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Arzee The DwarfArzee The Dwarf by Chandrahas Choudhury
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book, as the name indicates, about a part of the life of a dwarf called Arzee. Arzee lives with this mother and brother. He works as a projectionist at an old Cinema hall alongside a senior projectionist who is an old Parsee gentleman. He knows that he has a daugther, but in so many years has never been to his fellow projectionist’s house.

He gets a new that the Parsee gentleman is going to get his daughter married and he is to retire soon after the marriage. He is thrilled beyond works as he would now be sole or at least the head projectionist of the theater. As he wallows in this good news and spreads it around amongst his friends he gets a call from the manager of the theater and he is told that the owner has decided to shutdown the theater. This shatters him thoroughly and he comes crashing to reality.

To add to his woes the goon set after him to collect a long overdue misinformed loan catches him and tells him that he should better start returning the money. After initial discord they get talking and Arzee states his misfortune. The goon tells him that he can return the dues in parts instead of as a whole which is what was being attempted so long. He asks him to come over to his house the next day and hand over the first installment.

Arzee tries to come to terms with his misfortune and decides to go to the goon’s place and start returning the dues from his savings. When he goes to the goon’s place he finds that only his comely wife is at home, who asks him to hand over he money. Arzee hands over the money and tells her that he would wait in the neighbourhood and if the goon comes over she should call him.

Arzee realizes that the Parsee projectionist lives in the vicinity and decides to pay him a visit. There he ends up having a chat with his daughter who is hidden in a balcony. He soon gets a call from the goon saying that he has come back home. As he leaves the Parsee projectionist’s house he realizes the fact that his daughter is blind and that is the reason why it had taken so long for the projectionist to find a match for his daughter.

He goes to he goon’s place and relates how earlier in his life he and been fortunate enough to fall in love and be accepted by a hair stylist, but was misfortunate to be not accepted by her father. In the argument he and her father end up slapping each other and the relation comes to an end as the father takes her away to Goa. The goon had been telling that he could find anybody from any corner of the world, so Arzee asks him to find his lady love for him. The goon says he will do so. The goon also tells him that he will find a job for Arzee so that he can repay his dues.

Soon Arzee is calling him up everyday and asking him for some news. This irritates the goon to no end. In the meantime Arzee’s mother throws another googly at him saying that he is not really her son and that she and her husband had found him abandoned and they had adopted him as they had not had any child till that time.

Arzee is completely shattered. He takes up a job given by the goon which involves going from place to place dressed as a softdrink bottle. The company had launched the soft drink in a smaller bottle and Arzee suited their purpose to promote the smaller packing. He hated the job but since it helped him pay off the goon he does the job. But he refuses to do any further job after having paid off his dues.

As plans to leave the city, after the wedding of he daughter of the projectionist. He gets a call from the goon saying that he has found his lady love. Arzee is thrilled and gets in touch with her. She is still in love with him and her father has passed away now. He promises her that he would come immediately after the wedding.

When he goes to the theater he finds a stranger sitting in one of the seats and exchanges a few words with him. The stranger is grateful for the kind words. He turns out to be the owner and he then resolves not to sell the theater. Selling the theater had been the idea of his children who probably wanted to split the money between themselves.

Arzee realizes that his life is going to become brighter as he boards the train to Goa soon after the reception at the wedding of his fellow projectionist’s daughter.

An OK read.

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