26 September, 2020

Stoke The Fire, Let Him Begin

This chronicle of a life lived to the fullest sparkles with incident, wit, ambition and joie de vivre

Stoke The Fire, Let Him Begin

Six years ago, Bhaichand Patel gave my debut novel a glowing review in this very publication. So, when asked by Outlook to review I Am A Stranger Here Myself, Bhaichand’s ‘unreliable memoir,’ I was apprehensive. Could I be honest in my critique of the work of a generous fellow critic?  

I’m relieved to say that I found this picaresque memoir by a gifted raconteur to be breezy and wholly entertaining.

From humble roots in the tiny Pacific island of Fiji to his tra­vels (and travails) through Delhi, Mumbai, London, New York, Manila and Cairo, Bhaichand takes his readers on a merry romp through a clutch of capitals, countries and continents. Peppered with anecdotes, ruminations, nostalgia and even dirty jokes, this is vintage Bhaichand, who at 83 is still rapier sharp in his wit, a keen observer of human foibles and unsparing of fools that have dared cross his path.

Tracing a non-linear account of his life and loves, we learn of the author’s journey from a struggling exchange student in Delhi and Mumbai to becoming...



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