Manohar Shyam Joshi (1933-2006), a prolific writer, tried his hand at virtually every form of
writing: novels, advertising copy and television scripts, and had a long and distinguished career as a
journalist. His interests ranged from sports to philosophy and he could handle satire as well as he
handled romance and tragedy. He is the author of one of the finest Hindi love stories, Kasap,
such cult classics as Kuru Kuru Swaahaa and the novel Hariya Hercules ki Hairaani, and is the
creator of the Hindi soaps Hum Log, Buniyaad and Mungeri Lal Ke Haseen Sapne. He won the
Sahitya Akademi award in 2005 for his novel Kyaap.
Ira Pande worked as a university teacher for fifteen years, and then as an editor at Seminar, Biblio,
Dorling Kindersley and Roli Books. She is the author of Diddi: My Mother’s Voice (Penguin India,
2005), a biography interwoven with stories by her mother Shivani, the famous Hindi writer. Ira is
deeply committed to translating Kumaoni writers, like her mother and Manohar Shyam Joshi, into
English. She is currently Chief Editor, IIC Publications.
Back of the Book
‘Hilarious and disturbing…I have never read anything like it…Joshi is a genius’-Khushwant
A thin, short man with illusions of grandeur, Khashtivallabh Pant, Dubbul MA, is a
school teacher in a remote Kumaoni village, where he is mockingly referred to as T’ta Professor. A
great admirer of the Englishman’s attire, T’ta is also deeply in awe of the white man’s language. He
always carries a notebook to jot down English words that he hears for the first time, acknowledging
a word as acceptable only after he has consulted his Oxford Dictionary. His vanity makes writer who
never manages to finish the stories he sets out to write, is determined to produce a ‘biting satire’, and
wastes no time finding out more about T’ta’s life.
When T’ta starts to tell his tale, what begins as an innocent idyll turns quickly into an
erotic and scatological romp, and T’ta turns from a ridiculous comic character into a pathetic pervert.
As the story unravels, the multiple narratives reveal a complex figure, comic and tragic by turns, and
the novel changes gear and darkens into a gothic bleakness of unimaginable dimensions.
‘Translated brilliantly by Ira Pande, this gem of a book will soon establish itself as a
‘[An] excellent translation’ - Urvashi Butalia, Outlook.
‘This translation will re-invent Manohar Shyam Joshi for a generation - Time Out.
‘Ira Pande has done a remarkable translation. She has retained the authenticity of the
original voice, while retelling the story as a good English novel’-Deccan Herald.
‘A true classic to which Ira Pande’s translation does justice-Elle.
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