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The Two Krishnas

The Two Krishnas Cover

ISBN13: 9781936833009
ISBN10: 193683300x
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Synopses & Reviews

Synopsis:

In the tradition of A Fine Balance and The Namesake, The Two Krishnas is a sensual and searing look at infidelity and the nature of desire and faith. At the center of the novel is Pooja Kapoor, a betrayed wife and mother who is forced to question her faith and marriage when she discovers her banker husband, Rahul, has fallen in love with a young, male Muslim illegal immigrant who happens to be their son's age. Faced with the potential of losing faith in Rahul, divine intervention, and family, she is forced to confront painful truths about the past and the duality in God and husband.

About the Author

Dhalla is the author of the critically acclaimed, semi-autobiographical novel Ode to Lata, hailed by The Los Angeles Times as “an accomplishment” and by the Library Journal as “brilliant.” In 2008, Ode to Lata was turned into the major motion picture The Ode and premiered to sold-out audience at three film festivals – Outfest (2008), The Beverly Hills Film Festival (2010) and the Riverside Film Festival (2010). The film is currently in the distribution phase. He intends to take advantage of the publicity generated by the films upcoming release, and his directorial debut, Embrace (2011), to promote Two Krishnas. Dhallas interview and reading from Ode to Lata was broadcast on NPR, BBC and the international gay and lesbian radio magazine This Way Out. Dhalla was showcased at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York with the headlining event, An Evening with Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla (August 2009). On April 15th, 2011, Dhalla will be appearing at Yale University as the invited guest and subject of the prestigious Masters Tea to talk about his novel, Ode to Lata and the forthcoming Two Krishnas.

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Grady Harp, September 15, 2011 (view all comments by Grady Harp)
A Searingly Powerful Novel

Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla houses magic in his eyes, or in his hands or in his brain. This young writer, born in Mombasa, Kenya, understands his Indian culture and how to imbue the scents and flavors and passions and traditions of that culture into a contemporary novel that not only brings the reader to the appreciation of all that, but also tackles universal issues such as the cauterizing brand of familial roots, the many forms of love, infidelity, dysfunctional father/son relationships, aspects of Hindu and Muslim beliefs, and the cycle of life - and of death. He writes with such fluid prose that each page approaches a lapse into poetry. Not only is his story one which defies the reader to pause before the complex story plays out, but it also informs us of the myriad aspects of immigration and the sense of being dispossessed. In short this is a compelling novel that not only grows into our psyche but also quietly changes the way we perceive the injustices around us.

Rahul and Pooja Kapoor fled their home in Kenya (there is a separate section in the book that explains their extirpation) and settled in Los Angeles where they had a son Ajay and Rahul became a banker. Pooja happily accepted her role as wife and mother and in reproducing the culinary finery of Indian cuisine both at home and for a restaurant/shop, The Banyan. run by her dear friend Charlie and his runner Greg who prefers to be called Parmesh due his desire to be of Indian rather than Jewish heritage. The story begins some years after their arrival when Ajay has become a healthy hunk of a lad looking for a college. Rahul has grown distant - his relationship with Ajay borders on formal and his attention to his beautiful wife's needs has waned. Pooja yearns for the sensuality of the early days of their marriage but finds solace in looking after her handsome son, her cooking, and her friend Sonali - a flamboyant neighbor friend who loves to gossip. Rahul is an atheist and has divorced himself from his past. He bears a strange inner longing that surfaces in a bookstore when he makes eye contact with a handsome storekeeper Atif, a Muslim from Mumbai who seems comfortable with his life: Atif is the age of Rahul's son Ajay. The look is returned and shortly the two men discover their sensual feelings and begin an affair. Rahul attempts to keep both sides of his emotional life alive - he is still devoted to Pooja and Ajay but for the first time since a tragic childhood experience he is in touch with his sexuality. Pooja notes the growing distance between them but it is not until Sonali spies on Rahul and Atif in embrace that Pooja must face the fact that her husband has found love with a man. The manner in which Pooja and Rahul cope with the change winds into an ending that is profoundly surprising.

One of the many gifts of Dhalla is his comfortable manipulation of Hindu words and customs and aromas and traditions: he weaves a multifaceted mandala that teaches the readers so much about Indian culture. He also surveys many of the beliefs and myths of Hinduism that offer explanations of human behavior, including sexuality, that is very well considered and informative. His dialogue is peppered with influences from Muslim thought (from Atif) and Hindu thought (from Pooja): it is also smoothly sophisticated in construction in a way that makes his very sensual love scenes excitingly poetic and credible. There is so much in this novel to mesmerize the reader that words in a review falter in attempting to express the impact of this fine novel. Rarely has a love story in all its facets and permutations been so consistently effective and affecting. Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla is an inordinately gifted writer - one of our best. His gift is extravagant but it is also keenly honed in subtlety. We should be hearing a lot more about him in the coming months and years.

Grady Harp
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781936833009
Publisher:
Magnus Books
Subject:
Gay
Author:
Shiraz Dhalla, Ghalib
Author:
Dhalla, Ghalib Shiraz
Subject:
Gay and Lesbian-Gay Fiction
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20111131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
360
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Gay Fiction
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Men's Fiction
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Weight Training

The Two Krishnas
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Product details 360 pages Magnus Books - English 9781936833009 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
In the tradition of A Fine Balance and The Namesake, The Two Krishnas is a sensual and searing look at infidelity and the nature of desire and faith. At the center of the novel is Pooja Kapoor, a betrayed wife and mother who is forced to question her faith and marriage when she discovers her banker husband, Rahul, has fallen in love with a young, male Muslim illegal immigrant who happens to be their son's age. Faced with the potential of losing faith in Rahul, divine intervention, and family, she is forced to confront painful truths about the past and the duality in God and husband.
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