Editor | Fiction
Sarojini—Saz—Campbell has come to India to search for her biological mother. Adopted and taken to England at an early age, she has a degree from Cambridge and a mathematician’s brain adept at solving puzzles.
Handicapped by a missing shoebox that held her birth papers and the death of her English mother, she has few leads to carry out her mission and scant knowledge of Calcutta, her birthplace. Luckily, she has Chiru Sen, an Elvis lookalike, as her guide. Together, Saz and Chiru chase the mirage of a lost mother, helped by Chiru’s band members and his friend Suleiman, master bookie of the racecourse. When luck leads them to a slum, Jamuna, a housemaid with a troubled past, presents herself as the likely candidate. As Saz settles into the routine of slum life, a second candidate, Urvasi, presents herself, emerging from the very opposite end of the spectrum. With Saz split in half, nothing is spared in the battle between the mothers, moving at a fast clip to the final throw of the dice as the rivals await the result of DNA matching from their blood samples. But will the verdict of science settle the puzzle of motherhood for Sarojini? Or will it be left to the judgement of Suleiman the Wise, king of the racecourse, the bearer of ancient wisdom, to arrive at that supreme revelation?
About the author
Kunal Basu was born in Kolkata and educated in India and the United States. He is the author of several critically acclaimed novels, including The Miniaturist and Kalkatta. The Japanese Wife, from his collection of stories by the same name, has been made into an award-winning film. He has also written novels in Bengali, and for cinema. He lives in Oxford and Kolkata.