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A Short History of Everything

 
Gautam Bhatia (Author)
Synopsis This book is a private history of childhood - an age peppered with the little discoveries of friendship and sex, the gnawing despair of school, and the attractions and repulsion's of family life. It is funny. But it is not so funny. It has the classroom chicks and adolescent pornography. Ram, the book's protagonist, grows up in the India of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The political history of the time, the social setting of an Indian middle class existence stretches to encompass the circumstances of his own life; the flux of adolescence - thoughts on people and phenomena - Gandhi, Nehru, Zeenat Aman, Socrates, Imperialism, pornography, the first kiss, even Newton - all act as critical markers, real and imagined, in the coming of age. Born into the quiet world of post-independence India, Ram's perception of things alters with time, as indeed does the view of his own family. From familial and protective characters, they change into real people, with problems and misguided relationships that cross into the uncomplicated boundaries of childhood and create trouble in his psyche. His father's domination is discovered as having a brutal edge; his mother's tenderness towards the family servant and his own discovery of an incestuous longing, are the cause of the story's final and tragic end.  In brief, this is a literary enactment: of author's real and fictitious childhood with bizarre characters in the lucid backdrop of a massive old Delhi house.
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About the author

Gautam Bhatia

Gautam Bhatia graduated in Fine Arts and earned a Master's in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. A Delhi-based practising architect, he has received several awards for his buildings and written extensively on the subject. Besides Laurie Baker: Life, Work and Writings, he has written Punjabi Baroque, Silent Spaces and Malaria Dreams-a trilogy that focuses on the cultural and social aspects of architecture, The Punchtantra-a rewriting of the original Panchatantra into contemporary folk-tales and Comic Century, An Unreliable History of the 20th Century. Two recent shows of drawings entitled Looking Through Walls and The Good Life examined disparities between the professed goals of architecture and the public perception of building. Gautam Bhatia is currently working on Below the Horizon-A City Neighbourhood Underground, a sponsored project.

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Bibliographic information

Title A Short History of Everything
Author Gautam Bhatia
Format Hardcover
Date published: 04.07.1998
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 817223340X
length 296p.