A novel by Nihal Singh, the title and the blurb caught my attention; and so I borrowed it from the library. I’d come across some good Indian writing in the library, like “Dawn” (a translation from the Assamese original), and “My God died young”, to name a few. Having been let down by the Indian writers of recent times (barring a few), I still had some faith in the writers of the previous years. To say I was completely let down would be an understatement.
Set in the early post-Independence India, it deals with the life of a Swedish ambassador. The story held a lot of promise, to me at least. The novel began well enough. But after a certain point, it failed to hold my interest; and I could not wait to finish it and put it behind me.
It did raise some interesting observations and provide some new insights; but it became too monotonous after a while. What started as an insight into the lives of times of the people turned into a chronicle of messed-up marriages and illicit relationships. So much so; that even the contrived ending reinstating the cliché that India is where westerners find peace, love and the meaning of life; does not hold much water.
A disappointing read, for me. It was only an iron will that helped me wade through to the last page.