Author- Jerry Pinto
Title- Em and the big Hoom
Price- Rs 295
Award- Crossword Book Award for Fiction 2013, Hindu Literary Prize 2012
This is one book that is not going to fade away from my memory anytime soon. The book is about Em and The Big Hoom. Em stands for M, which in turn stands for Mother and the The Big Hoom is the father. Why do they have such quirky names is something you need to read the book to find out. It is not such a mystery though. There are no surprises or mysteries in the book. It is like a warm piece of fuzz, slightly burnt on the sides. The book is about a mentally-challenged woman and lives of people around her. The jokes in the book break your heart and the events are so real that they do not evoke tears. They hit you at some other higher level, where you just feel the paradox about manic-depressive disorders and the dilemma of people who care for the patients.
The book is set in Mahim, Bombay and the protagonists are Roman Catholic Portuguese characters. Imelda or Em had come with her family to India after ‘Hitler’ had invaded Burma. There are scars in her childhood but nothing explains her condition. That is how life is, right? There are causes but nothing explains existence except existence itself.
The quality is covert art, pages and fonts is top notch and the purple tinge to the pages is a nice twist. I am beginning to trust Aleph as an independent publishing house for quality literature. Jerry Pinto, the author, considering it was his first book, has done an awe-inspiring job. I’d love to read more from him. The awkwardness generated in everyday situations is too real and too funny. I’d have laughed my heart out, had I not known that on the very next page, there would be some tragic event lurking in the corner.
It is a book about bravery and humanity. It is a book of literary brilliance and the earnestness of its endeavour cannot be doubted. 5 stars all the way!