In The Shadow Of The Sun
Here are sixteen of the finest of Prafulla Roy's short stories, stories made fascinating merely by the realities of everyday life and the quirkiness of human character. This combination of the mundane with the odd—sometimes the exotic—is Roy's simple recipe for great literary interest. We have a jungle-beater-cum-stray dog-catcher and his role in the birth of a child; we have two strangers enjoying a passing moment of love after a vicious fight with an animal over food; we have a little girl—the daughter of a prostitute—who, in her own way, reaches the moon with Neil Armstrong. Then there are stories of the dreams—of beggars, of bird-catchers, of a tiger man and of a would-be film extra. There are stories of self-sacrifice on the part of those who have nothing, and of the exploitation of the weak of those who have everything. There are hypocrites and idealists, holy men and whores. There are the bidi-makers who do burlesque mimes, and there are small town thugs and manipulators. We meet the pathetic down-and-out who cannot get away from his roots, and we feel for the untouchable woman desperate for the protection of her seventh husband. In all, we have a colourful, tragic, heroic, amazing vista of underprivileged life in rural India.