Spanning half a life, My Father’s Garden tells the story of a young doctor—the unnamed narrator—as he negotiates love and sexuality, his need for companionship, and the burdens of memory and familial expectation. The opening section, ‘Lover’, finds him studying medicine in Jamshedpur. At college, he discovers an all-consuming passion for Samir, a junior, who possesses his body, mind and heart. Yet, on their last morning together, when he asks Samir to kiss him goodbye, his lover tells him, ‘A kiss is only for someone special.’ In ‘Friend’, the young doctor, escaping heartbreak, finds relief in Pakur where he strikes up an unusual friendship with Bada Babu, the head clerk of the hospital where he is posted. In Bada Babu’s house, they indulge a shared love for drink, delicious food and convivial company. But when government bulldozers arrive to tear down the neighbourhood, and Bada Babu’s house, the young doctor uncovers a sordid tale of apathy and exploitation—and a side to his new friend that leaves him disillusioned. And in ‘Father’, unable, ultimately, to flee the pain, the young doctor takes refuge in his parents’ home in Ghatsila. As he heals, he reflects on his father—once a vital man who had phenomenal success at work and in Adivasi politics, then an equally precipitous downfall—and wonders if his obsessive gardening has anything to do with the choices his son has made. Written with deep empathy and searing emotional intensity, and in the clear, unaffected prose that is the hallmark of Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s style, My Father’s Garden marks a major talent of Indian fiction writing at the top of his form."
From the Publisher
My Father’s Garden by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar Betrayed by lovers, friends and society, a young doctor seeks redemption in nature
The novel, narrated in first person by an unnamed medical student and doctor, is divided into three sections.
The opening section, ‘Lover’, finds him studying medicine in Jamshedpur. After a string of affairs, he discovers an all-consuming, unrequited passion for Samir, a junior at the college. In ‘Friend’, the young doctor, escaping heartbreak, finds relief in Pakur where he meets Bada Babu only to uncover a sordid tale of apathy and exploitation. And in ‘Father’ he takes refuge in his parents’ home in Ghatshila and wonders if his father’s obsessive gardening has anything to do with the choices his son has made.
Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar is a doctor and an author. He is currently working as a medical officer with the government of Jharkhand. His debut novel The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey (2014) won the Yuva Puraskar. His second book, a collection of short stories titled The Adivasi Will Not Dance (2015) was banned in Jharkhand on the grounds that it portrayed Adivasi women and Santhal culture in a bad light. The government's actions were widely criticised. It has gained a national audience since then. “During my suspension and while The Adivasi Will Not Dance was still banned, I started and finished writing Jwala Kumar and the Gift of Fire: Adventures in Champakbagh (a children's book) and started putting together the manuscript of My Father's Garden. And I wrote essays, book reviews, did some translations. I just knew that I had to write, no matter what.” Shekhar was born in Ranchi, grew up in Ghatshila and Chakulia and went to school in Musabani.
|Title:||My Father’S Garden|
|Author:||Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar|
|Publisher:||Speaking Tiger Publishing Private Limited|
|Number Of Pages:||200|
|Country Of Origin:||India|
|Release date:||20 December 2018|