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Book Review By Himakar Tata: The Cheerless Chauffeur And Other Tales!

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In his book “THE CHEERLESS CHAUFFEUR…”, Chinmay Chakravarty captures the different facets of the lives of middle-class Indians through 34 short stories. The humorous title of each story is indicative of the subtle and wry humor characteristic of the writer. Each story is a throwback on issues dominant in the India of the 1980s and 1990s. During that period technology was transforming lives in metropolitan cities. However, the social norms continued to remain mired in the India of 1970s.   The stories “THE RAIN DRENCH”, “YOU ARE INVITED (1 & 2)” are reflective of the hesitancy that came in the way of free interaction between men and women in the public. The 1970s was also the period when you had “leaders discussing poverty with glasses of expensive wine in air-conditioned rooms”. Many of the avowed radicals during their student days “left the left” in the 1980s (“A CIVILIZATION”).   It was also the era of shortages with “dirty-rich people in dirty-costly apparels waiting f