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The Pleasure Seekers
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It all started in August 1968 when Babo, with curly hair and jhill mill teeth, became the first member of the Patel family to leave Madras and fly on a plane all the way to London to further his education. His father should have known there would be trouble: on the morning of the departure he had his first and only dream, in which strange ghosts threw poison-tipped arrows and all his family was lost But off Babo went, and now here he is, in a flat off the Finchley Road, untraditionally making love to a cream-skinned girl from Wales, Sian Jones, who he fell head over heels for as soon as he saw the twirl of red ribbon in her hair. Ba-ba-boom, ba-ba-boom, ba-ba-boom-boom-boom. Theirs is a mixed-up love in a topsy-turvy world, and their two families will never be the same again. Meet the Patel-Joneses: Babo, Sian, Mayuri and Bean, in their little house with orange and black gates next-door to the Punjab Women’s Association.As the twentieth century creaks and croaks its way along – somewhere out there Jim Morrison commits suicide; Charles and Diana get hitched; Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her own bodyguards; cable TV arrives in India – these four navigate their way through the uncharted territory of a ‘hybrid’ family: the hustle and bustle of Babo’s relatives, the faraway phone-line crackle of Sian’s, the eternal wisdom and soft bosom of great-grandmother Ba, the perils of first love, lost innocence and old age, and the big question: what do you do with the space your loved ones leave behind? In this tender, lyrical and uplifting debut, Tishani Doshi, a prizewinning poet, effortlessly captures the quirks and calamities of one unusual clan in a story of identity, family, belonging and all-transcending love.
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