In the late sixties, Sergeant Samar, a minor employee of the air force, his wife Basanti and their four sons move from small-town Barrackpore to Bombay. The four boys grow up in the rapidly changing, cosmopolitan city that is just beginning to recognize its aspirations. Kalu, the third son, dreams of being an artist.
But dreams are easily obscured by circumstances. Kalus parents drift apart under the pressure of mutual resentments and casual violence. In school, Kalu cannot keep up with his rich English-speaking friends; only art gives him solace. But even as Samar grudgingly accepts his sons artistic aspirations, he is unwilling to support him. Faced with the possibility of joining the air force in his fathers footsteps, Kalu is forced to make an impossible choice.
As much a story of a difficult childhood as a snapshot of India of the 1960s, The Sergeants Son is a must-read.
About the Author
Ashim Choudhury was a corporal in the air force before he crash-landed into journalism and cartooning in 1992. Soon jobless, he got a break with the UN in Delhi, where he hopped several agencies. He also worked at the UN missions in the African states of Liberia and Sudan. An avid storyteller, his dream of becoming a newspaper columnist was never fulfilled. An inveterate traveller and a self-professed environmentalist, painting landscapes still remains his first love.