The title of this book is more than enough to grab the attention of a reader. “Ghachar Ghochar!!” What a name! With positive reviews and feedback filling in, and the book being a very small one, it didn’t take me much time to get my hand on the kindle copy and complete it in one sitting.
Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag is a story of a joint family- Father, mother, two children and the father’s younger brother, staying in a very small house and living out of the meagre earnings of the father. Yet, there are bounds of happiness the family finds in the smallest of the things. Every happiness is shared equally, every sorrow is felt equally and every problem is fought by everyone with equal passion. A financial crisis encourages the family to start their own business- Sona Masala. With the business working well, the family’s financial conditions improve gradually and from a small house, they shift to a spacious bungalow. With this change occurs lot of other changes within the relationships, the power balance changes, lifestyle turns luxury, and it’s not the same old happy joint family any more.
The story is narrated by the son who, unable to handle the pressure at home, finds solace at a coffee shop talking to a waiter. The book doesn’t focus on the family or the characters in depth, but the concept of joint family system and how money and luxury drown the moments of pure happiness.
The original is written in Kannada and has been translated by Srinath Perur effectively.
The slight disappointment was the open ending.
This book is a very simple read which definitely transfers you back to the golden days before technology and other luxury started ruling our lives. The domestic problems, the effortless breaking of today’s marriages, money turning the next generation numb towards work- every relevant issue of today is cleverly narrated. Read it. Relish it. Ruminate it.