My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Peeli Chhatri Wali Ladki is a strong indictment of the pervasive and blatant dominance of so the called ‘uppermost caste’ in Indian society. Be it education, arts, literature, government jobs, politics etc, their influence is absolute and tyrannical.
The book may be labelled scurrilous and reactionary by the exponents of the new virus creeping across India in the guise of the fundamentalist version of Hinduism, but that is debatable. It is this debate that is missing now from the ethos of Indian society. I do not like to identified by my “upper” caste, gender, language or State, I am an Indian and I would love to hear the viewpoint of the ‘others’ – Adivasis (Tribals), folk from the North-east, Kashmir, from other religions. Let us debate, debate noisily, but let’s not permit intolerance to creep into our discourse.
A time of ferment and student unrest in a typical Indian University is threaded by a simple and sweet love story that is maligned and poisoned by toxic influences of caste, religion, parochialism, nepotism and corruption.
The nonchalant anglicized Hindustani is a pleasure to read. The novelette was an eyeopener to the vast unread contemporary Hindi literature!
The English translation is by Jason Gruebaum The Girl with the Golden Parasol