Monday, April 12, 2010

Good read

Yesterday I finished reading `The perplexity of Hariya Hercules' by Manohar Shyam Joshi. It has been translated from Hindi. It made for a good reading and since this was slim book I was able to finish it in a few days. Though something is lost in translation (for exmaple `.... something wasn't right, there was something black in the lentils', which would have read in Hindi as `Dal main kuch kaala hai'), the translation was quite fluent.

The book tells about adventures or rather mis-adventures of Hariya, who is a clerk in the home department in Delhi, and Hercules in his name refers to the brand of cycle he used to ride. He selflessly attains to all the needs of his invalid father. After his father dies, he is left with a trunk, the contains of which which leads to perplexity of Hariya and to his misadventures and sudden disappearance. This leads to various tales about his disappearance based on hearsay and half-truths and various accounts are recorded in this book.

I particularly liked this part which appears towards the end of the book `The more we investigated and theorized the more facts and theories piled up, making it all the more difficult to determine what was true and what false. Was something false that seemed true or what it a truth that looked false?' Is'nt this true of people around us or what we read in the newspapers. Truth seldom comes out and we have draw our own theories.

Book is highly recommended.

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