Author: Phiroshaw Jamsetjee Chevalier “Chaiwala”
Publisher Harper Collins
Being house bound with the rains, this monsoons seem to herald the beautiful narrative writers, who allow the readers to create their visuals, first Belinda, then Jessica Now Phiroshaw JamsetJee Chevalier
I would like to be in an old musty library with a chaiwallah vendor outside, the rains to get 100% of this book, I am at 95, sitting at my window, hurdled, sipping the green tea and feeling the rain breeze.
The book to me, presented two quests, first of Gyan Prakash, in the quest of Phiroshaw Jamsetjee Chevalier ‘Chaiwala’ where we get the glimpse of dying Parsi community trying to maintain its uniqueness, the underlying resignation, none of which is ever presented in Hindi movie that is supposed to be Parsi centric. Once the quest is complete Gyan Prakash presents the novel.
The book is a thriller, must have been very contemporary in the era when it was written. Today it appears quaint. A pune which is long gone and Bombay in its dying days, the book takes us to the colonial India.
The protagonist a Parsi Vigilante Beram, is out to avenge the violation of the communities privacy by a photographer, and Sexton Blake is out to outwit him. Disguise, intrigues, plots and counter plots the book is interesting. For Sexton Blake the favourite detective from yesteryear this is a come back with one his greatest challenges yet.
The writer Mr.Chaiwala, being a Parsi himself reveals, the community in its internal form a community of faith, purity, borderline fanaticism, and morbidly private. The thriller moves from Britain to Burma, the other Indian communities like the Hindu’s and Muslims are mentioned in passing, referring to a background of Gandhi a movement only fixes the chronological dates without otherwise contributing to the story line.
Over all an interesting read.
About the author: Phiroshaw Jamsetjee Chevalier Chaiwala—please go through Mr. Gyan Prakash’s manuscript, Mr. Gyan Prakash is a historian of Princeton University who stumbled on part of the this unpublished manuscript in the British library, he then diligently scourged through the libraries’ and archives of Mumbai and the Parsi community to bring forth this publication.