When Time Seeps Into You
Kiran Doshi
GOING: STORIES OF KINSHIP by Keki N. Daruwalla Speaking Tiger Short Fiction, 2022, 130 pp., 499.00
September 2022, volume 46, No 9

An English tea planter, returning to India after two decades, learns of a bomb attack on his old home by a young man who looks ‘quite like’ him. A father, his shoulders drooping with weight because ten years back his son had walked out on him, goes on a shikar. A devout Parsi father turns to history—of the Islamic conquest of Persia—to stop his daughter from marrying a Muslim boy. A bhikshu, Buddhist monk, talking to a scarecrow one long night, remembers his dead mother. A young woman visits her ailing grandmother.

Five stories strung together by the beads of kinship that all of us know: anger, sorrow, love, anxiety, pain, frustration and bitterness…every one of it crafted by India’s most versatile, erudite and urbane man of letters (with over 30 published books in his bag).  Look at this gem from the fifth story in the collection:

‘What have you done to yourself, Mama (grandmother)?’

‘We leave ourselves alone.  It is age that does things to us, child.’


And this, from another story:

‘“Shyam Singh,” he said. “Leave the windows as they are… The world cannot rob me of anything further now!”… And a yearning for his daughter gripped him.’

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