B.K. Karanjia was known for his decency and integrity and Counting My Blessings
is the autobiography of an eminently decent man. That’s why you are surprised when the book starts off with a detailed account of how Karanjia lost his innocence to a prostitute. The eminently decent man going to a prostitute! You read on unbelievingly as the young Karanjia lies and wheedles the thirty rupees needed from his mother and reaches the ‘call centre’. But the encounter didn’t go as expected: "‘You see, I want you to take this (the money) and.... And...’ For the peace of my conscience, no less, I wrenched the words out of me, ‘Stop doing this.’ I don’t know what I had expected her to do. Her laugh flashed and jabbed like a knife. ‘Big boy!’ she drawled in a foreign accent."
So even in his youth, with hormones raging and money in his pocket, the decency of the man won!
There is also the unexpected firebrand in Karanjia’s youth. Appearing for an interview for the Indian Civil Services examination, Karanjia is asked by Sir Richardson: "Are Indians...