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Ghachar Ghochar

by Vivek Shanbhag

A rags to riches story with a twist narrated by the unnamed son of a middle class extended family living in Bangalore. When the family becomes rich, due to the enterprise of his Chikkappa (Uncle), the family dynamics change resulting in frequent arguments, chaos and eventually marriage breakdown. 'Being rich means you don't have to obey the rules.' Our hero, as is his habit, escapes to the Coffee Shop. Short, very funny and beautifully observed.

Extract

Now what can I say of myself that is only about me and not tied up with the others? Whenever I try to start, I quickly run into one of three women - Amma, Malati, or Anita - each more fearsome than the other. I sometimes wonder if their every moment is spent sharpening their tongues, silently accumulating resentments for later use. And then, when they're in the mood, they'll whip up a storm that gives me the shivers even to think about.
Translated by Srinath Perur

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