I truly hope that 2018 will be a year of reading more of Indian writers, embracing them and falling in love with their writing. Keeping that in mind, I ordered my copy of one of the most spoken about books this year, Ghachar Ghochar. Ghachar Ghochar is a gibberish expression that signifies entanglement. Think about the condition of your earphones after they spend a day in your pockets, that’s Ghachar Ghochar.
Ghachar Ghochar follows a family as they traverse through poverty to riches, and how money changes their lives. A young man spends most of his time in a cafe in Bangalore, hoping for some clever anecdotes from a server he believes has insights into his life and state of mind. The family is poor, but there is enough to feed everyone, just not enough for wants that might arise out of greed. Their fortune changes when their uncle starts a business selling spices, they move out from their cramped home to a bigger dwelling.
There is a line in the book that really resonates- ‘It’s true what they say – it’s not we who control the money, it’s the money that controls us’. In the face of riches, the family is lost. Relationships change as the money comes in, their equation with each other changes. The implications of new money takes hold over the family. This is what ghachar ghochar represents, how money has the power to knot things up so badly, there is no hope for rescue.
I enjoyed the writing, there was warmth and unexpected strength in some characters. The representation of an Indian family did not feel odd, just natural.