into play his rich humor, and the irony that goes with it.
An Ache in the Arms
A House in Ranikhet
The History Professor
The Story of the Seminar
Of Michel Raynal
The Retired Panther
Life in the Big City
A Job Like Any Other
Monologue in Harsinghpur Gola
Islands (From the Chronicles of Julio Esteban)
The Yavana Cometh