Farhad Billimoria is so looking forward to being a departed soul! On the cusp of his forty-second birthday and his relocation to San Francisco, this suave Bombay psychotherapist makes a farewell parade around his city in the company of Zelda, his beloved vintage car. Recently divorced, Farhad has realized that he will never find love again in Bombay and must trade in his Indian life for that on another west coast on another continent. As he roves, Farhad's mind crackles with bittersweet memories, giddy dreams, dreadful puns – even a new form of therapy modeled on clouds. But is love about to bloom for Farhad in Bombay just as he has given up on the city? And if it does, will he bring to it the man that he is, or the one he wants to become?
Elsewhere in Bombay, the tribal youth Rabi finds himself cooped up as caretaker to two ailing and cranky old Brahmins, Eeja and Ooi. Rabi comes from the remote Cloud people of eastern India, a sky-watching tribe who thrill to the play of Cloudmaker, the mercurial God who drifts and muses in the skies all day long, and who have been dragged into the modern world by the takeover of their sacred mountain by a mining company. Rabi's mentor Bhagaban, a film-maker and gadfly, has taken it upon himself to lead their resistance using the tools and strategies of democracy – a project for which his parents Eeja and Ooi have little empathy. As Bhagaban directs the forward march of time and Eeja and Ooi reassert a golden Indian past, will Rabi have to relinquish the delicate self bequeathed to him by the Cloud people? Or will the two hidebound old people begin to be drawn up into the clouds instead?
The new novel by one of India’s most celebrated young writers, Clouds is a story about earth and sky, love and friendship, language and power. At its simplest, it illuminates the inner lives of half-a-dozen characters forging their own paths in India's greatest metropolis. Yet peel away the surface layers and what emerges is a vast, prismatic portrait of modern India in all its tumult and glory.
'Chandrahas Choudhury is one of the most clever and quirky, lively and witty, of India's new generation of novelists. Clouds signals the blossoming of a major new talent.' - William Dalrymple
'Clouds is a beautiful picture, and deceptively complex read...Choudhury's lyrical prose is a delight to read as much for it being a reflection of his charming philosophy on everything as for his unique, sensitive tone.' - Anupama Chandra, Free Press Journal
'A masterful, telling story that brings to light tribal and land rights, the destruction of a culture when land is seized, and the complexities of old age and grief...' - Urvashi Bahuguna, Open
'Clouds deals with a number of Big Issues — from the purpose of life to inequity to gender, but it carries its weight lithely and elegantly. The interplay of deep thoughtfulness and quirky humour never fails to engage, and remains just that little bit unpredictable, like those youknowwhats. Choudhury is a rare talent.' - Sandipan Deb, India Today