For those who remember Calcutta- as Kolkata was then called- in the 70’s, images of the city will probably reek of strikes, gheraos and cries of ” cholbe na”. You can see the crowds gather for yet one more union or political rally. The strident speeches of the leaders, the dutiful acknowledgements of the followers. The grime and the crowds are everywhere yet the city had a certain charm. Set largely in Kolkata is Neel Chowdhury’s “The Inheritors” published by Random House India. Rahul Jayaram’s review in Businessworld pretty much sums it up.
I liked the development of the various characters and the strong insights one got into the minds of the Marwari business tycoons who owned much of business in that decade- indeed for decades before that as well. The way the story was paced was good and one got some unexpected looks into the behind the scenes life of business men of that era and their immediate families.
From ancient Rajasthan to today’s Hong Kong the story traces the battle for a business empire. It is a good read for those interested in India.