Kunal Basu is the author of several critically acclaimed novels. His story 'The Japanese Wife', from his collection by the same name, has now been made into an award-winning film.
Sarojini-Saz-Campbell comes to India to search for her biological mother. Adopted and taken to England at an early age, she has a degree from Cambridge and a mathematician's brain adept in solving puzzles. Handicapped by a missing shoebox that held her birth papers and the death of her English mother, she has few leads to carry out her mission and scant knowledge of Calcutta, her birthplace. Luckily, she has Chiru Sen, an Elvis lookalike, as her guide. Together, Saz and Chiru chase the mirage of a lost mother, helped by Chiru's band members and his friend Suleiman, master bookie of the racecourse. When luck leads them to a slum, Jamuna, a housemaid with a troubled past, presents herself as the likely candidate. As Saz settles into the routine of slum life, a second candidate, Urvasi, presents herself, emerging from the very opposite end of the spectrum.
With Saz split in half, nothing is spared in the battle between the mothers, moving at a fast clip to the final throw of the dice as rivals await the result of DNA matching from their blood samples. But will the verdict of science settle the puzzle of motherhood for Sarojini? Or will it be left to the judgment of Suleiman the Wise, King of the Racecourse, the bearer of ancient wisdom, to arrive at that supreme revelation?
'This is Kunal Basu. Listen to him''One of the best voices in Indian fiction''Basu has a great talent for weaving in drama into the everyday'"Sarojini's Mother
takes the reader on a delightful romp through the lower depths to the high life of Calcutta to tell a heart-warming and gut-wrenching story. Kunal Basu has created a modern-day fable that blurs the border between worlds familiar and strange."