This is part of my reading for the South Asia Challenge hosted by S. Krishna.
The book a tad philosophical and at times beyond me was a very interesting read. Set in idyllic surroundings with the Narmada river (one of India's holiest rivers) as the main feature we have an un named retired bureaucrat as our chief character. He has retired from the world and feels that he is doing a good job of it in his little world of the rest house (catering to government officials and others who come to this remote part of India).
The stories which are told are short ones - each blending effortlessly into the other so that only at the end you realize that nothing is connected to each other. They are all distinct, separate stories but the cleverness of the writer makes it seem seamless.
What added interest to the stories is that we meet many different characters - both high born as well as low, different communities and religions and this adds a very interesting aspect to the stories told. It is not just Hindu philosophy but about life in general - with a great deal of common sense also thrown in. Indian culture is complex and a single reading of a book is not going to let me understand even a hundredth part of it but I do hope it will be the beginning.
An unusual book which I did not think I will like but which I eventually enjoyed.