Music That Transcends Everything but His Circumstance

From Electric Lit:

Jai Chakrabarti’s “Prodigal Son” begins as Jonah arrives in Kolkata on his way to visit his guru. Jonah is an American, a white man, and like most American tourists, he is obsessed with proving he isn’t one. When he suspects the taxi driver will take advantage of him, he uses Bengali slang to “convince the driver of his adopted roots.” The possible oxymoron of the statement is lost on him—can roots be adopted? 

For fifteen years, Jonah has been visiting Guruji and his family—his wife Suparna and his son Karna. Jonah considers himself Guruji’s most devoted student and believes Guruji thinks of him as a second son. Which, maybe he does.

Guruji is a skilled flutist, and Karna—now an adolescent boy, or in some lights, a young man—is developing a skill to match his father’s. Jonah is technically proficient but not a natural; the transference Jonah hopes to achieve is not complete. The plan for this trip, which Jonah promised his wife would be his last, is to record Guruji’s first album. 

Link to the rest at Electric Lit

1 thought on “Music That Transcends Everything but His Circumstance”

  1. This might be a fascinating tour through modern Indian culture, which would interest me greatly.

    If it is, though, I can’t tell that through the blurb – and, since the preview actually isn’t available yet, it’s headed for the memory hole…

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