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An Indian Odyssey

Monday, September 26, 2011

Louis Puchhekanna, The Servant Boy From Mangalore by Sidney Pinto is a fascinating first work of fiction from an 86-year-old writer. It traces the story of a young cat-eyed (prominent pearl grey in colour) boy from a poor family who is taken by his father, Pascal Cardozu, to the house of their landlord, Walter Christo, to become a servant at Rs.6 per month!

Louis is good-looking, fair-skinned and well built, and the landlord, who has two grown up daughters, has some misgivings about having him around. But the wife prevails upon him to try the boy out. Louis is very hardworking, disciplined and makes himself useful around the place. Inevitably, he finds his way into the bed of the maidservant, Pauline. She gets pregnant, moves away, and marries a widower who kills her on coming to know that the child is not his. After being blamed for a theft he did not commit, Louis lands up in Bombay. His story echoes those of many natives of Karnataka.

Louis Puchhekanna by Sidney Pinto

Fortytwo Bookz Galaxy
Price Rs.195

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