OPERATION MONSOON. By Shona Ramaya. Graywolf Press. Paperback, 200 pages. $15.00.
What’s that uncanny look in the eyes of Shomu, the olive-complexioned tea-stall boy? Who’s responsible for the disappearance of the unpopular Kanu in a remote village in Orissa? How will Mohit and his IT consultant friends Pradeep and Ritu get out of the exploitative employment situation with a bodyshopping company? Why does the suspected Naxalite Manik, who’s under house arrest, strip naked in response to a journalist’s questions?
While Shona Ramaya’s stories are most intriguing, there’s more to them than clever twists of plot. In the globalized communities she writes about, she shows that the truth about her characters depends on the cultural lens you examine them with.