Sunita and Mukesh meet in the classrooms and lawns of St. Stephen's College, New Delhi in the 1960s, going on to Cambridge and Harvard, and ending up as professors at Columbia University in 2001. He teaches Elizabethan poetry and she South Asian History. Vocal, intelligent and well-read, they express all sorts of complicated ideas and emotions in other people's words (Shakespeare, Hegel, Kant) without being able to articulate how they feel about each other.
In this romance, love and sex are replaced by conversation and verbal duelsSunita and Mukesh play a Shakespeare quotation game every Thursday for thirty years! The moments they spend together is what is most precious to them. The story captures them simultaneously as they live the mundane minutiae of daily lifecareers, relationships, marriage, children, but all with other people.
Chaos Theory, as loosely defined in particle physics, talks of two particles that circle around each other but never connect. Mukesh and Sunita's uncertainties about how and what they teach, how and what they teach Americans being Indians, about each other, not talking about each othermake them chaotic particles in an immigrant's story of survival, not of a practical, physical kind, but of ideas. In this exploration of missed connections between the abstract theories of modern physics with the equally abstract emotions of an aging pair of irreverent professors, comic and tragic mix together in a search for comfortephemeral and fragile.
About the Author
Anuvab Pal is a playwright, author, screenwriter and stand-up comic, and columnist for various Indian and international publications. His playsChaos Theory, The President is Coming, Fatwa, 1888 Dial India and The Bureaucrathave been staged in India and across the world. He has authored the novels 1 888 Dial India (2010) and The President is Coming (2008), and a non-fiction, Disco Dancer: A Comedy in Five Acts (2009). He is screenwriter of The President is Coming (2009) and co-screenwriter of Loins of Punjab (2007). He performs stand-up comedy across India and in London.