Pankaj Kapur's Dopehri: Gentle awakening

Book: Dopehri

Author: Pankaj Kapur

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 110;

Price: Rs 299

Actor Pankaj Kapur’s gentle yet astute manner on screen pervades his written word as well. You are tenderly drawn into the world of Amma Bi, an elderly widow who lives alone in her deserted Lucknow haveli. However, she has her share of ‘ghosts’: every afternoon, at precisely 3 o’clock, she hears the sound of unknown footsteps. But there’s nobody there! She even considers moving to an old age home, before a stroke of luck brings a young lodger to her doorstep. Sabiha swiftly becomes the spark that Amma Bi’s life sorely lacks, filling her days with love and laughter and purpose... Not before a few surprises of course.

A simple, moving tale told minus fireworks but with lashings of suspense and humour, this first novel of the legendary film and theatre personality is sheer and complete delight. The message that it delivers is soft and ever so relevant, in a world that evidently has not much use for the elderly. Don’t miss this one.