This is a remarkable story. The author, his wife and daughter (the book has been authored by the father-daughter duo)—all enthusiasts, music lovers, avid collectors are rummaging through a kabadi shop when Abha (wife) stumbles across dusty cartons of cylinders which the shopkeeper tells her are textile yarn winding accessories. They bring the cartons home. Some of the cylinders are labelled and dated.
Although this is yet another volume on dalit writing which adds to the burgeoning dalit discourse, it is welcome because dalit literature constitutes an important segment of postmodern literature in India in particular and is a prominent literary site in the South Asian context in general.
‘Nearly every book’, George Orwell famously wrote in 1946, ‘is capable of arousing passionate feeling’—feeling which may range from ‘passionate dislike’ to equally passionate admiration—in the mind of the reader (George Packer [Comp.] George Orwell: Critical Essays, London, 2009, p. 290).
Indians who travel abroad or migrate internationally rarely write about the societies they intimately encounter and adopt as ‘home’. Contrastively, from the time of the colonial era, western writers have produced a copious and authoritative body of travelogues, fiction, and scholarship on the Indian subcontinent.