Serendipity At Play
Remember how I mentioned in a previous post that quite often I don’t choose my books but they choose me? I know you think its nuts that I say that but it’s true. And I have found that whenever I let a book choose me, I am always pleasantly surprised by it. This time was no different.
My sister-in-law and I were at a craft shop in Colombo looking for gift items and the store had a little book section tucked away in one corner of their lowest floor. So naturally, I started looking and not much stuck out at first. But as I was walking away but looking back over my shoulder (because I really wanted to read a good book on my holiday), I caught the cover of a book on the ‘New Arrivals’ table.
‘The Gurkha’s Daughter’, by some author I had never heard of and in all honesty didn’t know if it was a girl’s name or guy’s. My mom is half Gurkha and half Rajput, which is said almost ‘tongue-in-cheek’ around our home because both Gurkha’s and Rajput’s are warriors and my mother can get passionate and a little confrontational from time to time! So I immediately knew the book would have something to do with the Nepali experience and it did.
The Gurkha’s Daughter is a collection of short stories by Prajwal Parajuly (a man by the way) and is very reminiscent of Jhumpa Lahiri’s collection ‘The Interpreter of Maladies’ one of my very favourite books. I love short stories. If written well, they capture all the essential emotions and leave you longing for just a little bit more. This was one of those books.
The string throughout all the pieces was of course the lives of the Nepali people in India, Nepal and the U.S.A. The pieces were concise yet detailed and had the right combination of plot and character development. I didn’t just read the book, I devoured it. In one weekend I polished off almost 300 pages. Go Read it! You will thank me for it. I promise.