Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay by Siddarth Dhanvanth Sanghvi is in many ways a treatise to every relationship which bloomed and withered, a city whose identity lies in its name and to characters whose destinies are lost for ever. What starts off as an ode to the world of stuffed riches quickly transforms itself into the story of inchoate loneliness and the memories and suffering it breeds. Sanghvi proves himself to be the sublime star of sexual innuendoes and innovative terminology. Ever heard of the National Index of Masturbation? Well, you find it here! A compelling narrative about how life plays havoc with four people interlinked with the sometimes quirky and the sometimes quixotic turns of life. Of Karan Seth, a photographer par excellence who mastery in his art is only rivaled by his determination to catch the spirit of Bombay, how he meets with his almost muse- Rhea Dalal, an erstwhile professional potter and currently a housewife who sees in him a spark and vitality resembling her own. Of Zaira, the reigning Bollywood Diva, who’s astounding beauty and sex appeal cannot get her away from a crazed stalker nor get her any closer to the man she loves and her warm relationship with Samar Soni, a piano prodigy who leaves his art and is at comfort knowing himself. Contemporary with a quintessential taste of longing, lust and love, the book appeals to everyone who has loved and lost. Witty prose, elegant narrative and eloquent description run parallel lines while the books enthralls the viewers with its grounded charm and quaint humor. It is impulsive sweeping you off your feet, raunchy without being apologetic and is compelling with its gritty takes on the issues surrounding us. The book plunges you to the lows of concurrent melancholy, raises you to the sky with its celebration of life, makes you laugh with its swipes at the amorous and leaves you seething in despair at the injustice churned out. Short listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2008, the book is the celebration of delicious bursts of freedom, paradoxical relations and time honored prejudices. With its delightful little ironies and immaculate camaraderie, it reviles and regales you in equal measure!