Pile by the Bed reviews The Dream Builders by Oindrila Mukherjee a critical but compassionate exploration of the complexities of modern India
Pile by the Bed reviews and Recommends Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor a compulsive novel of crime and corruption set in and modern India.
Pile by the Bed reviews How to Kidnap the Rich by Rahul Raina – a fast paced, acidly observed romp through the highs and lows of Delhi.
Pile by the Bed reviews No Presetns Please by Jayant Kainini, a series of short stories set in Mumbai translated from Kannada.
Vivek Shanbhag has published eight works of fiction and two plays in his native South Indian language of Kannada. Ghachar Ghochar is the first of these to be translated into English, the translation by Srinath Perur. The title itself, which sounds like it could be the name of an Indian pickle or dessert, does not actually translate. It is a phrase invented by the family of one of the characters used to describe a situation where something has become completely tangled to the point where it cannot be easily untangled. The narration starts in a café called Coffee House. The narrator, who is never named, spends much of his days there, seeking respite from “domestic skirmishes”. He is supported in this by his wealthy uncle (“chikappa”) whose business acumen in creating a spice company has raised the family from near poverty into the Indian middle class. It is clear early on that the extended family will do anything to protect that source of wealth. In this short tale, the narrator works his way through the family history and through the family charting their change in circumstances and the effect that it has on them all. As he observes: “We thought…