03 August, 2021

In This Life Of Raging On

Souls desperate for home, love, deliverance and justice jostle with their stories in a stew, as a sleepless, steel-gray Mumbai watches impassively

In This Life Of Raging On

All lives are finally the stories we tell about them, says the inc­andescent Zahra Irani, somewhere in the beginning of Chandrahas Choudhury’s qui­rky and well-crafted novel, Clouds. As the novel plays out, primarily in Mumbai and partly in Bhubaneswar, ploughing through the personal and political, myth and the mundane, primordial and the peripheral, there is a happy collision. Of lives and the stories they tell.

Farhad Billimoria, 42-year-old divor­ced psychotherapist, is waiting to break free from his “celibate and roman­celess” exile as he prepares to relocate to the US. But just days before his flight to San Francisco, where he hopes to soak in the sky above and skin below, chance enc­ounters with two formidable, feisty women sublimate his Billimorrhic self.

As a foil to Farhad or perhaps as a kindred lost soul in Mumbai is Rabi, the young tribal caretaker to an aged Brahmin Oriya couple. Rabi and his people worship the Cloud Mountain, whose existence is threatened by a bauxite mining company. Unspokenly, the...

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