As we prepared to leave India in September last year, I fell into a deep depression. Darkness surrounded me, consumed me. Rarely, a sliver of light would pierce that darkness.
Child/God by Ketan Bhagat was one such light.
I first read the book after we returned from our holiday in Kashmir. I instantly fell in love with the book: the characters, the story, the philosophy, the entire world that Ketan created. The world of Raghav Malhotra, our hero, is consumed by darkness until God himself arrives and pierces that darkness with a bright, blinding light. I wanted to follow that light out of my own darkness. I wanted to have hope that I would come out on the other side. Child/God gave me hope.
Child/God made leaving India easier and harder. Easier because the book was a welcome distraction from the stress that marked my last months in India. Harder because I knew that I would not be in India when the book launched. I would watch the launch from outside India.
During my last months in India, Ketan and I discussed the book many times: over coffee, lunch, Facebook, and even WhatsApp. Those discussions continued after I relocated to Dubai, where I read the book a second time.
Because of those discussions, however, you won’t read a book review of Child/God on my blog. My opinions about Ketan’s book are so mixed with my emotions about leaving India that I can’t possibly write an objective assessment. The truth is that I even suggested a character attempt suicide at a time when I fantasized about it. Fortunately, Ketan didn’t listen to that suggestion. But, he did keep entertaining my relentless questions and comments about the book.
While I can’t write a review, I can tell you to buy Child/God.
So, why should you buy Child/God? Because I said so. That’s why.
What? That’s not a good enough reason?
Then, let me offer these better ones:
- Because you won’t be able to put Child/God down. Ketan hooked me from the first paragraph. He’ll hook you, too. As the cover states, it’s a roller coaster ride of emotions. Raw, complicated emotions.
- Because his love for his child, the living God of his life, transformed Ketan’s life. Ketan is sharing this fictional tale so that your life can be transformed, too.
- Because the love story between Raghav and his brother Rishi is a beautiful, romantic tale. Yes, I said romantic. Finally, you will understand why Indian brothers are the way they are.
- Because Ketan has written the best descriptions of Mumbai traffic that I’ve ever read. His Mumbai is my Mumbai.
- Because Ketan has a rare gift for writing emotions through physicality. The best scenes in Child/God have few spoken words, and yet they will make you laugh and make you cry.
- Because while many Indian writers are men, few wrestle with what being a man truly means. Ketan breaks down stereotypes about that much-maligned creature: the Indian man.
- Finally, because Child/God is a brave, beautiful book, and I love it.
Still not convinced?
Then, please visit the following online retailers to read more about the book and then buy Child/God.
In the US:
For other countries, please contact Rumour Books directly.