In 1980s Bombay, a highly regarded voice teacher and his affluent sixteen-year-old student enter into a relationship that will have unexpected and lasting consequences in their lives, and the lives of their families. With exquisitely sensuous detail, quiet humor, and unsentimental poignancy, Amit Chaudhuri paints a luminous portrait of the spiritual and emotional force behind a revered Indian tradition; of two fundamentally different but intricately intertwined families; and of a society choosing between the old and the new.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Philosophy eBook: The Immortals|
|Release Date: 08-25-2009|
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|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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From not far away came the sound of traffic; the roundabout, bewildering in its congestion. Bullocks and cars ground around it. The bulls looked mired in their element; the buses and dusty long- distance taxis were waiting to move. The car horns created an anxious music, discordant but not indifferent.
The Panditji wasn’t there: he’d died two years ago, after his third cardiac seizure. They had rushed him to Jaslok Hospital; on the way, in the car, he’d had his second heart attack. He had died in Jaslok, to the utter disbelief of his relatives: they hadn’t thought that he’d been admitted to a hospital to die. Now, his presence, or his absence, persisted in the small seven-hundred-square-feet house. The singing had come from the tape recorder, from the tape the grandson had played accidentally, thinking it was a cassette of film songs.
“Yeh to dadaji ke gaane hai,” remarked the boy, recognising his grandfather’s singing; was he surprised or disappointed? Next to him hung a portrait of his dadaji, enlarged from a photograph taken when he was fifty-seven. The face was an austere one, bespectacled, the oiled hair combed back. It was the face of—by common consensus in the family—a great man. The large forehead had been smeared with a tilak, as if someone had confused the portrait with a real person.
Already, the Panditji was becoming a sort of myth. It wasn’t as if a large ...