Amit Chaudhuri: Afternoon Raag
Like his first, Chaudhuri’s second novel is low on plot but high on beautiful writing. Indeed, it is not unlike a raag, not exciting or moving like Beethoven or Wagner but still very beautiful. The narrator is a student at Oxford and we follow him between Oxford and Bombay and Calcutta where his parents live. He describes his life at Oxford – his relations with various women, particularly Shehnaz and Mandira, his (male) friend Sharma, his music and his life in India – his father’s foibles, the difference ethnic groups he comes across, his mother’s friends. But nothing much happens. Nevertheless this book is a joy to read as Chaudhuri writes so well, enjoying each moment, enjoying the things that most of us miss or take for granted and making us look at these things in a different way.
First published in English 1993 by Heinemann