IN this story about a service-class Indian, Suresh, who, after putting in 17 years of service is told he is relieved from service, receives a bolt from the blue. The turn of events is so devastating that he feels all his “credentials were smashed in a moment like a house of cards”. He applies for long leave and decides to take to freelancing, that is, writing books.
He recalls his young days when he boards a train for Hyderabad to work in the Staff College of Premier Bank of India. He meets Philipose and Monalika on the train, all of whom are going for the same destination. On reaching Hyderabad, they call upon Jajji, the Chief Public Relations Officer. They start attending the daily lectures and on one Sunday they visit the Salar-Jung Museum.
The orientation course at Hyderabad gets over in no time and they all leave for Calcutta for training. Here, Suresh finds he is backward as he hails from Bhadana near Agra, which had no electricity, no ‘pucca’ road and not even civic facilities. He is naïve and conservative and has the picture of a ‘woman’ who is supposed to be docile, totally obedient and completely dependent on someone. “That was the picture of a ‘woman’ I had from my childhood, which is in total contrast to the woman of today.” He admits, “Probably these were the reasons which contributed to my development into an introvert with an aloof and insecure type of personality.”
The story reflects life in the modern system in which Suresh struggles to find a place. To know if Suresh is able to change the system or else prefers to fall in line, you will have to read the book.
(Rupa & Co., 7/16, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110 002; www.rupapublications.com)