By Balaji Venkataramanan. Illustrations by Twiggy
Duckbill Books, 2019, pp 100, R225.00
Unlike your other classmates, you have an incomplete family because your Dad is just not there. You only know him as a face in the photographs in your mother’s wedding album. For some unexplained reason, he doesn’t like you and your mother and left soon after you were born. You begin to feel that you must have committed a sin to be punished. Worse, you have to lie to everyone that your father lives in America.
Seven-year-old Arun is growing up full of hatred for the father who abandoned him in this cavalier fashion. Then, one day, this father reappears unexpectedly and tries to forge a bond with him. Naturally, Arun is bewildered and resentful and refuses when The Man wants to be called ‘Dad’ or ‘Pops’. The monthly meetings ruled by the court create a lot of turmoil for him. However, little by little he recognizes that his father is trying hard to win him over. And some empty spaces in his life begin to fill up.