By Ashok Mathur
This fantastical ancient novel, narrated through a toddler but to be born, strains the lives of 3 generations of a Parsi relations in India starting within the past due 1800s. The narrative follows the Khargat kinfolk from the intricacies of village existence within the jungles of relevant India, to the issues of city existence in turbulent pre- and post-independence struggles, to modern diasporic realities within the uk and North the United States. This superbly instructed, attractive novel, through the writer of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize finalist the fast, chuffed lifetime of Harry Kumar, humanizes the politics of ethnicity, tradition, and colonial rule.
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Additional info for A Little Distillery in Nowgong
He is worried that intermingling will be the death of the Parsis. ” “So Tata can bring back a French prostitute and call her his wife and then have her navjote done and claim she is a fine Parsi wife— that is somehow similar to Jamshed making up stories? And what of this Tata fellow, anyway? ” Beramshah stops walking. The school is only a ten-minute walk from their home, through the market, and it is there they have stopped, in front of a silk merchant who recognizes Soona and beckons to her—new material has just arrived, and it would be perfect for her, absolutely perfect.
It is the only navjote she will know for any child of hers, so it might as well be sooner than later. For fully two weeks, six-year-old Jamshed (for his birthday occurs during the training) is made to learn his lines: “Praised be the most righteous, the wisest, the most holy and the best Mazdayasnian Law, which is the gift of Mazda. The good, true, and perfect religion, which God has sent to this world, is that which Prophet Zoroaster has brought in here. ” And the bright Jamshed learns them quickly even at the age of six.
Who knows. We only know that he is influenced by someone. Parsis do not talk to their unborn grandchildren, I am sure you must agree. ” “You mentioned the problem of intermingling, Percy,” says Beramshah impatiently. “Like my wife, I do not see how this has anything to do with anything beyond a child’s imagination. ” “Perhaps, perhaps, Dastur-ji. But my question is, where does this 33 stop? A Parsi boy not five years old is adopting the customs and beliefs of the polytheistic Hindus? Our community runs the risk of falling apart.