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Tireless World Watchers

A short story collection swims with those left behind or who opt out

Tireless World Watchers
Photo by Hindustan Times
Tireless World Watchers
outlookindia.com
2016-03-30T15:39:39+05:30

Charmed and dazzled by Kanishk Tharoor’s debut, Swimmer Among The Stars, a collection of bijou, lapi­dary short stories, critics have lain on their backs, legs akimbo, begg­ing to have their tummies tickled. Alongside the breathless reviews have been the many breathless pro­­files focusing on his illustrious parentage (his father is Shashi Tharoor, and his mother Til­ottama Mukherjee is a prominent academic) and his glamorously peripatetic upbringing.

It is, no doubt, hard on Tharoor fils, in India at least, to have his work seen through the prism of his father’s celebrity, to be always uncertain of whether praise is sincerely meant or criticism is motivated by envy. For those of the latter persuasion, there is fuel for their ire in opening sentence of the collection’s opening story, Elephant at Sea: “In the late summer of 1979,” it begins, “the second secretary of the Indian embassy to Morocco received a cable that undid his considerable years of training and left him floundering.” In the next...

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