Three-Seven-Seven and the Blue Gay Genes" is about the dilemma of homosexuals in this country still ruled by archaic British era laws and peopled with deranged, self-righteous people. Style, after all, is not so much about words, phrases and their combination but a reflection of the construct of the author’s mind.The reader is plunged into this pleasant diversity right from the first story titled "History Lesson", a hilarious account of the first English Ambassador Sir Thomas Roe’s disastrous mission to the court of Jehangir, the great Mughal. Then there are people who read for the sheer pleasure of it. But even in those one cannot miss a certain wistfulness. A mother cleans her child’s excrement and safeguards his health. Describing a septic tank, the author informs us that it "is typically a concrete box measuring 12 feet by 10 by 10.The writer is an independent commentator on political and security issues. The honourable minister informed Parliament that his ministry has been able to identify a total of 53,598 manual scavengers between December 1993 and June 2019. It did not strike anyone that this neither reflected social justice nor empowerment.
The ultimate idea perhaps is not so much to impress the pedagogue as to produce new and interesting narratives."However, as the honourable union minister of state for ministry of social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale told the Lok Sabha on 8 July this year, of the 620 recorded deaths cleaning sewers since 1993 (there are many more that don’t make it to the Central government’s statistics book) only 445 cases received compensation while 58 got partial compensation and 117 got nothing at all for dying in the sewers.There is much to enjoy and think about in each story but the one that will stay with me the longest is one titled "Can’t Take This Shit Anymore", which is about a family of the lowest caste called Valmikis whose traditional job is to clean latrines and haul excrement. To fight the stench and the nausea, the Amritbhais first get plastered. Excrement therefore is not the only reason why the tank stinks to high heaven.Each story seems to be crafted in a different style, all of them revealing the author’s essentially compassionate worldview. Just the kind of stuff today’s jaded school children might enjoy - or perhaps hate, who knows."Girl", is a gut-wrenching account of the infamous Aarushi murder case where the police as well as the CBI implicated and imprisoned the girl’s unfortunate parents for the crime and shamelessly exposed the victim’s personal details to the public.People read books for various reasons — time pass, entertainment, curiosity, to be better informed, academic compulsions and so on. If you are of the latter kind, then this collection of short stories by Upamanyu Chatterjee is just the thing.This grossly offensive justification for the continued existence of castes such as the Valmikis is reflective of a dark side of the Indian psyche.But that and much more is what India is all about and reading the stories is like wandering down some of those dark alleys. In urban areas, they are the ones Wholesale aquarium air pump for sale who pick up garbage and enter sewers to clean the accumulated excreta of thousands. And hugely entertaining as well