Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 12, Dated Mar 29, 2008
|CULTURE & SOCIETY
people. The story of
fascinated me because
he had actually been
silent, a deserter from
the Chinese army
hiding out in a
banyan tree in
Kushinagar for years.
So many of us are
rendered silent and
don’t even know it’
Uday Prakash, acknowledged master of the Hindi short story
has been, in recent years, working on his much-awaited first
novel. Cheeni Baba, based on a series of real-life events, tells the
story of a teenager who was drafted into the Chinese army
during World War II. Shocked by all that he saw, he ran away
and ended up in a village in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh. Still
traumatised, he climbed a tree and stayed there. The villagers
were at first astonished but then came to accept him as a Baba.
And then, one day, the Chinese premier came calling.
(Forthcoming, Penguin India, 2008)