The author with his ancestral roots in Spain, Ireland and England spends his time travelling and living in secluded regions of the world and writing about the social, cultural, intellectual and emotional lives of the people living either there or in India.
This recent book by Randhir Khare is about Biren who visits Calcutta to stay in friend Zady'sflat in isolation from friends and relations. His intention is to give vent to his creative urge and while doing so, he discovers his real self and that beyond the edge live people who lead separate lives but with a connecting thread running through them.
Biren wants to move in with Zady, his part-time lover, but holds back the urge due to their differences on all other fronts. While contemplating on his past, he suddenly finds an old man seated on a stool in the storeroom. The stranger tells him that he is a regular visitor to Zady'sflat. One day this stranger named Joseph Mellow appears in front of Biren dressed in a ragged black necktie and a white sock sticking out of his jacket pocket, to announce, ?My old man'swedding suit.? Biren collapses laughing at this strange vision as Mellow continues, ?Anything is possible. One day maybe I?ll even be able to fly.? Woven into the story is the powerful presence of ?this old man next door?, a closet writer visited by near-psychic experiences who has an undeniable impact on Biren. Biren discovers later that Mellow is ?a traveller, an adventurer, a seeker, moving through his own inner world, down the bloodstream like a guinea worm. And like the guinea worm, he partly emerges into the outer world, through a festering tear in the skin, lays eggs to multiply himself, reaching into the worlds of others?This, in short, sums up the protagonist Mellow'scharacter.
Soon Biren finds Zady'sapartment throbbing with life with all sorts of characters running into him. Then Biren meets Baby Vienna with his wife Sherry who longs to get pregnant and latches on to Biren. He also meets Sherry'ssister Patsy, their friends who include the huge Roddy and his tiny wife Tootsie. He gets to know Father Patrick, the parish priest, who has seen and experienced the inside as well as the outside of everyone in the block. He tells Biren to stop seeing Sherry because ?everyone in the building knows. Everyone knows that she'san accommodating person. Everyone knows that she spends time here during the day. You?re a bird of passage, young man. This isn'tyour resting place. Feed, rest and move on.? It seems that his words really sum the other protagonist Biren'slife. It is the story of beyond the edge to which a journey is undertaken by the protagonist to meet different yet similar characters.
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