A Little Distillery in Nowgong by Ashok Mathur

By Ashok Mathur

This fantastical old novel, narrated by way of a toddler but to be born, lines the lives of 3 generations of a Parsi relatives in India starting within the overdue 1800s. The narrative follows the Khargat family members from the intricacies of village lifestyles within the jungles of significant India, to the problems of city existence in turbulent pre- and post-independence struggles, to modern diasporic realities within the uk and North the US. This superbly instructed, enticing novel, by way of the writer of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize finalist The brief, satisfied lifetime of Harry Kumar, humanizes the politics of ethnicity, tradition, and colonial rule.

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Sample text

Jamshed, you old man, good to see you. ” A metaphysical question if there ever was one. How to answer? I have not been because I am not yet? Or, the question precedes my existence? ” And thank the stars for that. “Sunny? ” Grandpa, you know I can’t really do that. I mean, I would like to, but it’s not as if I can really know myself. Not that I have a self to speak of. ” Well, you see, it’s about history, not yours but mine. You use the word tomorrow in a very literal way, but I am, quite literally, a child of tomorrow.

You see, Mr Khargat, I love to read, always have, and darkness put a real cramp in my reading, so I would go outside and put myself under that streetlamp and read and read and read. And that is where the great Tata saw me and he was impressed, so he told me, and he talked to me on very many occasions, and finally asked to meet my parents, of which I had only one, my father (my mother dying in childbirth so that I never knew her), and he said to my fa- 60 t c J s a o h t o w g d v a o y t a s h ts u s - ” d.

May Ahriman, the evil spirit, be condemned. ” And then, finally, “O, Almighty! Come to my help. I am a worshipper of God. I am a Zoroastrian worshipper of God. I agree to praise the Zoroastrian religion, and to believe in that religion. I praise good thoughts, good words, and good actions. I praise the good Mazdayasnian religion which curtails discussions and quarrels, which brings about kinship or brotherhood, which is holy, and which, of all the religions that have yet flourished and are likely to flourish in the future, is the greatest, the best, and the most excellent, and which is the religion given by God to Zoroaster.

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