Book Review: Ghachar Ghochar

Every story is real, every reality is a story

Every story is real, every reality is a story.

I love translations possibly because so far all the translations I have read, be it Malayalam to English or Tamil to English or Bangla to English, all of them are superlative. Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag was originally written in Kannada and translated to English by Srinath Perur. There are times when vernacular speaking friends’ talk about how good a book is and we are left panting for not being able to relish a wonderful story for want of not being able to read a particular script. Thanks to translators that gap is bridging; though in a negligible manner but it sure is.

Ghachar Ghochar narrates the story of a family in Bangalore who see a sudden rise in their financial status moving from a lower middle class existence to an upper class novo-rich flamboyance. The narrator is a member of the family – a sensitive, young boy and we see all the characters through his perspective.

Ghachar Ghochar is an innocent insider’s view.

For one, apart from one incidence where a dish’s Kannada name is mentioned, the book has nothing that can in itself indicate that it is a translation. In fact, there are much more hindi words in the English books of our main stream English writing authors. Kudos to the translator for such a neat work. The book moves at a smooth pace – taking time to develop the characters as the story moves forward, dwelling a while on each character but just for the right duration of time. The writing is such that the reader will falls deeper and deeper into the web that the writer is building on every page.

Ghachar Ghochar is an everyday common story. The characters are such that you see them around you day, in and out. Quite similar to the charcaters in the book. Some are white, some are black and some are chameleons. They give the story the quintessential turns and leave the reader appreciating the intelligent writing.

The book has vey few but well developed characters. It is an everyday yet interestingly written story. Is crisply edited. A smooth read. And I dare say a must read. Brownie points for that gorgeous cover!

Title: Ghachar Ghochar
Author: Vivek Shanbhag | TranslatorSrinath Perur
Publisher/ Imprint: Harper Collins India/ Harper Perennial
Pages: 124
Genre/ Sub-Genre: Fiction/ Drama
Rating: 5.00 of 5.00
Reviewed for: Personal Copy

Read the reviews of other books rated 5 stars by Team TP HERE

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