by Chandrahas Choudhury
Farhad Billimoria is so looking forward to being a departed soul. On the cusp of his forty-second birthday, this suave, divorced Parsi psychotherapist makes a farewell parade across Bombay in the company of Zelda, his beloved vintage Maruti 800. As he counts down the days for his relocation to San Francisco, where jazz and soul, craft beer and bantering blondes all thrive, Farhad’s mind crackles with bittersweet memories, giddy dreams, dreadful puns even a new form of therapy modelled on clouds. But is love about to bloom for Farhad in Bombay just as he has given up on the city? And if it does, will he bring to it the man that he is or the one he wants to become?Elsewhere in Bombay, Rabi, a spirited youth from the remote Cloud people of Odisha a sky-watching tribe who venerate Cloud maker, the mercurial God who plays puff-puff in the skies all day long suddenly finds himself cooped up ascaretaker to two ailing and cranky old Odia Brahmins, Eeja and Ooi. Their son Bhagaban, a film-maker and gadfly, has taken it upon himself to lead Rabi and the Cloud people away from the stranglehold of a miningcompanytowardsdemocratic resistance a project for which Eeja and Ooi have little empathy. As Bhagaban directs the forward march of time and Eeja and Ooi reassert a golden Indian past, will Rabi have to relinquish the delicate self bequeathed to him by the Cloud people? Or will the two hidebound old people begin to be drawn up into the clouds instead?By one of Indias most celebrated young writers Chandrahas Choudhury, Clouds is a story about earth and sky, love and friendship, language and power. At its simplest, it illuminates the inner lives of half-a-dozen characters forging their own paths in one great city. Yet peel away the surface layers and what emerges is a vast, subtle, outstanding portrait of Indian democracy at seventy.
About The Author
Chandrahas Choudhury's first novel, Arzee the Dwarf, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth First Book Prize, translated into German and Spanish and chosen by World Literature Today as one of 60 Essential Works of Modern Indian Literature in English. He is also the editor of a short introduction to the pleasures of Indian literature India: A Traveller's Literary Companion. A graduate of Hindu College, Delhi, and Trinity College, Cambridge, he was also a visiting fellow at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 2010. He lives between Delhi, Mumbai and Bhubaneswar.